By Todd Purdum
A most sensible Washington journalist recounts the dramatic political conflict to move the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the legislation that created sleek the US, at the 50th anniversary of its passage
It used to be a turbulent time in America—a time of sit-ins, freedom rides, a March on Washington and a governor status within the schoolhouse door—when John F. Kennedy despatched Congress a invoice to bar racial discrimination in employment, schooling, and public lodgings. numerous civil rights measures had died on Capitol Hill some time past. yet this one used to be diversified simply because, as one influential senator placed it, it was once “an inspiration whose time has come.”
In a robust narrative layered with revealing aspect, Todd S. Purdum tells the tale of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recreating the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made its passage attainable. From the Kennedy brothers to Lyndon Johnson, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen, Purdum indicates how those all-too-human figures controlled, in precisely over a 12 months, to create a invoice that caused the longest filibuster within the heritage of the U.S. Senate but used to be eventually followed with overwhelming bipartisan help. He inspires the excessive function and occasional dealings that marked the production of this enormous legislation, drawing on wide archival study and dozens of recent interviews that carry to lifestyles this sign fulfillment in American history.
Often hailed because the most vital legislations of the prior century, the Civil Rights Act stands as a lesson for our personal occasions approximately what's attainable while endurance, bipartisanship, and decency rule the day.
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Extra resources for An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964
P. Michael Alvarez and Thad Hall’s Point, Click, and Vote, Alan Abramowitz’s Voice of the People, xxxii Preface and Acknowledgments Doris A. Graber’s Media Power in Politics, Martin P. , Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks’s Social Cleavages and Political Change, Thomas E. Patterson’s The Vanishing Voter, and Steven E. Schier’s You Call This an Election? Also pertinent are several volumes in the America’s Freedoms series: Ken I. Kersch’s Freedom of Speech, Robert J. Bresler’s Freedom of Association, and Nancy Cornwell’s Freedom of the Press.
Candidates must meet the ballot qualification rules in each state to be on the ballot in that state. This is an easy enough task for both major parties, but can be a daunting challenge for a third party. In the presidential election of 1924, for example, Robert La Follette, running as the nominee of the Progressive Party, did well in many midwestern and western states and received nearly 17 percent of all popular votes cast nationally, an unusually large share for a third-party candidate. However, because his name was not on the ballot in some states, millions of Americans were denied the right to cast a vote for him.
Second, the Voting Rights Act of 1965— the most important voter legislation ever enacted by Congress— largely overcame the more subtle ways in which African Americans had long been kept from the polls. Through measures such as federal oversight of elections and a ban on literacy tests, black voter registration by 1967 had doubled in Georgia, nearly tripled in Alabama, and jumped almost 800 percent in Mississippi. In contrast, the female suffrage movement, dating from the 1840s, took longer to achieve formal voting rights but, once se- Introduction 11 cured, needed no further protective legislation.
An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Todd Purdum