Cover image for 100 Americans making constitutional history : a biographical history
100 Americans making constitutional history : a biographical history
Urofsky, Melvin I.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxii, 295 pages : : illustrations, portraits ; ; 29 cm
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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KF4549 .O54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea the equal protection of the law at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective stories about the individuals heroes and scoundrels who fought their way to constitutional history. 100 Americans Making Constitutional History helps students understand the human side of the Supreme Court's decisions from the early republic to the present. Each biographical profile, written by a constitutional scholar or legal analyst, includes a discussion about the Court decision and how the specific legal issues evolved into great constitutional questions and drama. It puts a face and history to major cases by reminding the reader that there are people behind them, seeking vindication of their individual liberties and civil rights. Each profile includes a brief bibliography for further research. Excellent for undergraduate students studying American government, American history, Constitutional Law and journalism. Sample List of Litigants Larry Flynt- Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell (1988) Elmer Gertz- Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) Demetrio Rodriguez- Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1973) Curt Flood- Flood v. Kuhn (1972) Estelle Griswold- Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Linda Brown- Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Gordon Hirabayashi- Hirabayashi v. United states (1943) Eugene Debs- Debs v. United states (1919) William Marbury- Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

According to Urofsky, a human being stands at the center of every US Supreme Court decision, and he promises to show readers 100 of them. To fulfill this promise, he has gathered an impressive array of scholars (including himself) in such disciplines as law, history, and political science whose contributions--signed articles of two to three pages--constitute the body of the work. Each article includes the litigant's name, the constitutional issue, a relevant quotation, the name of the case, the United States Reports case citation, and the litigant's profile. The articles are informative and accessible, and breathe life into legal abstractions; perhaps most impressive are the profiles of litigants like Clarence Gideon and Ernesto Miranda, criminals who preyed on society but whose cases guaranteed important rights for all Americans. Appendixes include a copy of the US Constitution, a brief tabular sketch of the Court's history, case summaries, thumbnail biographical sketches of the justices, instructions in reading case citations, and online sources of Court decisions. Tony Mauro's Illustrated Great Decisions of the Supreme Court (CH, Jan'01) covers similar ground, even featuring similar appendixes, but emphasizes cases rather than individuals. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Academic and public libraries. M. C. Duhig Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh