Cover image for From Jim Crow to civil rights : the Supreme Court and the struggle for racial equality
From Jim Crow to civil rights : the Supreme Court and the struggle for racial equality
Klarman, Michael J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
xii, 655 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Introduction -- The Plessy era -- The Progressive Era -- The interwar period -- World War II era : context and cases -- World War II era : consequences -- School desegregation -- Brown and the civil rights movement -- Conclusion.
Reading Level:
1500 Lexile.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4757 .K58 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF4757 .K58 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF4757 .K58 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A monumental investigation of the Supreme Court's rulings on race, From Jim Crow To Civil Rights spells out in compelling detail the political and social context within which the Supreme Court Justices operate and the consequences of their decisions for American race relations. In a highlyprovocative interpretation of the decision's connection to the civil rights movement, Klarman argues that Brown was more important for mobilizing southern white opposition to racial change than for encouraging direct-action protest. Brown unquestioningly had a significant impact--it brought raceissues to public attention and it mobilized supporters of the ruling. It also, however, energized the opposition. In this authoritative account of constitutional law concerning race, Michael Klarman details, in the richest and most thorough discussion to date, how and whether Supreme Court decisionsdo, in fact, matter.

Author Notes

Michael J. Klarman is the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Klarman, a constitutional law professor, offers a highly accessible analysis of the interplay between the Supreme Court and U.S. race relations. While focusing on particular legal decisions, he looks at the broader context, the social, political, and international forces that have influenced the path of racial progress from the turn of the nineteenth century, when segregation was the law of the land, until it was outlawed by the Brown decision.larman points to countervailing forces that impacted the ruling and might even have brought about the same end. Those forces included the civil rights movement, political power shifts of the black northern demographic, and competition for the hearts and minds of Third World nations during the cold war.larman reflects on litigation as a form of protest and education in the civil rights era but suggests that the Brown decision may have been more detrimental than beneficial because it galvanized white opposition to desegregation. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

In this extensive legal history of problems concerning U.S. race relations from the late 19th century to the 1960s, Klarman (James Monroe Professor of Law, Univ. of Virginia) focuses on the social and political activities leading to and following the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, now marking its 50th anniversary. While asking the difficult question of what impact Supreme Court decisions have had on race relations policy, the author uncovers the historical consequences and context of these decisions in a wide variety of venues-e.g., transportation, education, jury service, and voting rights. Klarman shows the gradual effects of extralegal forces upon the transformation of race relations, especially World Wars I and II and the massive black migration from the South to the North. Accessible to general readers but valuable to those with more background, this social and political history should be a part of any library's collection; its depth of research and analysis make it essential to discussions of U.S. race policies.-Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This volume is a multidisciplinary study of civil rights in the US from the Plessey case in 1896 through the Brown case and the Civil Rights Movement. Law professor Klarman (Univ. of Virginia) places significant court cases in their historical contexts in respect to public opinion, the racial and constitutional views of the justices, and the limits of constitutional law to cause change. The historical context is thoroughly recounted through reviews of causal factors that led public opinion, justices, and court procedures and practices to change. Major causes of change include WW II, the Cold War, African American migration to the North, the increase in black political power, and the education of the public. Though Klarman's organization results in some repetition, the thoroughness of his presentations is rewarding reading. This very useful study is a happy combination of constitutional law and civil rights history with political science and sociology added for good measure. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/collections. L. H. Grothaus emeritus, Concordia University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
1 The Plessy Erap. 8
2 The Progressive Erap. 61
3 The Interwar Periodp. 98
4 World War II Era: Context and Casesp. 171
5 World War II Era: Consequencesp. 236
6 School Desegregationp. 290
7 Brown and the Civil Rights Movementp. 344
Conclusionp. 443
Notesp. 469
Bibliographyp. 581
Indexp. 627