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And justice for all : the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the continuing struggle for freedom in America

Author: Mary Frances Berry
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book is the first history in forty years of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. The author, who has been member of the commission for more than twenty years and chairperson for more than a decade, describes its founding in 1957 by President Eisenhower in response to the burgeoning civil rights protest. She makes clear that, from the outset, the commission was designed to be an independent bipartisan federal  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mary Frances Berry
ISBN: 0307263207 9780307263209
OCLC Number: 232980273
Notes: "This is a Borzoi book"--Title page verso.
Description: xiv, 425 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: List of illustrations --
Prologue --
Responding to the negro protest --
Among friends --
So glad you finally made it --
The dinosaur finally opens one eye --
Killing the messenger --
Fulfilling the spirit of the law --
A pocket of renegades --
Speak first investigate never --
Mickey Mouse agency --
Here you come again --
"You can forget civil rights in this country."
Responsibility: Mary Frances Berry.
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Abstract:

This book is the first history in forty years of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. The author, who has been member of the commission for more than twenty years and chairperson for more than a decade, describes its founding in 1957 by President Eisenhower in response to the burgeoning civil rights protest. She makes clear that, from the outset, the commission was designed to be an independent bipartisan federal agency, beholden to no government body, with full subpoena power, free to decide what to investigate and report on. We see how reluctant witnesses overcame fear of reprisal, courageously coming forward with their testimony; how various hearings and reports were instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; how Congress added the overseeing of discriminating practices with regard to sex, age, and disability to the commission's jurisdiction, which helped in the passage of the Age Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. We see how each president dealt with the commission; how Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush fired commissioners over policy disagreements; and how, under pressure from Bush, commissioners began to downplay the need to remedy discrimination. Finally, the author makes an impassioned and convincing argument for a reconfigured commission, fully independent, and with an expanded mandate that would allow it to oversee the preservation of all human rights.

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