Champion of Civil Rights: Judge John Minor Wisdom (Hardcover)

Joel William Friedman

ISBN 10: 0807133841 / ISBN 13: 9780807133842
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Hardcover. One of the least publicly recognized heroes of the civil rights movement in the United States, John Minor Wisdom served as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 401 pages. 0.726. Bookseller Inventory #

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One of the least publicly recognized heroes of the civil rights movement in the United States, John Minor Wisdom served as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1957 until his death in 1999 and wrote many of the landmark decisions instrumental in desegregating the American South. In this revealing biography, law professor Joel William Friedman explores Judge Wisdom's substantial legal contributions and political work at a critical time in the history of the South.

In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Wisdom to the Fifth Circuit, which included some of the most deeply segregated southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In the tumultuous two decades following its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court issued only a few civil rights decisions, preferring instead to affirm Fifth Circuit Court opinions or let them stand without hearing an appeal. Judge Wisdom, therefore, authored many of the decisions that transformed the South and broke down barriers of all kinds for African Americans, including the desegregation of public schools.

In preparing this first full-length biography of Judge Wisdom, Friedman had unrestricted access to Wisdom's voluminous repository of personal and professional papers. In addition, he draws on personal interviews with law clerks who served under Judge Wisdom, resulting in a unique, behind-the-scenes account of some of the nation's most important legal decisions: the admission of the first black student to the University of Mississippi, the initiation of contempt proceedings against Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, and the destruction of obstacles that had previously kept black Americans from voting. Friedman also explores Wisdom's political life prior to joining the federal bench, including his pivotal role in resurrecting the Louisiana Republican Party and in securing the Republican presidential nomination for Eisenhower.

A compelling account of how a child of privilege from one of America's most socially and racially stratified cities came to serve as the driving force behind the legal effort to end segregation, Champion of Civil Rights offers judicial biography at its best.

From the Back Cover:

"Joel William Friedman's biography of federal judge John Minor Wisdom (1905--1999) fills an important gap in civil rights historiography." -- Journal of Southern History

"Champion of Civil Rights... is required reading for anyone interested in the legal and cultural history of the South during the last fifty years of the twentieth century." -- Georgia Historical Quarterly

One of the least publicly recognized heroes of the civil rights movement in the United States, John Minor Wisdom served as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1957 until his death in 1999. During his time on the bench, he wrote many of the landmark decisions instrumental in desegregating the American South. In this revealing biography, law professor Joel William Friedman explores the substantial legal and political contributions Judge Wisdom made during a critical period in the history of the South.

The Fifth Circuit, which included some of the most deeply segregated southern states, was transformed by many of the decisions authored by Judge Wisdom. In preparing this first full-length biography, Friedman had unrestricted access to Wisdom's voluminous repository of personal and professional papers. Friedman's use of firsthand interviews with law clerks who served under Judge Wisdom also provides a unique, behind-the-scenes account of some of the nation's most important legal decisions.

Champion of Civil Rights serves as a compelling account of how a child of privilege from New Orleans -- one of America's most socially and racially stratified cities -- came to act as the driving force behind the legal effort to end segregation.

Joel William Friedman is the Jack M. Gordon Professor of Procedural Law and Jurisdiction at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans.

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Title: Champion of Civil Rights: Judge John Minor ...
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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