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Up Close: Thurgood Marshall

by Chris Crowe

Published by Viking, 2008
208 pages
ISBN: 978-0670062287

Age 12 and older

Podcast featuring this book

Civil rights history has “Thurgood Marshall’s fingerprints all over it,” writes Chris Crowe in a captivating biography of the lawyer and civil rights defender who became the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. The personality of Crowe’s subject shines through in a narrative that chronicles the groundbreaking, history-making cases in which Marshall was involved, most notably Brown vs. Board of Education, which marked the critical legal turning point for desegregation in schools. But Crowe also looks closely at Marshall’s childhood, education, and the early cases that shaped him into the lawyer who helped win significant civil rights victories. Writing about Marshall’s cocky attitude and colorful pranks in high school, Crowe notes that this was when the future lawyer first became familiar with the U.S. Constitution, since the principal required Marshall to memorize sections of the document as punishment for his misbehavior. Fun-loving Marshall knew how to be serious when it mattered when he got to college, but it took time and experience for him to become someone who actively challenged the racism that was an everyday part of his own and thousands of other lives. He ended up doing so from both sides of the bench in our nation’s highest court, and his work and his words continue to offer inspiration. (MS) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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