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What can you say about a thirty-five-year-old casebook that still lives?

That its first edition was beautiful and brilliant probably the most important and influential casebook ever written. That the first edition was nevertheless deeply problematic in its vision of federalism, separation of powers, and "cases and controversies." That its newly released third edition is better in many respects - more aware (though not univocally and uncritically supportive) of a resurgent vision of federal courts as irreplaceable guardians of federal constitutional rights, and active enforcers of federal constitutional remedies, against both state and federal governments. That, in keeping with the case- book's underlying vision of legal doctrine, The Federal Courts and the Federal System is itself in the process of working its grand themes pure. That there thus remains modest room for improvement, and good reason to hope that future editions of the casebook will occupy at least part of that room.

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