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Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench.


Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench by journalist Michael D. Davis, and lawyer Hunter R. Clark isn't as enterprising as Dream Makers, Dream Breakers but it's quite an accomplishment. It's a shorter not necessarily better written than Rowan's biography.

Throughout their account, Marshall's combative style and directness are generously reflected. He never boxed with kid gloves, whether the victims of his verbal fisticuffs was white or black. Uneasy over Dr. King's use of civil disobedience (in which a lot of college students were arrested), Justice Marshall charged him with "using children to do men's work." He attacked Dr. King as an "opportunist," a "first-rate rabble-rouser" and "a coward." All of this was tempered by the fact that both men later reconciled.

The high point of Thurgood Marshall is the description of his strategy in Brown v. Board of Education, arguably his most important case, which outlawed school segregation. Swayed by Marshall's charge that segregation stigmatized black youth, the Supreme Court in 1954 ruled" separate but equal" unconstitutional.

Like Dream Makers, Dream Breakers, toward the end, Thurgood Marshall delves into President Bush's controversial Supreme Court appointment of Clarence Thomas. The book also makes a significant contribution to Justice Marshall's entire career by citing cases he influenced that transcend racial issues, including those involving capital punishment, coerced confessions and a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion.

Though the book verges on the sycophantic, it offers provocative insights into a man who became one of the nation's most powerful and respected lawyers.
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Author:Robinson, Frederick
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Previous Article:Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall.
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