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 History Review   

A Century of Controversy :
Constitutional Reform in Alabama
Edited by Bailey Thomson
University of Alabama Press, 2002
Paper,  $24.95 (187pp)
ISBN: 0-8173-1218-8



Alabama's present constitution, adopted in 1901, has long been viewed as the source of many of the state's difficulties and imbalances. Historically, the problems have included: under funded or poorly funded school systems, unchecked urban sprawl, a tax system favoring special business interests, and a type of legislated racism. Instead of rewriting the Constitution, Amendments have been overwritten and addendums lacking clarity have been added. resulting in an overburdened constitution. Many citizens of the state believe the time has come to reform the state's constitution. 

With A Century of Controversy, Thomson, has assembled lawyers, scholars, economists, political scientists, historians, and journalists, from the fields of teaching and government to discuss the current constitution, its history, and its implications for Alabama's future. 

Bailey Thomson's introduction explains how the current reform movement rose from the grass roots level and how previous attempts by past governors have failed. 

The contributors to the book are : Wayne Flynt, Harvey H. Jackson III, Bradley Moody, Anne Permaloff, Robert Martin Schaefer, WIlliam H. Stewart, Joe A. Sumners, G. Alan Tarr, Howard P. Waithall Sr., Samuel L. Webb, and James W. Williams Jr.. Their essays are filled with useful information and historical anecdotes, each adding texture and depth to the book's overall argument. 

Bailey Thomson is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Alabama. 


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


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