Preface To 1991 Edition
Why reissue a 21 year old book.
With very little advertising, the original The Elders of Israel and the Constitution has been in continual demand since it was first published in 1970. Over the years many people have said it was that book that opened their understanding of the Constitution and motivated them to become actively engaged in seeking to preserve it.
The sixth printing of the first edition was sold out in 1988. This edition is in response to many requests to make the book available again.
What to include in a new edition.
Having decided to reissue the book, the next question was what changes to make.
The original book was mentioned favorably by name by Ezra Taft Benson in his April 1972 General Conference address entitled "Civic Standards For the Faithful Saints."
Among the appreciative letters received from readers was one from Jerreld L. Newquist, author of Prophets, Principles and National Survival. He wrote:
"This is certainly the clearest exposition of this inspired document that I have ever read, especially from the L.D.S. point of view. Your explanations have been made systematically and in such a clear manner that there is no difficulty for the reader to thoroughly understand the points you make."
Another letter was from Howard S. Bennion, who had been top man at West Point, a wartime army general, head of Edison Electric Institute, a stake president and a patriarch, and who was unusually knowledgeable on the inner workings of the highest levels of government. He wrote:
"Your book is filled with authenticated material, honestly and intelligently selected and clearly presented. It is the work of an unusually clear, understanding, comprehensively informed and inspired mind."
An especially thrilling letter was one from my father Jacob I. Horowitz, himself a lawyer and author, who thought I had lost my mind when I joined the Mormon Church. He wrote:
"I spent a night and a day reading your book, The Elders of Israel and the Constitution. It is a masterpiece and may well be a landmark, a turning point in the salvation of our society from the mess it is in."
Although I am the "author" who "wrote" the book, I believe that there was a great deal of inspiration involved in the process and that to a considerable extent I was more of a Conduit than an author.
In view of the many favorable comments and my own and others' feeling that the book really did involve considerable inspiration, I have concluded to add this new Preface and leave the original text unchanged except for some minor corrections.
A valuable perspective.
Another advantage of leaving the original text unchanged is that reading material written in a time frame of more than 20 years ago should add a valuable perspective to increase understanding of matters of concern today. Here are some examples of important current issues followed by chapters in the book containing helpful information on those issues.
President Bush has repeatedly referred to a "new world order" involving a revitalized United Nations having the power to act as a sort of world policeman. Is this a desirable system or does it pose a danger to our freedom?
See Chapter 13 entitled "The Constitution and the World."
In view of the wide difference of opinion on separation of church and state, what is the place of religion in a free society?
See Chapter 4 entitled "The Indispensable Ingredient" and Chapter 5 entitled "Separation of Church and State."
Today there is heated argument over whether the Constitution should be interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of its words or whether those words should be stretched to cover what are perceived to be different needs. How strictly should the Constitution be interpreted? See Chapter 8 entitled "How Flexible Is the Constitution?" and Chapter 9 entitled "The Lord's Standard of Constitutionality."
What actions should we take to preserve Constitutional freedom?
See Chapter 10 entitled "The Real Threat Against the Constitution," Chapter 11 entitled "Examining Proposed Changes" and Chapter 17 entitled "What Should Latter-day Saints Do?--An Action Program."
This listing of some important current issues and helpful information on them in the book is far from complete. Even on the few issues mentioned, the brief references to particular chapters do not call attention to the material on those issues in other parts of the book.
While the book is addressed especially to Latter-day Saints, I am grateful that non LDS readers have found it so helpful.
Jerome Horowitz [p. 1]