- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 17, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393345122
- ISBN-13: 978-0393345124
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence V. Texas 1st Edition
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“Stirring and richly detailed. . . . A book that turns conventional wisdom about Lawrence on its head. Indeed, the readers most likely to be surprised by Flagrant Conduct are those who think they already know the basic outlines of the case.”
- David Oshinsky, New York Times
“[An] important new book... [A] chronicle that peels the Lawrence case back through layers of carefully choreographed litigation and tactical appeals, back to the human protagonists we never really got to know, and back again through centuries of laws criminalizing “unnatural” sexual activity.”
- Dahlia Lithwick, New Yorker
“Starred review. In compelling and eminently readable prose―as gripping as any detective novel―Carpenter reveals the details behind the famous legal battle. ...It is a story, according to the author, that involves the misuse of authority, the cowardice of elected state-court judges who rebuffed the defendants’ legal claims, and the refusal of legislators to repeal a dubious and odious law. An important book about a landmark case.”
- June Sawyers, Booklist
“Dale Carpenter’s excellent new book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas is not only an in-depth study of the complicated background of the case, but also a highly informative, detailed, even thrilling account of how the Supreme Court arguments reshaped American law, possibly even inadvertently leading to the legalization of same-sex marriage.
...Carpenter moves into John Grisham territory as a group of rebels with a very good cause...mount their battle against not only the Texas law but all existing state sodomy laws. Carpenter’s tale of the arrest ― and how it affected these men’s lives― is fascinating, but his recounting of the Supreme Court hearings is a fine piece of dramatic reporting that sharpens the drama and presents the legal issues and personalities with clarity.”
- Michael Bronkski, San Francisco Chronicle
“Starred review. [In Flagrant Conduct] Carpenter presents an engrossing depiction of a pivotal case in 21st-century American jurisprudence.”
- Publishers Weekly
“[An] informative, highly readable account of a case that has been likened in significance to Brown v. Board of Education and Gideon v. Wainwright.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Flagrant Conduct provides a rich, meticulous, and fascinating account of the most important constitutional decision so far on the status of gays and lesbians in American society.”
- David Cole, The New York Review of Books
“An important and scary book.”
- Larry Kramer
“Easily the best book of its kind since Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice was published in 1975, Flagrant Conduct is a rare combination of virtues. It is a gripping story of individuals fighting against systematic injustices intended for a general audience, but it is also a theoretically sophisticated work that represents an important contribution to legal scholarship.”
- Scott Lemieux, lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com
“Dale Carpenter has gifted us with a landmark book to dramatize a landmark case. Gripping and brilliantly researched, Flagrant Conduct takes us on a journey of hate and contempt, activism and dedication that finally led to the legalization of our right to love, to pursue intimate pleasures within the privacy of our homes. Everybody concerned about women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights and human rights will be informed and energized by this important splendid book.”
- Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt
“... an exceptional book, in the tradition of Anthony Lewis’s Gideon’s Trumpet (1964), expertly guiding the reader from the moment of the arrest through the culminating oral argument in the Supreme Court. Flagrant Conduct is also a moving and deeply humane study of the law’s effect on ordinary people.”
- The Nation
“In his sinuous, elegant new book, Flagrant Conduct, Dale Carpenter... gives this landmark case the bold, intimate face it has long deserved, even as he conducts a captivating, forensic tour of its legal subterrain. The result, from its first pages, is a book that sets a benchmark for the writing of civil-rights history, a book with all the stirring social consciousness and staying power of Taylor Branch’s trilogy, America in the King Years.”
- Kirk Swinehart, The Daily Beast
“Superb and memorable…. Dale Carpenter’s assiduous unearthing of the case’s early history…highlights how every great constitutional decision owes its existence to obscure individuals whose crucial contributions proved more essential to the final outcome than anything in the legal briefs or oral arguments.”
- David J. Grarrow, New Republic
About the Author
Dale Carpenter is the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He lives in Minneapolis.
Top customer reviews
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Overall, I believe Carpenter delivers a "just the facts" approach to the subject matter but brings it to life through well-conducted research and analysis to tell the story in a richer, more engaging and informative. While familiar with the outcome of the case, I was unfamiliar, surprised and fascinated with all the twists and turns in this case. Frankly, "Flagrant Conduct" was such a great read that it left me hoping there are similarly exhaustive and compelling books on other monumental Supreme Court cases --- mind you, not scholarly journals but well-written and well-researched narratives.
Although the police were called by a disgruntled lover on the other two men in the triangle, and for false reasons...there was no "angry black man with a gun"... the police themselves covered up their rage at being led to a potentially lethal situation by claiming to have discovered illegal behavior. The "flagrant conduct" on the part of the police, when tried eventually before the US Supreme Court as a privacy issue, made for an ultimately landmark decision overturning the law that made "gay behavior" illegal.
Excellent, well-written, and well-researched book.
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