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Taming the storm : the life and times of Judge Frank M. Johnson and the South's fight over civil rights

Author: Jack Bass
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 1955, the same year Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus to a white man, President Eisenhower brought down from the hills of northwest Alabama a young U.S. attorney to sit as a federal District Court judge in Montgomery. His name was Frank M. Johnson, Jr., and at thirty-seven he was the youngest federal judge in the country. Thrust by fate into the center of a raging storm of
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Bass, Jack.
Taming the storm.
New York : Doubleday, 1993
(OCoLC)645778097
Named Person: Frank M Johnson; Frank M Johnson
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jack Bass
ISBN: 0385413483 9780385413480
OCLC Number: 25914852
Awards: Winner of Robert F. Kennedy Book Award (Grand Prize) 1994
Description: viii, 512 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Responsibility: Jack Bass.

Abstract:

In 1955, the same year Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus to a white man, President Eisenhower brought down from the hills of northwest Alabama a young U.S. attorney to sit as a federal District Court judge in Montgomery. His name was Frank M. Johnson, Jr., and at thirty-seven he was the youngest federal judge in the country. Thrust by fate into the center of a raging storm of controversy, this quietly determined judge would turn.

The tide of white resistance to integration with a stream of decisions that upheld the claims of black Southerners to their civil rights. In his twenty-four years on the District Court, Judge Johnson declared segregated public transportation unconstitutional, ordered the integration of public facilities, and required that blacks be registered to vote. He ordered Governor George Wallace, his former law school classmate, to allow the civil rights march from Selma to.

Montgomery and brought about comprehensive statewide school desegregation. His precedent-setting decisions extended to discrimination against women, rights of prison inmates, and the right of patients in mental institutions to treatment. Judge Johnson paid heavily for his judicial vision. Ostracized from his community, subjected to death threats by the Ku Klux Klan, and labeled by George Wallace as "an integrating, scalawagging, carpet bagging, race mixing, bald faced.

Liar who should be given "a barbed-wire enema," he was called by some "the most hated man in the South." In 1967 his mother's house was bombed in the belief that it was his. Despite it all, he did not waver in administering justice by applying his concept of the Constitution as a charter of liberty. Martin Luther King, Jr., called him a man who "gave true meaning to the word justice." Judge Frank Johnson endured the outrage of a society that felt itself and its values.

Under siege, and he prevailed, eventually winning honor even in his home state. Taming the Storm is the story of an authentic American hero, and the era that he did so much to define.

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