Cover image for Simple justice : the history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's struggle for equality
Simple justice : the history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's struggle for equality
1st Vintage Books ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Vintage Books : Distributed by Random House, 2004.
Physical Description:
xii, 865 p. ; 25 cm.
Together let us sweetly live -- Original sin -- The special favorite of the laws -- Not like bales of hay -- Coming of age in nigger heaven -- Exhibit A -- The raw deal -- Uncle fearless's nephew -- Stalking the law of the jungle -- One of the gang -- A foot in the door -- The spurs of Texas are upon you -- On the natural inferiority of bootblacks -- The doll man and other experts -- Charleston detour -- Prairie fire -- The Menninger connection -- Jim Crow, Inc. -- Stick with us -- The pride of Virginia -- The best place to attack -- Going for the jugular -- At loggerheads -- The six-month summer -- Arrival of the Superchief -- Simple justice -- Visible man : fifty years after Brown.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 344.073 KLU 1 1
Book 344.073 KLU 1 1

On Order



Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country. Combining intensive research with original interviews with surviving participants, Richard Kluger provides the fullest possible view of the human and legal drama in the years before 1954, the cumulative assaults on the white power structure that defended segregation, and the step-by-step establishment of a team of inspired black lawyers that could successfully challenge the law. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation, Kluger has updated his work with a new final chapter covering events and issues that have arisen since the book was first published, including developments in civil rights and recent cases involving affirmative action, which rose directly out of Brown v. Board of Education.

Author Notes

Richard Kluger, a Princeton graduate, worked as a journalist with The Wall Street Journal , New York Post , and the New York Herald Tribune , on which he was the last literary editor, before entering book publishing.nbsp; After serving as executive editor at Simon and Schuster and editor-in-chief at Atheneum, he turned to writing fiction and social history.nbsp; He is the author of six novels (and two others with his wife, Phyllis), two National Book Award finalists- Simple Justice and The Paper (a history of the Herald Tribune)-and a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the American cigarette business, Ashes to Ashes .nbsp; He and his wife now live in Berkeley, California.

Reviews 3

Kirkus Review

A voluminous study of the background to the 1954 Supreme Court decision to abandon legalized racial separation in the public schools. Kluger offers sharp summaries of the rise of Jim Crow and the Booker T. Washington-W. E. B. Du Bols clash. The subsequent court battles are profusely elaborated with biographies of the lawyers and families involved: Kluger interviewed 135 individuals involved in major civil rights cases. The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education victory took 20 years. After a disastrous series of early-1930s Supreme Court reaffirmations of the Plessy doctrine of separate but equal, the implementation of equality was enjoined by three 193941 decisions which made no challenge to segregation itself. Jumping off from another series of partial victories along this line in the early 1950s, the NAACP prepared the ultimate school challenge; Kluger sees the victory as the accomplishment of Howard University law school head Charles Huston, his brightest graduate Thurgood Marshall, and a small group of NAACP lawyers. In addition to his absorbing biographical sketches, Kluger draws the social context chiefly with reference to the improving status of black Americans. He concedes, somewhat grudgingly, that in the 1930s, it was not the NAACP but the left and the industrial union movement that led civil rights battles both in and outside the courts. When it comes to the 1950s, Kluger provides evidence--especially in the case of Delaware--that influential pro-integration corporations were concerned with upgrading labor force skills. But Kluger does not explicitly identify this trend as a factor in creating the Brown climate. The book's main accomplishment--apart from its extensive documentation--is to recall the moral and intellectual elan of the civil rights movement, which has been depreciated in the 1970s, and to bring forward, without sentimentality, many of the organizers and ""plaintiffs"" as well as lawyers who sustained the fight. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Brown decision, this update and expansion of the widely acclaimed original work, published in 1976, goes beyond portrayals of the major players involved in the decision--the NAACP legal team, including Thurgood Marshall and Charles Houston; the defender of states' rights,ohn Davis; and Chiefustice Earl Warren, who brokered a unanimous decision shortly after joining the Court; and the complainants, who undertook personal risk to challenge the doctrine of separate but equal. In this volume,luger also analyzes the nation's progress on race issues in the intervening 28 years since the book was first published. In a new chapter, he looks at the politics and policies of the Nixon and Reagan eras--courting the South through retrenchment on racial integration and frontal attacks on busing--up to the current national obsession with colorblindness that has fostered a hypersegregation that mirrors conditions before the Brown decision. This is a powerful resource for readers interested in reviewing the particulars of Brown and the changes that have occurred since that landmark ruling. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Pulitzer Prize winner Kluger's 1976 volume is considered the definitive chronicle of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, capturing both the legal and human drama. To commemorate the history-making decision's 50th anniversary, Kluger has added a new final chapter updating civil rights developments since the book's initial publication. Even if your existing editions are still serviceable, you should consider updating with this expanded text. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.