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Brown V. Board of Education A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy

ISBN-10: 0195156323
ISBN-13: 9780195156324
Edition: 2002
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $8.71
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Description: Many people were elated when Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in May 1954, the ruling that struck down state-sponsored racial segregation in America's public schools. Thurgood Marshall, chief  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/12/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

Many people were elated when Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in May 1954, the ruling that struck down state-sponsored racial segregation in America's public schools. Thurgood Marshall, chief attorney for the black families that launched the litigation, exclaimed later, "I was so happy, I was numb." The novelist Ralph Ellison wrote, "another battle of the Civil War has been won. The rest is up to us and I'm very glad. What a wonderful world of possibilities are unfolded for the children!" Here, in a concise, compelling narrative, Bancroft Prize-winning historian James T. Patterson takes readers through the dramatic case and its fifty-year aftermath. A wide range of characters animates the story, from the little-known African-Americans who dared to challenge Jim Crow with lawsuits (at great personal cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured Court to a unanimous decision. Others include segregationist politicians like Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas; Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon; and controversial Supreme Court justices such as William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas. Most Americans still see Brown as a triumph--but was it? Patterson shrewdly explores the provocative questions that still swirl around the case. Could the Court--or President Eisenhower--have done more to ensure compliance with Brown? Did the decision touch off the modern civil rights movement? How useful are court-ordered busing and affirmative action against racial segregation? To what extent has racial mixing affected the academic achievement of black children? Where indeed do we go from here to realize the expectations of Marshall, Ellison, and others in 1954?

James T. Patterson is an American historian, and Ford Foundation Professor of History emeritus at Brown University. He wrote "Grand Expectations: the United States, 1945-1974," which received the 1997 Bancroft Prize in American history. (The Bancroft prize is one of the most prestigious honors a book of history can received and was established at Columbia University in 1948. It's considered to be on par with the Pulitzer Prize because an anonymous jury of peers judges it.) "Grand Expectations" is an interpretation of the explosive growth, high expectations and unusual optimism that Americans experienced after World War II that went into the 1960's. It follows the social, economic and cultural trends, and foreign policy issues, which became less optimistic after the assassinations, the Vietnam War and Watergate.

Editors' Note
Preface: Contesting the Color Line
Race and the Schools Before Brown
The Grass Roots and Struggling Lawyers
The Court Decides
Crossroads, 1954-55
Southern Whites Fight Back
Striving for Racial Balance in the 1960s
The Burger Court Surprises
Stalemates
Resegregation?
Legacies and Lessons
Key Cases
Tables and Figures
Notes
Bibliographical Essay
Acknowledgments
Index

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