In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace

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What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents and policy makers still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability, and other differences.

In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity.

Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, argues that the criteria placed on such initiatives carry serious consequences for both the character of American education and civil society itself. Although the original promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, Minow demonstrates the power of its vision in the struggles for equal education regardless of students' social identity, not only in the United States but also in many countries around the world. Further, she urges renewed commitment to the project of social integration even while acknowledging the complex obstacles that must be overcome. An elegant and concise overview of Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the broad-ranging and often surprising impact of one of the century's most important Supreme Court decisions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Minow's book presents enlightening discussions for educators, policy makers, and informed citizens. Essential for academic and public libraries." -- Library Journal

"The Brown decision wisely and bravely struck down state-imposed racial segregation. Martha Minow capably describes how that decision changed the lives of millions of people." --Diane Ravitch, The New Republic

"Everyone knows how important the Brown v Board of Education decision was. But until Martha Minow turned her exceptional mind and imagination to the subject, no one fully appreciated the decisions' reach across our society and across national boundaries. In Brown's Wake is eloquent and careful, scholarly and accessible, passionate and thoughtful. Thanks to Minow, we will now have a far greater appreciation of what may be the most significant and constructive decision in the Supreme Court's history."--E.J. Dionne, author of Why Americans Hate Politics

"Brown was a landmark case and Martha Minow has written a landmark book about it. No effort to bring the issues raised by that decision up to date can top this one."--Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

"In today's education discussions, Brown v. Board of Education is invoked as a vague metaphor for the need to address the racial achievement gap, disconnected from the case's original declaration that separate schools are inherently unequal. Martha Minow's sweeping and provocative narrative brilliantly depicts the many adaptations of Brown, while at the same time anchoring the decision to its fundamental insight about the importance of integrated education in a pluralistic democracy."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of All Together Now

"In Brown's Wake is a panoramic view of how this landmark decision has shaped education policy and practice both in the United States and abroad. With an objective eye, Martha Minow leads us through various reform measures designed to promote equal opportunity, skillfully displaying points of contention between integration and segregation, equality and pluralism, sameness and difference. Mining an impressively broad body of social science research, she acknowledges its limitations and the need to find pragmatic and effective solutions to continuing inequalities."--Rosemary Salomone, Professor of Law, St. John's University

"Overall, the book is an outstanding cultural exploration of perhaps the most famous Supreme Court decision ever. Excellent for collections on law and civil rights...Highly recommended..." -- Choice

2011 Scribes Book Award Honorable Mention

"A well-written and informed brief in legal fashion." -- Du Bois Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195342895
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/2009
  • Series: Law and Current Events Masters Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 708,877
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Minow is Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has taught since 1981. She is an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities, women, children, and persons with disabilities. Her prior books include Government by Contract; Just Schools; Breaking the Cycles of Hatred; Partners, Not Rivals; Between Vengeance and Forgiveness; Not Only for Myself; and Making All the Difference.

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Table of Contents

1. What Brown Awakened
2. Expanding Promise, Debated Means: Separate and Integrated Schooling for Immigrants, English-language Learners, Girls, and Boys
3. Making Waves: Schooling and Disability, Sexual Orientation, Religion, and Economic Class
4. Reverberations for American Indians, Native Hawai'ians, and Group Rights
5. School Choice and Choice Schools: Resisting, Realizing, or Replacing Brown?
6. In Brown's Path: Social Contact and Integration Revisited
7. On Other Shores: When is "Separate Inherently Unequal"?
I. Prologue: The Fox, The Hedgehog, and The Moose
Philadelphia, 2006
Virginia, 1781: Notes on the New World
II. Notes on the New World, Part I: Chaos
1. Mapping the Territory: The Geography of Nowhere
2. Population
3. Networks
4. The Problem of Scale (I)
5. The Problem of Scale (II)
6. Jefferson's Moose, and the Degenerate Animals of the New World
7. Language
III. Interlude
Two Kinds of People
Looking West
Looking Forward
IV. Notes on the State of Cyberspace, Part II: Order
8. Pathways and Settlements
9. Governing Cyberspace, I: Code
10. Governing Cyberspace, II: Law
11. Governing Cyberspace, III: Getting it to Scale
12. Newton's Plow: Property on the Frontier
V. Epilogue
Jefferson's Moose, The Laws of Nature, and the Nature of Cyberspace

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2009

    Fascinating, uniquely intelligent, and fun!!

    This book is one of the most interesting I've ever heard of, let alone read. The title, the basic concept (a book on Jefferson and the Internet??), the author's early admission of not knowing quite what the book really was about, all caught my attention. Added to this, the two subjects are ones I've always had a serious genuine curiosity about, but was too lazy to investigate. While I loved learning about Jefferson and the Internet -- and the amazing digressions that are uniquely woven into the story -- what I loved most was how unique and exciting the writing was. Clearly Prof Post loved making this book and that is clear on every page. This was 200 pages of the most fun reading I've had in quite some time. You will love reading this book, and you'll agree that it is unlike anything you've read before.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    fascinating stuff

    This is a really wild and interesting book. Using Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" as a springboard, Post illuminates all sorts of interesting things about cyberspace - how it works, what has made it special, how it is organized and, in the second half of the book, how it should be governed and how its laws should be made. It's wonderfully well-written -- clear and compelling and to the point. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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