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Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences Professor Publishes Biography of Thurgood Marshall

Charles Zelden, professor at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, published Thurgood Marshall: Race, Rights, and the Struggle for a More Perfect Union (Routledge Historical Americans) in May 2013. The succinct biography details Marshall’s storied legal career, including his service as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and the first African-American justice appointed to the Court.

Prior to his appointment in 1967, Marshall served as a lawyer for civil rights, winning all but three of his cases argued before the Supreme Court. Marshall’s most famous victory came in 1954 with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which deemed segregation of public schools unconstitutional.

“It was [a] mixture of anger, optimism, and faith in the law’s redemptive power that shaped the man, the lawyer, and later the judge Thurgood Marshall,” writes Zelden. “From his earliest days, Marshall was a fighter against the oppression and discrimination that he and others of his race faced. Yet, Marshall was fighting not just for his people, but for all people; for anyone whose rights were ignored or trampled; for anyone who was not allowed to enjoy the more perfect union promised by the Constitution.”

Zelden’s book has received praise from readers and peers. R. B. Bernstein, distinguished adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, says, “Charles Zelden has done an exemplary job of recounting and explaining Marshall’s life.

“All told, Zelden’s book is essential reading—not just for anyone interested in Thurgood Marshall, but for anyone interested in the law, in civil rights, in African-American history, in American history, and in social justice,” writes Bernstein in an Amazon review.

About the Author

Charles Zelden is the author of several books on topics such as voting rights and the U.S. Supreme Court, including Bush V. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy. At Nova Southeastern University, he teaches courses on constitutional and 20th Century American history, the electoral process, and legal studies.

In 2012, Zelden earned the college’s Distinguished Professor of the Year award. The award is presented to a faculty member at the rank of full professor with at least 10 years of full-time teaching experience at NSU, a sustained record of scholarship, and a portfolio demonstrating excellence in teaching.