An Idea Whose Time Has Come

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Book - 2014
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"A top Washington journalist recounts the dramatic political battle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law that created modern America, on the fiftieth anniversary of its passage. It was a turbulent time in America--a time of sit-ins, freedom rides, a March on Washington and a governor standing in the schoolhouse door--when John F. Kennedy sent Congress a bill to bar racial discrimination in employment, education, and public accommodations. Countless civil rights measures had died on Capitol Hill in the past. But this one was different because, as one influential senator put it, it was "an idea whose time has come."In a powerful narrative layered with revealing detail, Todd S. Purdum tells the story of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recreating the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made its passage possible. From the Kennedy brothers to Lyndon Johnson, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen, Purdum shows how these all-too-human figures managed, in just over a year, to create a bill that prompted the longest filibuster in the history of the U.S. Senate yet was ultimately adopted with overwhelming bipartisan support. He evokes the high purpose and low dealings that marked the creation of this monumental law, drawing on extensive archival research and dozens of new interviews that bring to life this signal achievement in American history. Often hailed as the most important law of the past century, the Civil Rights Act stands as a lesson for our own troubled times about what is possible when patience, bipartisanship, and decency rule the day. "-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York, New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805096729
0805096728
Characteristics: xii, 398 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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GlenAbbeyWarrior
Jun 25, 2016

Providing an extensive background on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, author Todd Purdum does an excellent job at documenting the legislative process that took place in order to get this controversial bill passed. From the numerous amendments and filibusters to the bribes that LBJ offered to certain senators, it is certainly a well documented book and a good starting point for anyone interested in the subject. However, what I found interesting was that the bill's greatest supporters in Congress had little interaction with the black community beyond giving orders to their chauffeurs and butlers. Just like how white liberals tell us how "diversity is our strength" while living in nearly all white neighbourhoods and sending their children to nearly all white schools, the level of hypocrisy spewed by the left hasn't changed very much in the past fifty years. And finally, the book fails to mention that with Johnson's signature, private property rights in America were given a death sentence with the public accommodations clause that used "interstate commerce" in order to smash states' rights. Just as you have a right not to allow anybody into your home, a private business that isn't a monopoly supplier should have a right to refuse service for whatever reason they seem fit. If you don't like their policies, then take your business someplace else (or go live in a Communist country).

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