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In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Educational Landmark (Law and Current Events Masters) Hardcover – August 12, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Law and Current Events Masters
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195171527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195171525
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Minow's book presents enlightening discussions for educators, policy makers, and informed citizens. Essential for academic and public libraries." -- Library Journal

"The Brown decision wisely and bravely struck down state-imposed racial segregation. Martha Minow capably describes how that decision changed the lives of millions of people." --Diane Ravitch, The New Republic

"Everyone knows how important the Brown v Board of Education decision was. But until Martha Minow turned her exceptional mind and imagination to the subject, no one fully appreciated the decisions' reach across our society and across national boundaries. In Brown's Wake is eloquent and careful, scholarly and accessible, passionate and thoughtful. Thanks to Minow, we will now have a far greater appreciation of what may be the most significant and constructive decision in the Supreme Court's history."--E.J. Dionne, author of Why Americans Hate Politics

"Brown was a landmark case and Martha Minow has written a landmark book about it. No effort to bring the issues raised by that decision up to date can top this one."--Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

"In today's education discussions, Brown v. Board of Education is invoked as a vague metaphor for the need to address the racial achievement gap, disconnected from the case's original declaration that separate schools are inherently unequal. Martha Minow's sweeping and provocative narrative brilliantly depicts the many adaptations of Brown, while at the same time anchoring the decision to its fundamental insight about the importance of integrated education in a pluralistic democracy."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of All Together Now

"In Brown's Wake is a panoramic view of how this landmark decision has shaped education policy and practice both in the United States and abroad. With an objective eye, Martha Minow leads us through various reform measures designed to promote equal opportunity, skillfully displaying points of contention between integration and segregation, equality and pluralism, sameness and difference. Mining an impressively broad body of social science research, she acknowledges its limitations and the need to find pragmatic and effective solutions to continuing inequalities."--Rosemary Salomone, Professor of Law, St. John's University

"Overall, the book is an outstanding cultural exploration of perhaps the most famous Supreme Court decision ever. Excellent for collections on law and civil rights...Highly recommended..." -- Choice

2011 Scribes Book Award Honorable Mention

"A well-written and informed brief in legal fashion." -- Du Bois Review

About the Author

Martha Minow is Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has taught since 1981. She is an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities, women, children, and persons with disabilities. Her prior books include Government by Contract; Just Schools; Breaking the Cycles of Hatred; Partners, Not Rivals; Between Vengeance and Forgiveness; Not Only for Myself; and Making All the Difference.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Calland on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this work, Professor Martha Minow has crafted an excellent, scholarly survey of the setting and subsequent history of the U. S. Supreme Court's unanimous and momentous 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
Professor Minow examines the uses of Brown by those interested in the educational opportunity aspects of immigration, English as a second language, gender, and sexual identification and orientation. She investigates applications of Brown to educational matters of religion, disability, group-based definition, indigenous culture, and socio-economic status. She considers the evolution of the connections of Brown to issues of "school choice," including vouchers, taxation, and charter schools, the presence of social science research in educational litigation, and the international significance and influence of Brown. And, Professor Minow demonstrates that part of the legacy of Brown is the complication of a central declaration of that decision, viz., that "[s]eparate educational facilities are inherently unequal" (and, therefore, unconstitutional).
The decision in Brown v. Board of Education is the genesis of a remarkable array of claimed consequences, ranging, depending upon point of view, from undeniably good, through be-careful-what-you-wish-for, to simply irrational or worse. In Brown's Wake, by Martha Minow, is a concise, accessible, intelligent, reasonable, and easily five-star analysis of that decision's continuing importance in our civilization.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By iorek on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Professor Minow has obviously been musing over this subject for a long time. This exhaustively researched, thoughtful treatment of the landmark Brown decision not only explores the empirical consequences of the decision but also follows the ripples into different countries and intellectual disciplines to demonstrate its impact far beyond the initial category of race. The book is well organized so that each chapter handles a different aspect of the legacy of Brown. It clarifies what Brown was intended to do and then candidly discusses where it succeeded and where it fell short. Some of these consequences are well known and predictable, but I was surprised by the number of conceptual realms where Brown left a mark that I hadn't even considered.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Mossey on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Martha Minow has written a scholarly and well researched analysis of the effect the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Bd. of Educaion has had on other groups of Americans. While this is not an "easy read," it raises important points about the decision's meaning for gays, feminists, and others who have sought to reform widely held public views that tend to discriminate. She also deals with the various ways that families can choose to school their children.
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