Rich in historical context and featuring an extensive cast of players, this important biography, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (Knopf, $32.50), captures in vivid detail the variously dramatic, tense, ugly, and noble behavior surrounding the five days of Marshall’s Senate confirmation hearings in that pivotal summer of 1967—which culminated in the appointment of the first African American Supreme Court Justice. From his beginnings as “a legendary country lawyer” in dangerous rural southern backwaters (“Atticus Finch before there was an Atticus Finch”), Marshall rose to the national stage as a brilliant scholar of constitutional law in Brown v. Board of Education and eventually to the Mount Olympus of American jurisprudence. Wil Haygood, who wrote The Washington Post article that become the basis for his book and then for the award-winning film, The Butler: A Witness to History, and is also the biographer of subjects including Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., and others, has crafted this story with a finely honed sense of the interplay of history and individual lives that serves his illustrious subject well.
Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America - Wil Haygood
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 15th, 2015
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Published: Vintage - August 9th, 2016