“A powerful and inspiring story of the American civil rights movement–a story of change, vision and courage. Change has come to America and one of the ways it happened was through the work of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, formed against all odds in 1957 by President Eisenhower and the Congress. The commission, during its five decades on the battlefront of injustice and inequality, moved far beyond Eisenhower’s initial vision for it, and became a major factor in the success of the civil rights movement that has led us to the victories we enjoy today. Attacked and undermined at times by politicians and unsympathetic Presidents, the commission invited ordinary people to testify at its hearings in their towns and cities and in Washington, D.C. Sometimes under threat of reprisal, even death, those struggling for equal justice came to rely upon the commission’s impartiality, and independence. It was the commission’s reports and recommendations that helped to gain the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the language minority protections enacted in 1975, the Age Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Mary Frances Berry, the commission’s chairperson for a decade, has written its too little-known history. It is an important, galvanizing and moving book.”
–President Bill Clinton
From the Hardcover edition.