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    Richard Kluger, Simple Justice (1975)
    As a law student, the history of cases is normally broken down on an individual level with each major case setting a unique precedent. Students are taught their individual importance and the relevant background information. But not until Kluger's book have I seen such a comprehensive detailing of the evolution of law. From the inequities of the Bill of Rights to the first stirring of freedom from slavery to the forcing of integration in schools, Kluger traces the creation and enforcement of laws as the relate to the black man and woman.

    The first half of the book is literally a history lesson in the evolution of law showing how each judicial action necessarily led into the next. Kluger uses benchmark cases like the United States v. Cruikshank, Plessy v. Fergueson and Roberts v. The City of Boston coupled with individual judge's personalities to detail how the black man fought for equal recognition under the law. Within this slow evolution, he also describes the creation of the NAACP and its growing position of power to promote public interest.

    For the second half of this 800+ page history lesson, Kluger gets into the issue of segregation and the way "separate but equal" reinforces racial inequality. From the beginning of mainstream black schooling after the Civil War, Kluger shows how the black student always received an inferior education due to lack of funds, equipment and opportunities. Resisting the temptation to use sweeping generalizations or broad statistics, Kluger illustrates this point through numerous pages of case testimony. He almost infers what the judges were thinking during the cases that led to the downfall of the "separate but equal" doctrine set up by the Jim Crow laws and Plessy v. Fergueson through carefully selected quotes and an organization that pushed the reader to the same conclusion, that Brown v. the Board of Education was necessary to force an immediate integration of schools.

    As a journalist, this book is a tad too long for a quick education on the landmark case of Brown v. the Board of Education and its overturning of the previous precedent from Plessy v. Fergueson. But for those who have the time, the organization of this book could carry a handbook on article diagramming. There was not a conclusion that wasn't justified or a claim that wasn't supported. Quotes were used effectively for color and background, without being an overwhelming detail of the mundane.