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Fight of the Century  By  cover art

Fight of the Century

By: Michael Chabon - editor,Ayelet Waldman - editor
Narrated by: an all-star cast
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Publisher's Summary

The American Civil Liberties Union partners with award-winning authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman in this “forceful, beautifully written” (Associated Press) collection that brings together many of our greatest living writers, each contributing an original piece inspired by a historic ACLU case.

On January 19, 1920, a small group of idealists and visionaries, including Helen Keller, Jane Addams, Roger Baldwin, and Crystal Eastman, founded the American Civil Liberties Union. A century after its creation, the ACLU remains the nation’s premier defender of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

In collaboration with the ACLU, authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have curated an anthology of essays “full of struggle, emotion, fear, resilience, hope, and triumph” (Los Angeles Review of Books) about landmark cases in the organization’s 100-year history. Fight of the Century takes you inside the trials and the stories that have shaped modern life. Some of the most prominent cases that the ACLU has been involved in - Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Miranda v. Arizona - need little introduction. Others you may never even have heard of, yet their outcomes quietly defined the world we live in now. Familiar or little-known, each case springs to vivid life in the hands of the acclaimed writers who dive into the history, narrate their personal experiences, and debate the questions at the heart of each issue.

Hector Tobar introduces us to Ernesto Miranda, the felon whose wrongful conviction inspired the now-iconic Miranda rights - which the police would later read to the man suspected of killing him. Yaa Gyasi confronts the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the ACLU submitted a friend of-the-court brief questioning why a nation that has sent men to the moon still has public schools so unequal that they may as well be on different planets. True to the ACLU’s spirit of principled dissent, Scott Turow offers a blistering critique of the ACLU’s stance on campaign finance.

These powerful stories, along with essays from Neil Gaiman, Meg Wolitzer, Salman Rushdie, Ann Patchett, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Louise Erdrich, George Saunders, and many more, remind us that the issues the ACLU has engaged over the past 100 years remain as vital as ever today, and that we can never take our liberties for granted.

©2020 Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Outstanding

Loved every moment of this production. The variety of cases, personal histories and dramatic readings is a treasure. I will be listening to this again soon.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting topic; poorly written book.

I just wanted a brief recap on all of the important cases the ACLU has represented through the years.

Instead, this book provides a bunch of stories written by actors, authors, and activists, retelling the ACLU cases in their paraphrased version. They frequently brought in their own experiences, even if they had nothing to do with the actual ACLU case. Weird.

It was kind of like watching MSNBC anchors rant angrily about something conservatives have done, for about 11 hours.
Shoot me now, and put me out of my misery!!

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Excellent collection of thought-provoking essays

It was fun to listen to the voices of some of the famous readers, and to hear the examination of Supreme Court cases and their relevance from a wide variety of writers. Very engaging overall and led to some great discussions in the car on a long trip.