Young Thurgood by Larry S. Gibson
The Making of a Supreme Court Justice

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Synopsis

Thurgood Marshall was the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century. He transformed the nation's legal landscape by challenging the racial segregation that had relegated millions to second-class citizenship. He won twenty-nine of thirty-three cases before the United States Supreme Court, was a federal appeals court judge, served as the US solicitor general, and, for twenty-four years, sat on the Supreme Court.

Marshall is best known for achievements after he relocated to New York in 1936 to work for the NAACP. But Marshall's personality, attitudes, priorities, and work habits had crystallized during earlier years in Maryland.

This work is the first close examination of the formative period in Marshall's life. As the authorn shows, Thurgood Marshall was a fascinating man of contrasts. He fought for racial justice without becoming a racist. Simultaneously idealistic and pragmatic, Marshall was a passionate advocate, yet he maintained friendly relationships with his opponents.

Young Thurgood reveals how Marshall's distinctive traits were molded by events, people, and circumstances early in his life. Professor Gibson presents fresh information about Marshall's family, youth, and education. He describes Marshall's key mentors, the special impact of his high school and college competitive debating, his struggles to establish a law practice during the Great Depression, and his first civil rights cases. The author sheds new light on the NAACP and its first lawsuits in the campaign that led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. He also corrects some of the often-repeated stories about Marshall that are inaccurate.

The only biography of Thurgood Marshall to be endorsed by Marshall’s immediate family, Young Thurgood is an exhaustively researched and engagingly written work that everyone interested in law, civil rights, American history, and biography will want to read.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Larry S. Gibson

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Larry S. Gibson (Baltimore, MD) is a professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has been on the faculty for thirty-seven years. He is also a practicing lawyer with the firm of Shapiro, Sher, Guinot, and Sandler. Among his many accomplishments was legislation that renamed Maryland's major airport, the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
 
Published December 4, 2012 by Prometheus Books. 413 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Young Thurgood

Kirkus Reviews

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In his debut, Gibson (Univ. of Maryland School of Law) looks at the early years of the legendary Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993).

Nov 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Young Thurgood: The Making of...

Publishers Weekly

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Marshall’s role as the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court has rightly made him an emblematic figure, and Gibson demonstrates that Marshall’s early years were not mere harbingers of a future place among civil rights giants, but by themselves qualified him for a place in history.

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Young Thurgood: The Making of...

ForeWord Reviews

Marshall’s son, Thurgood Marshall, Jr., writes in the foreword, “This book brings to life the array of relatives and friends that surrounded my father as he grew up and demonstrates how an early focus on academics and debate honed skills and interests for a lifetime.” Using interviews, document...

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Young Thurgood: The Making of...

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