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Simple Justice: The Hi...
 
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Richard Kluger
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Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  513 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country. Combining intensive research with original interviews with surviving participants, Richard Kluger provides the fullest possible view of the human and legal drama in the years before 1954, the cumulative assaults on the white p ...more
ebook, 880 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Vintage (first published December 12th 1975)
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Jean Poulos
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 gre
...more
Becky
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a long one, but I'm glad I got through this important book that documented the history and legacy of Brown v. Board of Education.

Some exceptional quotes:

"In their zeal to slash 'handouts' to those struggling with poverty, the new conservative policymakers who would run the federal government for the next dozen years never bothered to analyze the potential cost benefits of sustained rehabilitation programs for the nation's needy, i.e., whether a well-directed helping hand in the form of pr
...more
Frank Stein
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I have to say that the book is just too damn long. At almost 800 pages it manages to recount in mind-numbing detail the daily travails of the five lower court cases that were combined on appeal to become the Brown v. Board of Education case that appeared before the Supreme Court in 1952. It also constantly interrupts the narrative of each of these cases to recount at length the biography of almost everyone involved in the cases, from second-tier researchers to assistant counsels. Its ...more
David
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why try to sum it up myself, when the author does a perfect job at the end of the book:

"Exorcism is rarely a pretty spectacle. It is frequently marked by violent spasms and protracted trauma, and so it has been in the two decades since Brown signaled the beginning of the nation's effort to rid itself of the consuming demons of racism...the bruising post-Brown years have clearly marked the onset of the third major stage in the history of black-white relations in America.
During the first, blacks w
...more
Elizabeth Finnegan
Last year I was supervising a graduate student (not enrolled in the college where I work full-time) who was teaching in an affluent, predominantly white neighborhood. In her class, there were a handful of students of color. I asked the graduate student what she thought it would feel like to be on the only African-American student in her class. I was expecting this to be a simple question, which would elicit one of the following responses, (a) it must be hard not seeing anyone who looks like you, ...more
Mark
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very problem that might induce hesitancy to write a history of a judicial decision as notable as Brown v. Board of Education—namely, that people might tend towards mistaking their general awareness of the case for an understanding of its compelxities, nuances, and context—is the exact reason that makes its writing so essential. Kluger reports the details of the case and its background in painstaking detail, revealing the herky-jerky progress of the African American pursuit of equality in edu ...more
Nicole R
I typically resent having reading assigned for a class. Especially when the professor assigns upwards of 150 pages a week, which eats into my personal reading time. But, I did not mind in the slightest with Simple Justice. It was well-written, intriguing, and provided great insight to what it takes to strategically position an important issue in the court system so that the Supreme Court takes it up at the right time and addresses the exact question that you want addressed.

The scope of this book
...more
Adam
Exquisite.

This is unquestionably one of the best books I've ever read, and, I really cannot imagine how it could be outdone. To summarize the book would be unfathomable. A description of its scope would inevitably fall short. The writing and voice is so clear, yet the depth of the material is so great.

As the subtitle notes, Simple Justice is in a way, a history of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. But to say it is a history of the case alone risks suggesting that the
...more
Mark Bowles
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A. Overview
1. “The American nation must exploit its inner resources...if it is to linger long at the center of the global stage. This is a book about the resurrection of those inner resources. (Ix)” The nine people of the Supreme Court is the least democratic branch of the national government. It is to these isolated people that America has brought its most important political and social problems. This book is the history of one lawsuit, but it is not a study of law. Instead, it examines how law
...more
Greg Diamond
May 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was literally going to say that Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country -- but that's exactly what the books description says, so there's no need to reiterate it. Instead I'll say this: if you want to see what Brown and the people and institutions behind it and opposing it and considering it and the social milieu that made it necessary were all about, you are in for a wonderful take, and ...more
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Richard Kluger won the Pulitzer Prize for Ashes to Ashes, a searing history of the cigarette industry, and was a two-time National Book Award finalist (for Simple Justice and The Paper). He lives near San Francisco.
More about Richard Kluger...
“Among them was a hypocritical charge, in his original draft of the Declaration, that the King of England was a prime promoter of the slave trade. But Jefferson’s language was so sharply chastising that, had it been included in the Declaration, it would have deeply undermined continuation of slavery once the colonies had severed ties to the alleged instigator of the loathsome practice. And this the slaveholding South was not prepared to consider; the offending words were struck from the great document.” 0 likes
“We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.” 0 likes
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