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Cover Image: 100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History
  • Date: 04/27/2004
  • Format: Print Cloth
  • Price: $160.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-56802-799-9
  • Pages: 418
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100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History
Melvin I. Urofsky

The people behind the landmark cases in U.S. Law

100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

100 Americans Making Constitutional History helps students understand the human side of the Supreme Court’s decisions from the early republic to the present. Each biographical profile, written by a constitutional scholar or legal analyst, includes a discussion about the Court decision and how the specific legal issues evolved into great constitutional questions and drama. It puts a face and history to major cases by reminding the reader that there are people behind them, seeking vindication of their individual liberties and civil rights.

Each profile includes a brief bibliography for further research. Excellent for undergraduate students studying American government, American history, Constitutional Law and journalism.

Sample List of Litigants

  • Larry Flynt – Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell (1988)
  • Elmer Gertz – Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974)
  • Demetrio Rodriguez – Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District (1973)
  • Curt Flood – Flood v. Kuhn (1972)
  • Estelle Griswold – Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
  • Linda Brown – Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
  • Gordon Hirabayashi – Hirabayashi v. United states (1943)
  • Eugene Debs – Debs v. United states (1919)
  • William Marbury – Marbury v. Madison (1803)


"The articles are informative and accessible, and breathe life into legal abstractions; perhaps most impressive are the profiles of litigants .... Highly recommended."

- Choice

"Very interesting reference biographical source idea. ...Very compelling, substantive and objective. Definitely worthwhile."

- Ralph Szymczak, Brandeis University
Melvin I. Urofsky
Sample Pages