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Simple Justice by Richard Kluger

Simple Justice (original 1976; edition 1977)

by Richard Kluger (Author)

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327453,915 (4.54)12
"Simple Justice, rich in personal drama and deft in connecting the complex social issues at stake, is the definitive account of the legal battle that after three centuries at last awarded black Americans equal protection under the law by finding the old "separate but equal" doctrine to be a contradiction. The forced separation of black schoolchildren solely because of their race, the nation's highest court declared, "generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone."" "Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Kluger explores the epochal Brown ruling from its legal and cultural roots, dwelling as well on the lives of those who led the long, bitter, and often disillusioning fight. Here is a sweeping narrative that treats the law not as some lofty abstraction but as an imperfect, and at times vexing, daily presence in a racially divided nation. We meet the men, women, and youngsters who overcame their fears and disadvantages to defy the mean spirit of Jim Crow. They were inspired by a remarkable group of black lawyers who practically invented civil-rights law by patiently assembling, in the courtroom and in the face of constant intimidation, a case so compelling that in the end it could not be denied."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Title:Simple Justice
Authors:Richard Kluger (Author)
Info:Vintage (1977), 864 pages
Collections:Your library

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Simple Justice by Richard Kluger (1976)



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Quite possibly the single best history book I've yet read. Incredible in its scope, impossibly detailed - never a light read but I always wanted to read it. I found Kluger's style refreshing - not that it was biased, it seemed merely to address the absurdity of Jim Crow and the systematic, ongoing denial of rights. The final decision, unfolding in gripping, almost novelistic fashion in seeming real time, was one of the most fascinating parts. ( )
  eswnr | Nov 9, 2008 |
Separate but equal was never equal.
Supreme Court decision upheld Jim Crow laws and the Federal govt. abided by Jim Crow laws in their own employment, cafeteria, offices, etc.
The Garland Fund (Charles Garland's inheritance that he set up as a trust, living as a farmer himself) provided money to attack segregation. The Margold Plan proposed not to dispute the legality of segregation, but to sue institutions and/or states for not providing equal education as per segregation laws. Attack graduate schools first, as states can't afford to provide dual grad programs.
Brown vs. Bd. of Ed. attacked segregation per se. 1954, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, decided unanimously that segregation per se is unequal. But they decided to move slowly to do away with it -- a mistake. Quick action would have resulted in less friction.
  missmath144 | Mar 20, 2008 |
3636. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, by Richard Kluger (read 12 Oct 2002) This is a 1976 book which tells the story of all five school desegregation cases from their beginning to the eventual triumph in the Supreme Court. It is a fascinating story, extremely well-told and holding one's interest thru every one of its 822 pages. The case has always been a great interest of mine, I remembering well how and where I first heard of the Supreme Court decision on May 17, 1954, and the enthusiasm I felt on the momentous victory for justice which it was. This book is easily the best I read this month. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 17, 2007 |
Eminently readable account of the history of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision that held that "separate but equal" facilities are inherently unequal, and banned segregation.

"Here is the human drama . . . of the many plaintiffs. . . who made the hard decision to proceed. . . Here, too, is the extraordinary tale . . . of the black legal establishment, forced literally to invent itself before it could join the fight. . ."

It was clear from the start that this decision could not be a close vote, if it was to be supportable. Kluger's analysis of how Chief Justice Warren achieved what many thought impossible - a unanimous decision - is absolutely fascinating.
  lilithcat | Nov 7, 2005 |
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... we are of the humble opinion that we have the right to enjoy the privileges of free men. But that we do not will appear in many instances, and we beg leave to mention one out of many, and that is the education of out children which now receive no benefit from the free schools in the town of Boston, which we think is a great grievance, as by woeful experience we now feel the of a common education. We, therefore, must fear for our rising offspring to see them in ignorance in a land of gospel light when there is provision made for them as well as others and yet can't enjoy them, and for not other reason can be given this they are black...
We therfore pray your Honors that you would in your wisdom some provision be made for the free education of our dear children. And in duty bound shall ever pray. --FROM A PETITION TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY, 1787
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