9781608198269

The Bill of the Century The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781608198269

  • ISBN10:

    160819826X

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/21/2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press

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Summary

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress in American history. This one law so dramatically altered American society that, looking back, it seems preordained--as Everett Dirksen, the GOP leader in the Senate and a key supporter of the bill, said, "No force is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." But there was nothing predestined about the victory: a phalanx of powerful senators, pledging to "fight to the death" for segregation, launched the longest filibuster in American history to defeat it.

The billís passage has often been credited to the political leadership of President Lyndon B. Johnson, or the moral force of Martin Luther King Jr. Yet as Clay Risen shows, the battle for the Civil Rights Act was a story much bigger than those two men. It was a broad, epic struggle, a sweeping tale of unceasing grassroots activism, ringing speeches, backroom deal-making, and, finally, hand-to-hand legislative combat. In The Bill of the Century, Clay Risen delivers the full story, in all its complexity and drama.

Author Biography

Clay Risen is a staff editor of the New York Times op-ed and Sunday Review sections and was founding managing editor of the noted quarterly Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. His recent writing has appeared in such journals as the Atlantic and the Smithsonian, and in the Washington Post. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination, received much critical acclaim. He lives in New York.

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