Eisenhower Vs. Warren

Eisenhower Vs. Warren

The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties

Book - 2018
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"President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren were two of the most revered American leaders of the twentieth century. Yet, when it came to the protection of basic civil rights and liberties, they staunchly disagreed on how best to move into an uncertain future--and their disagreements disintegrated into mutual suspicion and harsh recriminations. In Eisenhower vs. Warren, prize-winning legal historian James F. Simon examines the years of strife between them that led Eisenhower to say that his biggest mistake as president was appointing that "dumb son of a bitch Earl Warren." Warren, author of the Supreme Court's historic, unanimous opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, had demanded immediate action to dismantle the segregation of the public school system, while Eisenhower, who had built his reputation as a brilliant tactician and consensus builder in World War II, wanted to coax white Americans in the South into eventually accepting integration. This bitter, previously underexamined feud would do nothing less than frame the tumultuous future of the modern civil rights movement. Eisenhower's "middle way" approach produced tangible long-term results, such as desegregating the military and naval yards and appointing judges at all levels in the federal court system who supported desegregation, but he was tight-lipped in public and withheld the loud endorsement of the Brown decision that Warren believed was necessary. Evolving from a broadly popular California politician known for working well with allies on both sides of the aisle, Chief Justice Warren, in one of the most astonishing transformations in American political history, became a crusader on the bench. In the age of McCarthy, Warren's defense of the civil liberties of suspected subversives demonstrated his broad vision of the Constitution's protections. With the remarkable insight and nuanced legal analysis for which he is known, Simon delves into Eisenhower's and Warren's archival records and individual histories to reevaluate their legacies, demonstrating how critical the feud is to our understanding of the civil rights movement. "With clear-eyed judiciousness and a subtle feel for the nuances of hard decision-making" (Evan Thomas ...), Eisenhower vs. Warren brings to vivid life a clash of titans that still reverberates in political and constitutional debates today."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780871407559
Branch Call Number: 347.7326 Si
Description: xvii, 427 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Eisenhower versus Warren


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Jun 03, 2018

While the subject is intriguing and important, the subtitle is a little misleading. Yes, it is about the sometimes tumultuous relationship between President Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl over civil rights, but it takes nearly 100 pages to get to the heart of the book. There's a lot of background on both men, which is kinda interesting but also not super relevant to author and legal scholar James F. Simon's main point. It is worth reading, but it's also a bit wordy and dry.


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