After years of neglect, state constitutional histories have undergone an upsurge of interest and study. Jean Bickmore White’s attractive but brief work, Charter for Statehood: The Story of Utah’s State Constitution is a part of this new genre. Since 1971, White has published at least four scholarly articles on statehood and the ratification of the state constitution in Utah. Research interest and academic training make her well qualified to provide a scholarly work based on detailed research.
The study of state constitutional histories has led White to conclude that each state is different in political climate and in the needs and expectations of its citizens; therefore, each state constitutional convention seeks to create a document that will provide the kind of government warranted by these particular needs and expectations. Because state constitutions spring from distinct legal theories, consciously include many policy preferences designed to limit the choice of future state legislatures, and inevitably tend to distribute particular advantages and disadvantages to various groups in society, state constitutions are traditionally long and detailed.