Bi Bookshelf

Article excerpt

A Case in Point

Simple Justice: The History of Brown V. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality

By Richard Kluger, Vintage Books, April 2004, 865 pp., $24.00, trade paperback, 1-4000-3061-7

Simple Justice is described as 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 50th 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.

Richard Kluger worked as a journalist with The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and the New York Herald Tribune before entering book publishing, where he served as executive editor at Simon and Schuster and editor in chief at Atheneum.

After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation

By Dr. Charles Clotfelter, Princeton University Press, June 2004,216 pp., $24.95 cloth, ISBN 0-691-11911-2

The United States Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion a process of desegregation that would eventually transform American public schools. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of how Brown's most visible effect -- contact between students of different racial groups -- has changed over the 50 years since the decision. Using both published and unpublished data on school enrollments from across the country, Dr. Charles Clotfelter uses measures of interracial contact, racial isolation and segregation to chronicle the changes. He goes beyond previous studies by drawing on heretofore unanalyzed enrollment data covering the first decade after Brown, calculating segregation for metropolitan areas rather than just school districts, accounting for private schools, presenting recent information on segregation within schools, and measuring segregation in college enrollment.

Dr. Charles T. Clotfelter is a professor of public policy at Duke University.

All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education

By Charles Ogletree, W.W. Norton, April 2004, 416 pp., $25.95 hardcover, ISBN 0-393-058972

In All Deliberate Speed Charles Ogletree examines the personal ramifications of the Brown v. …