Jim Crow's Children by Peter Irons
The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision

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In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. So goes the conventional wisdom. Weaving together vivid portraits of lawyers and such judges as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, sketches of numerous black children throughout history whose parents joined lawsuits against Jim Crow schools, and gripping courtroom drama scenes, Irons shows how the erosion of the Brown decision—especially by the Court’s rulings over the past three decades—has led to the “resegregation” of public education in America.

About Peter Irons

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Peter Irons is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of California, San Diego. A graduate of Harvard Law School and noted Supreme Court authority, his numerous books, including A People's History of the Supreme Court, have won five Silver Gavel awards from the American Bar Association for their contributions to public understanding of the American legal system.
Published September 16, 2002 by Penguin Books. 404 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Although he admires the political skills of Chief Justice Earl Warren (who achieved a 9-0 consensus among his colleagues on Brown), he regrets the concession to Southerners Warren was forced to accept, which permitted the phrase “all deliberate speed” to become a speed-bump of alpine proportions ...

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Gripping stories of internecine Supreme Court battles as well as the "war against the constitution" waged by Southern politicians who defied Brown punctuate this account, which ends with a cogent overview of recent studies indicating the win-win benefits of integration.

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