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The U.S. Supreme Court's Earl Warren-era revolution in the areas of civil, individual, and privacy rights is the focus of this historical and statistical treatise, which combines sociology with survey analysis in a successful effort to prove that Brown v. Board of Education and related Supreme Court decisions of the 1950s and 1960s have created a well of goodwill toward the Court among African Americans. The Court therefore enjoys a legacy of legitimacy among black Americans, according to Clawson and Waltenburg (both political science, Purdue Univ.). The concept of political legitimacy as a stabilizing force is central to the book's theme and is particularly important in a pluralist democracy such as the United States, where constituents regularly lodge competing demands, thereby placing stresses upon the political system. The authors seek to measure, through a series of extended surveys and intricate statistical analysis, the one institution of government that most effectively regulates pluralist conflicts and rallies support for the regime. They then conclude that relative to other institutions, the Supreme Court has the greatest capacity to legitimize policies. Recommended for academic libraries.
—Philip Y. Blue