From Publishers Weekly
Tushnet (Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961-1991), a constitutional law professor at Georgetown, captures the major facets of Marshall's remarkable career. The slim section of briefs and oral arguments, which Marshall presented as a lawyer to the Supreme Court, includes his Brown v. Board of Education brief, a 1944 brief against coerced confessions and an oral argument against halting the desegregation of Little Rock's schools. These are supplemented by a selection of writings for Crisis and other publications, including brief overviews of the progress made by different groups at various points from 1939 onward, riveting reports on the 1943 Detroit race riot and Marshall's investigation of 39 racially motivated courts-martial during the Korean War. His judicial writings include 12 of his annual remarks at the Second Circuit Judicial Conference, tributes to his Supreme Court colleague William Brennan and to his mentor, Charles Houston, reflections on the social responsibilities of the bar (such as adequate counsel for indigents and public interest litigation) and his famous speech on the Constitution's bicentennial, criticizing its flawed birth and celebrating the struggle to redeem it. The 12 opinions (mostly dissents) cover equal protection, affirmative action, privacy and free expression, poverty and criminal justice. Randall Kennedy's foreword cites Marshall's "unflagging persistence directed at exposing massive defects in American democracy," but these decisions display equal zeal for constructing and defending thoughtful, principled remedies. The concluding 100-page interview of 1977, from the Columbia Oral History Research Office, revisits earlier themes in an informal setting, while Tushnet supplies context sparingly, never intruding on Marshall's voice.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Tushnet (constitutional law, Georgetown Univ. Law Ctr.), one of Thurgood Marshall's former law clerks on the Supreme Court, is the author of two previous works on the civil-rights and constitutional-law work of the trailblazing Marshall, the first African American member of the U.S. Supreme Court. This volume is sure to become the standard reference for those who wish to know Marshall, one of the critical American civil rights pioneers of the 20th century, in his own words. In a career ranging from his trial and appellate work for the NAACP to his tenure as an associate justice of the Court, Marshall wrought revolutionary changes in U.S. law and politics, and this collection of his legal briefs, writings, speeches, and judicial opinions, plus a never-before-published oral interview, gives us a superior analysis of the advocate, the democrat, the dissenter, and the unflagging fighter for equality. Recommended for all libraries. Stephen K. Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Univ., Nampa, ID
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.