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Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006198518X
  • ASIN: B005GNM2MK
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,571,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers for whom Marshall is best known for arguing and winning Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 and becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967 will find this collection of letters written between 1935 and 1957 thoroughly illuminating. Long's introductions lend a fluidity and coherence to the book; he presents each letter with so much context that the book has elements of a biography of Marshall and a history of the civil rights movement. The letters--which span Marshall's legal career from his first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson, in 1936--contain a rich vein of local history as well as correspondence concerning his major cases. Nor does Marshall's major case law focus deter him from attention to media misrepresentation, racial inequities in pay, military racism, or accounts of prison abuse and the persistence of lynching. "At times," Marshall wrote in 1949, "I get a little anxious about people who have no regard whatsoever for the amount of time necessary for lawyers to prepare this involved type of litigation." These letters offer a welcome and readable inner glimpse into that laborious and complex work. (Jan.)Toward the Setting Sun: John Ross, the Cherokees, and the
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Review

“This important collection of Thurgood Marshall’s letters poignantly shows the constant motion of his legal mind - and heart - as he soldiered so bravely in pursuit of equal justice. Michael G. Long deserves high praise indeed for unearthing and bringing them to light.” (Wil Haygood, author of King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. )

“[E]nlightening. . . . Lawyers will read this book in total awe of Marshall’s accomplishments. It reads like a panoramic, at times kaleidoscopic history of race in America. . . . Long’s collection of Marshall’s record of work is beyond impressive.” (Washington Lawyer )

“[Marshall’s] letters are plenty fascinating. Not to mention heartbreaking. . . . [Long] has done a wonderful job researching and editing and reminding us of how much we owe to all of our forebears, and this one in particular.” (Louisville Courier Journal )

“Long has done the world a service. . . . The Marshall letters he has unearthed paint a vivid portrait of an unwavering warrior. . . . Marshalling Justice reminds us of how much can be learned from the collected correspondence of a great man. ” (Kevin Merida, national editor of the Washington Post and co-author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas )

“[These] letters vividly illustrate what life was like for African Americans in the mid-twentieth century and what it was like to be the nation’s most important civil rights lawyer. As good a way to get to know Marshall the man and his life as there is.” (Mark Tushnet, author of Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1956-61 )

Marshalling Justice . . . allows us to see more clearly the trail this legendary litigator blazed for civil rights.” (USA Today )

“This selection of letters reveals the depth and breadth of Marshall’s work long before what we consider the start of the Civil Rights Movement.” (Library Journal )

“An inside look at the personality, experiences and business interactions of the man who would become the first black Supreme Court Justice.” (Sister to Sister )

“Thank Michael G. Long for bringing to a wider public . . . [this] well-edited collection of Marshall’s letters.” (Kenneth J. Cooper, Boston Globe )

“The approximately 200 letters and memoranda reproduced here give a comprehensive overview of Marshall’s role in ‘galvanizing the civil rights movement’. . . . Inspiring. . . . A nuanced treatment of a towering figure.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“Thoroughly illuminating. . . . These letters offer a welcome and readable inner glimpse into [Marshall’s] work.” (Publishers Weekly )

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. Wiggin on May 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read a number of books about the life and work of Thurgood Marshall and his early NAACP leadership, I was very excited to have the opportunity to read the words of the man himself. What I found was both uplifting and tragic, as Michael Long carefully lays out a large cross section of Mr. Marshall's letters to the leaders of government, media and the Civil Rights movement. The background for each letter is quick and insightful, taking care to shed light on the rampant racial injustice that prevailed in the U.S. during his years with the NAACP. Especially infuriating are many of the responses from U.S. Presidents, members of Congress, Governors and military leaders who at times happily turned a blind eye to what was going on in this country. This book gave me a lot to think about and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the life of Thurgood Marshall, the history of the NAACP or the Civil Rights movement.
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Format: Hardcover
As an attorney, I'm picky about books about the law. But Michael Long's collection of more than 20 years of letters by Thurgood Marshall is a compelling and -- yes -- suspenseful account of his precedent-setting life as an attorney for the NAACP. If you thought Rev. Martin Luther King laid the groundwork for the evolution and revolution that has finally put a black man in the White House, this book will change your mind. Thurgood Marshall worked tirelessly to change the law and fight injustice -- and he was nearly lynched for it. Through his letters one also gets a glimpse of Marshall's incredible work ethic. My only regret was that Michael Long couldn't get access to Marshall's letters from after 1957 -- hopefully, there is another book to come.
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More About the Author

Michael G. Long has a Ph.D. from Emory University and is the author or editor of several books on civil rights, politics, and religion. He has a special interest in the genre of letters and is the editor, most recently, of Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny (Syracuse University Press); Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball (Syracuse University Press); I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters (City Lights Books); and Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall (Amistad/HarperCollins). Long's first book on Jackie Robinson -- First Class Citizenship (Times Books) -- was selected as a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly and received critical acclaim in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Book Forum, Ebony/Jet, and other major media outlets. He is a popular speaker, with engagements from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to the City Club of San Diego, and has appeared on C-Span and National Public Radio. Long teaches religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

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