Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey [NOOK Book]

Overview

Mary Dudziak's Exporting American Dreams tells the little-known story of Thurgood Marshall's work with Kenyan leaders as they fought with the British for independence in the early 1960s. Not long after he led the legal team in Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall aided Kenya's constitutional negotiations, as adversaries battled over rights and land—not with weapons, but with legal arguments. Set in the context of Marshall's civil rights work in the United States, this transnational history sheds light on legal ...

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Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey

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Overview

Mary Dudziak's Exporting American Dreams tells the little-known story of Thurgood Marshall's work with Kenyan leaders as they fought with the British for independence in the early 1960s. Not long after he led the legal team in Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall aided Kenya's constitutional negotiations, as adversaries battled over rights and land—not with weapons, but with legal arguments. Set in the context of Marshall's civil rights work in the United States, this transnational history sheds light on legal reform and social change in the midst of violent upheavals in Africa and America. While the struggle for rights on both continents played out on a global stage, it was a deeply personal journey for Marshall. Even as his belief in the equalizing power of law was challenged during his career as a Supreme Court justice, and in Kenya the new government sacrificed the rights he cherished, Kenya's founding moment remained for him a time and place when all things had seemed possible.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While Marshall is best known for his pivotal role during Brown v. Board of Education and his appointment to the Supreme Court, Dudziak (Cold War Civil Rights) recovers a nearly buried undertaking, "one of the great adventures of his life": Marshall's contributions to the Kenyan Bill of Rights. Marshall arrived in London in January 1960; a month later, the Greensboro, N.C., sit-in began, and Marshall found himself "torn between two continents and two movements." The author effectively sketches those events in the civil rights movement (civil disobedience, urban riots, Black Power) and in Kenya (President Kenyatta's early moderation and subsequent mistreatment of the Asian minority and suppression of opposition) that supported and undermined Marshall's "faith in the law as a vehicle for social change." The tensions between Marshall's desire for equal rights and Kenyatta's priorities of "sovereignty and national unity" are still heartbreakingly unresolved, as are Marshall's great hope for the "entrenchment in Kenya of the rights he still hoped for in America." Dudziak's clarity and careful documentation make her book accessible to the general reader and a valuable tool for African and African-American studies. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In 1960, many post-independence African nations were on the cusp of political and social revolution. To help structure Kenya's society, the Kenyan government invited prominent civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall to help develop a constitution and bill of rights. Dudziak (law & history, Univ. of Southern California Law Sch.) examines the multicultural implications for both Marshall and the Kenyan leaders as they ventured into uncharted territory. Marshall used his American legal consciousness to solve the problems of Kenyan society as it moved from colonial rule to democratic self-government. Dudziak recognizes the social and political disruptions to Kenya's path to democratic norms, including the recent violent crisis following the disputed 2007 presidential election, and contrasts Kenya's peaceful regime change in the early 1960s with contemporary U.S. racial conflicts in many urban areas. She also examines how the conception of democracy and rights varies among cultures. A central element for Marshall was how to develop ideas that would engage newly independent African political power and yet protect the rights of white minorities. In America, Marshall faced the same problem, but the racial proportions were reversed. This book on a less-studied part of Marshall's career is recommended for libraries collecting in law, legal processes, and African and African American history.
—Steven Puro

Human Rights Quarterly
[A] work for the ages. Dudziak's Exporting American Dreams creatively juxtaposes the African American struggle for equality in law with the Kenyan struggle for political independence from white British colonial rule. . . . Dudziak casts Marshall as a bridge between two epochal quests for human dignity, drawing painful parallels.
— Makau Mutua
Law and Politics Book Review
[A] thought provoking and painstakingly researched journey through a crucial transformational moment in two nations' histories. . . . [W]e are invited to reflect on the potentials and core limits on liberalism, democracy, and law as paths to transformation and justice.
— Julie Novkov
Human Rights Quarterly - Makau Mutua
[A] work for the ages. Dudziak's Exporting American Dreams creatively juxtaposes the African American struggle for equality in law with the Kenyan struggle for political independence from white British colonial rule. . . . Dudziak casts Marshall as a bridge between two epochal quests for human dignity, drawing painful parallels.
Law and Politics Book Review - Julie Novkov
[A] thought provoking and painstakingly researched journey through a crucial transformational moment in two nations' histories. . . . [W]e are invited to reflect on the potentials and core limits on liberalism, democracy, and law as paths to transformation and justice.
From the Publisher
"[A] work for the ages. Dudziak's Exporting American Dreams creatively juxtaposes the African American struggle for equality in law with the Kenyan struggle for political independence from white British colonial rule. . . . Dudziak casts Marshall as a bridge between two epochal quests for human dignity, drawing painful parallels."—Makau Mutua, Human Rights Quarterly

"[A] thought provoking and painstakingly researched journey through a crucial transformational moment in two nations' histories. . . . [W]e are invited to reflect on the potentials and core limits on liberalism, democracy, and law as paths to transformation and justice."—Julie Novkov, Law and Politics Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400839896
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/12/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: With a New afterword by the author
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,153,562
  • File size: 762 KB

Meet the Author

DudziakMary L.: Mary L. Dudziak is professor of law, history, and political science at the University of Southern California. Her books include "Cold War Civil Rights", "September 11 in History", and "Legal Borderlands".

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Table of Contents

Map of Kenya ix
List of Illustrations xi
Introduction 1
Chapter 1: Marshall and Mboya 11
Chapter 2: A Tricky Constitution 37
Chapter 3: Writing Rights 65
Chapter 4: Discriminating Friends 97
Chapter 5: Anarchy Is Anarchy 131
Epilogue 161
Appendix: Thurgood Marshall’s Draft Bill of Rights for Kenya, 1960 173
Notes 185
Acknowledgments 235
Afterword to the Paperback Edition 241
Index 247
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