Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of

Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases Received as an ARC from the publisher Started 11 28 19 finished 12 7 19 Excellent history of the most influential ACLU cases, as well as a history of the last 100 years of the United States As a reference book, it s a great companion piece to How to Read the Constitution and Why by Kim Wehle Both help you to understand our country, its good points and its flaws and its efforts to live up to its ideals even if it has to be forced by legal action The stories behind these cases are truly f Received as an ARC from the publisher Started 11 28 19 finished 12 7 19 Excellent history of the most influential ACLU cases, as well as a history of the last 100 years of the United States As a reference book, it s a great companion piece to How to Read the Constitution and Why by Kim Wehle Both help you to understand our country, its good points and its flaws and its efforts to live up to its ideals even if it has to be forced by legal action The stories behind these cases are truly fascinating Some seem so obvious now, but they certainly weren t obvious in their time Also points up the importance of intelligent, empathetic and future thinking judges In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union, a large cross section of the finest writers alive have written essays, each about one landmark case Chabon and his co editor, Ayelet Waldman, contributed their advance to the organization, and all of the contributing authors did so free of charge As for this reviewer, I d have been interested in an ACLU publication, even if I hadn t heard of the writers involved and I d have been interested in anything written by C In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American Civil Liberties Union, a large cross section of the finest writers alive have written essays, each about one landmark case Chabon and his co editor, Ayelet Waldman, contributed their advance to the organization, and all of the contributing authors did so free of charge As for this reviewer, I d have been interested in an ACLU publication, even if I hadn t heard of the writers involved and I d have been interested in anything written by Chabon, even if the story or topic wasn t in my lane As it is, I count myself beyond lucky to have scored a review copy courtesy of Net Galley and Simon and Schuster It s for sale now This is the sort of book that invites skipping around, either according to subject, or according to the authors you love best Because of this, I recommend buying it in paper rather than digitally, because flipping around out of order in digital format is a pain in the butt Also, this is the sort of classical reference material that you d want on your shelf In fact, I want a physical copy myself I haven t read all of the entries, but I ve read enough of them to recommend it to you The cases discussed are meaty and interesting, and they aren t the standard fodder that shows up in every undergraduate course on Constitutional law Each entry is succinct, and the writers refrain from self promotion The entries I appreciate most so far are by Jesmyn Ward, who discusses the use of anti loitering laws to transform free Black boys and men into slave laborers Timothy Egan, who details a 1962 decision regarding the right to receive Communist literature in the U.S mail and Louse Erdrich, who discusses digital snooping and surveillance used against the Dakota Pipeline protesters in 2016 I know there are manyI want to read, but I am posting this now so that you can get a copy while it s in the stores Here s your chance You can get an outstanding addition to your home library while contributing to a worthwhile organization whose work iscrucial now than ever Highly recommended Is it too early in the year to say that if you buy one book this year, it should be this one Yes, I know Mantel s conclusion is coming out next month, but you should really consider this one I first read about in the NYT Book Review That day, I went out and brought it, mostly because of Marlon James and Victor LaValle the reviewer really liked those essays Then I pulled the book down from the shelf and so who else is it in Jacqueline Woodson Geraldine Brooks Neil Gaiman Salman Rushdie Is it too early in the year to say that if you buy one book this year, it should be this one Yes, I know Mantel s conclusion is coming out next month, but you should really consider this one I first read about in the NYT Book Review That day, I went out and brought it, mostly because of Marlon James and Victor LaValle the reviewer really liked those essays Then I pulled the book down from the shelf and so who else is it in Jacqueline Woodson Geraldine Brooks Neil Gaiman Salman Rushdie George Saunders Jesmyn Ward The book is a collection of essays celebrating the ACLU and famous cases And there really isn t a bad essay in the bunch Each author takes a case and the essay is mediation on it Perhaps the most touching is Woodson s essay on the Scottsboro Boys The cases go up to the present day, and the essays are, understandably political The politics run from the border wall to free speech to the taking of Native American children The best essay in the collection is the one by Morgan Parker, which strangely was not mentioned in the NYT Review I haven t read Parker before His essay is the one you want everyone to read You want to make copies and hand them out on the street Honesty, read it It s just so bloody powerful This book has multi personality disorder Every chapter is written by a different position person Every chapter is read by somebody else Some are told in first person, other in 3rd Some are serious expirations into the case, others are simply people telling personal anecdotes This creates a disjointed feel in the book Some of the stories I really liked, but some were disapointing.I don t know how much of Ulysseys v US is true, but I hope it is Same with the closing argument for Brandenburg This book has multi personality disorder Every chapter is written by a different position person Every chapter is read by somebody else Some are told in first person, other in 3rd Some are serious expirations into the case, others are simply people telling personal anecdotes This creates a disjointed feel in the book Some of the stories I really liked, but some were disapointing.I don t know how much of Ulysseys v US is true, but I hope it is Same with the closing argument for Brandenburg v Ohio.Reno v ACLU And Ashcroft v ACLU was possibly my favorite story, it was also the most serious in tone What is the relationship between freedom of speech when measured against responsibility to protect minors Excellent discussion Some of these reflections are about the cases themselves, and others are about the societal conditions that gave rise to them, with equal parts constitutional analysis and passionate rant Neil Gaiman s and George Saunders essays are reasonably even handed The ones about civil rights are the most heated, and justifiably so But the best is the one that argues against the ACLU s position in Citizens United In what is probably their least celebrated case, the ACLU helped to establish as law Some of these reflections are about the cases themselves, and others are about the societal conditions that gave rise to them, with equal parts constitutional analysis and passionate rant Neil Gaiman s and George Saunders essays are reasonably even handed The ones about civil rights are the most heated, and justifiably so But the best is the one that argues against the ACLU s position in Citizens United In what is probably their least celebrated case, the ACLU helped to establish as law the rights of corporations and labor unions to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political candidates in the guise of free speech In his essay, Scott Turow rails against the Supreme Court s decision and against the ACLU s participation in Citizens United, and the ACLU ends up looking like a rag doll run over in the rain But the mere fact that Turow s diatribe is included here says something about the ACLU Honey Badger don t care, and neither does the ACLU The only thing the ACLU cares about is liberty They have no values, per se They will defend anyone, from the defenseless immigrant to the most ardent racist to the fictitious personal entity called a corporation, if liberty is at stake They re brilliant when they re right and they re infuriating when they re wrong, but at least they re brutually consistent So thank you, ACLU, for including Turow s essay, and for all your dark arts But dammit, money is still not speech If you were to take a moment and consider what life would be like in the United States had 100 years ago the founders of the ACLU not realized the necessity for a legal organization to protect our civil liberties, you might have shivers sent down your spine In Fight of the Century a litany of heavyweight writers, scholars, and lawyers recount a small fraction of the countless cases the ACLU has used over the last century to protect our rights and liberties as Americans and as human beings.Eac If you were to take a moment and consider what life would be like in the United States had 100 years ago the founders of the ACLU not realized the necessity for a legal organization to protect our civil liberties, you might have shivers sent down your spine In Fight of the Century a litany of heavyweight writers, scholars, and lawyers recount a small fraction of the countless cases the ACLU has used over the last century to protect our rights and liberties as Americans and as human beings.Each essay in this collection begins with a brief case summary and is paired with an essay Some essays recount personal connections with the cases, others tell the histories of the cases, and others still use the cases as springboards to discuss the ways in which we still face social problems today Despite the form the essays take, though, it is undeniable that whether fighting for our right to read Ulysses, our right to not be forced to learn about intelligent design, the rights of trans people not to be fired, and the right of Native Americans not to have their children taken away, the ACLU has been there to fight.Unfortunately the book clearly lacked a fact checker historical inaccuracies were present Norma McCorvey the plaintiff in Roe did not convert to Catholicism, she became a born again evangelical and legal inaccuracies a case didn t not have a jury because it was a civil case it didn t have a jury because questions of Constitutional law are decided by judges But in spite of these few errors, this book stands as a testament to the fights fought, the fights won, the fights lost, and the fights to come Read this book, don t forget, and keep fighting on RATING 3.5 STARS 7 10 This was very interesting indeed A bunch of essays around different law cases where the ACLU has taken part I enjoyed the majority of them but it s true that a few were too heavy on the legal technicalities and I felt they weren t friendly to those who, like me, are not familiar with legal language However, I do recommend it I learnt a lot. The list of authors that contributed to this essay collection is amazing The book celebrates 100 years of ACLU case law Each essay is inspired by a landmark US case but there are so many wide ranging perspectives Some authors use the case to tell anecdotes from their own life others have used it to express their views on a topic I love that in putting this collection together essays were included that greatly critique some of the positions the ACLU have taken This is a really well roun The list of authors that contributed to this essay collection is amazing The book celebrates 100 years of ACLU case law Each essay is inspired by a landmark US case but there are so many wide ranging perspectives Some authors use the case to tell anecdotes from their own life others have used it to express their views on a topic I love that in putting this collection together essays were included that greatly critique some of the positions the ACLU have taken This is a really well rounded collection and I recommend it to everyone I have too many favourite essays to name I thought I would slip in and out of this book reading an essay at a time but I was engrossed and always excited to pick this book up This book is a conglomeration of essays by generally famous and excellent writers and artists Each essay writer takes on one of the ACLU s most famous cases and describes the case and it s effects sometimes in a macro level and other times micro and personal Often the shorts are quite moving and beautiful This is a great read. A unique collaboration between the American Civil Liberties Union and authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, Fight of the Century features original essays by the most influential writers at work today including Jennifer Egan, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Salman Rushdie, Jesmyn Ward, and each writing about a landmark ACLU case, published in conjunction with the th anniversary of the organizationThe American Civil Liberties Union began as a small group of idealists and visionaries, including Helen Keller and Jane Addams A century after its founding, the ACLU remains the nation s premier defender of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution In collaboration with the ACLU, prize winning authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have curated an anthology of essays about landmark cases in the ACLU syear history In Fight of the Century, bestselling and award winning authors present unique literary takes on historic decisions like Brown v Board of Education, the Scopes trial, Roe v Wade, and Contributors include Geraldine Brooks, Michael Cunningham, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Neil Gaiman, Lauren Groff, Marlon James, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Morgan Parker, Ann Patchett, Salman Rushdie, George Saunders, Elizabeth Strout, Jesmyn Ward, Meg Wolitzer, and Fight of the Century shows how throughout American history, pivotal legal battles, fought primarily by underdogs and their lawyers, have advanced civil rights and social justice The ACLU has been integral in this process The essays range from personal memoir to narrative history, each shedding light on the work of one remarkable organization as it shaped a country Chabon and Waldman are donating their advance to the ACLU and the contributors are forgoing payment


About the Author: Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon b 1963 is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay 2000 Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh 1988 , which was a major critical and commercial success He then published Wonder Boys 1995 , another bestseller, which was made into a film starring Michael Douglas One of America s most distinctive voices, Chabon has been called a magical prose stylist by the New York Times Book Review, and is known for his lively writing, nostalgia for bygone modes of storytelling, and deep empathy for the human predicament.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *