Sunday, July 17, 2022

Franklin TV: SCOTUS - John Marshall Harlan, The Great Dissenter

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 07/17/2022

Peter Canellos
Peter Canellos
We have an upcoming two-part program for ‘A More Perfect Union’. Our Radio Roundtable had the pleasure of sitting with Peter Canellos, author of John Marshall Harlan, The Great Dissenter. Through Harlan’s life and career as a Supreme Court Justice we learn much about the Court of his day, and about how it and his powerful dissenting opinions reverberate with enduring relevance through the decades to advance the cause of true equality even today.

They say that history is written by the victors. But not in the case of the most famous dissenter on the Supreme Court. Almost a century after his death, John Marshall Harlan’s words helped end segregation and gave us our civil rights and our modern economic freedom. Harlan’s dissents, particularly in Plessy v. Ferguson, were widely read and a source of hope for decades. Thurgood Marshall called Harlan’s Plessy dissent his “Bible”— and his legal roadmap to overturning segregation. In the end, Harlan’s words built the foundations for the legal revolutions of the New Deal and Civil Rights eras.
The Great Dissenter
The Great Dissenter

Spanning from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement and beyond, The Great Dissenter is a “magnificent” (Douglas Brinkley) and “thoroughly researched” (The New York Times) rendering of the American legal system’s most significant failures and most inspiring successes.

Few authors are as lucid and fluid in their effortless storytelling as Peter Canellos. You can listen (effortlessly) to his deeply cogent thoughts and insights on 102.9 wfpr, and our next edition of More Perfect Union.

I give his work at least eleven stars out of ten. (Can I do that…? I can do that. Right?)

Listen – and judge for yourself.
And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching.

Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online 

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