The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"The People of Texas." Throughout the book emphasis is placed
on the way of life of the rank and file of the people.
As a nod to the pedagogical demands of the day, Steen's book
is divided into seven units, each preceded by a one-page resume.
The general organization is good and topics are presented in an
orderly and coherent fashion. Suggestions for study and ref-
erences for reading are adequate. As a text, this book should
prove teachable, and its thoroughness will make it a most useful
Hardin-Simmons University.
When Civil Law Fails. By Robert S. Rankin. (Durham: Duke
University Press, 1939. Pp. vii, 224. $3.00.)
This little volume is essentially an historical treatment of the
occasions and manner in which martial law has been declared and
enforced in the United States, coupled with a discussion of the
legal problems and cases which inevitably accompany such gov-
ernmental action. The order of discussion is chronological; con-
sequently, the book is not written in the manner of most text-
books on legal subjects where each point of law is considered
separately and discussed historically, analytically and critically.
There are two criticisms of this manner of approach: it leads to
unnecessary repetition and a consequent loss of reader interest;
it is difficult for the average reader to obtain any definite under-
standing of the legal questions involved. The author's method of
presentation does, however, emphasize the growing importance of
the whole subject as a result of its use by the executive depart-
ment for the purpose of restoring order in the class warfare
between labor and capital.
Some of the legal and constitutional issues discussed are as fol-
lows: Is there a constitutional basis for martial law under any
circumstances? If circumstances may exist creating the "neces-
sity," should the legislative or the executive department or both
have the authority to institute it? To what extent, if any, should
the judiciary be permitted to review the action of the governor or
president for the purpose of determining whether the executive
was acting in good faith and whether he was correct in his


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 26, 2016.

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