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Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality download ebook

by Richard Kluger

Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality download ebook
Richard Kluger
Knopf; Revised, Expanded edition (April 13, 2004)
880 pages
1902 kb
1270 kb
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Politics & Government

Simple Justice is generally regarded as the classic account of the U.S. Supreme Court's epochal decision outlawing racial segregation and the centerpiece of African-Americans' ongoing crusade for equal justice under law.The 1954 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education brought centuries of legal segregation in this country to an end. It was and remains, beyond question, one of the truly significant events in American history, "probably the most important American government act of any kind since the Emancipation Proclamation," in the view of constitutional scholar Louis H. Pollak. The Brown decision climaxed along, torturous battle for black equality in education, making hard law out of vague principles and opening the way for the broad civil rights upheavals of the 1960s and beyond.Simple Justice is the story of that battle. Richard Kluger traces the background of the epochal decision,from its remote legal and cultural roots to the complex personalities of those who brought about its realization. The result is a landmark work of popular history, graceful and fascinatingly detailed, the panoramic account of a struggle for human dignity in process since the birth of the nation.Here is the human drama, told in all its dimensions, of the many plaintiffs, men, women, and children,variously scared or defiant but always determined, who made the hard decision to proceed - bucking the white power structure in Topeka,Kansas; braving night riders in rural South Carolina; rallying fellow high school students in strictly segregated Prince Edward County,Virginia - and at a dozen other times and places showing their refusal to accept defeat.Here, too, is the extraordinary tale,told for the first time, of the black legal establishment, forced literally to invent itself before it could join the fight, then patiently assembling, in courtroom after courtroom, a body of law that would serve to free its people from thralldom to unjust laws. Heroes abound, some obscure, like Charles Houston (who built Howard Law School into a rigorous academy for black lawyers) and the Reverend J.A. DeLaine (the minister-teacher who, despite bitter opposition, organized and led the first crucial fight for educational equality in the Jim Crow South), others like Thurgood Marshall, justly famous - but all of whose passionate devotion proved intense enough to match their mission.Reading Simple Justice, we see how black Americans' groundswell urge for fair treatment collides with the intransigence of white supremacists in a grinding legal campaign that inevitably found its way to the halls and chambers of the Supreme Court for a final showdown.  Kluger searches out and analyzes what went on there during the months of hearings and deliberations, often behind closed doors, laying bare the doubts,disagreements, and often deeply held convictions of the nine Justices.He shows above all how Chief Justice Earl Warren, new to the Court but old in the ways of politics, achieved the impossible - a unanimous decision to reverse the 58-year-old false doctrine of "separate but equal" education for blacks. Impeccably researched and elegantly written, this may be the most revealing report ever published of America's highest court at work.Based on extensive interviews and both published and unpublished documentary sources, Simple Justice has the lineaments of an epic. It will stand as the classic study of a turning point in our history.
  • Jaiarton
This book is far more comprehensive than I could have ever anticipated. I tend to be wary of history books that are written so closely to the period, or the event, that they're discussing, since typically enough time hasn't passed to truly gain a full scope for the precedence that the events being discussed set, and the consequences of those events need more time to sink in. And it's especially difficult if the author actually lived through to see those events unfold, since being in the middle of a situation can typically obscure a clear view of it, but that skepticism was gone when Richard Kluger opened his book by detailing the legal state of racial identity in America immediately after the abolition of slavery.

The subtitle of the book is somewhat misleading, "The History of Brown V. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality," which lead me to believe that Simple Justice would primarily be about the actual court case itself, but instead, more accurately, this book is less about Brown v Board itself, but more about the full scope of the African American struggle to attain equal access to education, the ridicule, shame, and injustice they endured for simple right to an education, and the hundreds of uphill battles blacks in America faced, along with the prejudice the court rooms held against them by demerit of their skin, all of which culminated over one hundred years until they finally secured a resounding victory in the decision of Brown v Board.

It's a truly inspiring book in which Kluger paints so many silhouettes, and finds so many heroes on his journey through this particular vein of history.
  • Jelar
Kluger’s book is a comprehensive compilation of the historical court case Brown V Board of Education and the Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation. The author also covers the history of slavery in the United States and life after the Civil War for the black people. He describes the injustice, degradation and abuse to the black people.

Kluger also covers the twenty years it took for states to fully respond to the Court’s directives to desegregate schools. The author also reviews, in great detail, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. Kluger shows how the law has served to create and alter who we are as a society.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. It is a lengthy book at 822 pages. It is a detailed history of the treatment of blacks in this country. The author reminds us that freedom without resources is simply a different form of slavery. Kluger introduces the reader to pivotal black attorneys such as Thurgood Marshall, Charles Houston and William Hastie. This is a must-read book. I am left with the thought that Kluger’s book presents America’s own version of a living holocaust.

I read this as an e-book on my Kindle app for my iPad. The recent release of the book in digital form was 2011. It was originally published on December 12, 1975.
  • Cha
After all these years, this poignant tale of "Simple Justice" shows that it was not so simple and there was not a whole lot of justice at any singular point in the entire civil rights battle. Your blood will boil at act after act of discrimination if you have an ounce of empathy or sense of social justice. I had to read this in the morning, otherwise, I would be too fired up to sleep. Fascinating back stories abound throughout.
  • Laitchai
This is an incredibly well written book that describes the events and court cases that led up to Brown v. Board of Education. I'm not sure that you can understand the system of government in the United States of America without reading a book like this. It lays out the ongoing conflict between the relationships between the federal government and state governments. Without books like this people might think that history moves in a straight line and civil rights continue to be more clearly defined and defended. If anything the author tells us that the pendulum swings and the constitution and the role of the supreme court is not fixed.
  • Awene
An extremely thorough study of the Brown case and the historical background of the segregation issues involved -- a complex subject. The book is mainstream readable and comprehensive in scope. I'd pair this with SCORPIONS, a book which examines the personalities and political significance of the FDR and post-FDR appointed Supreme Court, reading SCORPIONS first.
  • Burisi
This is an excellent history. The author brings together the people and the events that made Brown vs. the Board of Education succed . It is a good read and a very fulfilling one.
  • Uthergo
One of those stories everyone with a historical bent should read. Amazing how convoluted the Constitution can be when people start interpreting it. This still does not answer one question that 's been coming up for me: why is the 14th Amendment used in so many legal circumstances that seem to have nothing to do with its original intent?