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Book Discussion: “THE GREAT DISSENTER: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero” by Peter S. Canellos

April 16, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Join the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, the Ohio History Connection, and Ric Sheffield, the Director of Kenyon’s Law & Society Program and the John Adams Summer Scholars Program for an engaging book talk featuring award-winning author Peter S. Canellos. Learn more about his newest release, THE GREAT DISSENTER: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero.

Almost a century after his death, it was John Marshall Harlan’s words that helped end segregation. 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. But Harlan’s legacy would not have been possible without the courage of Robert Harlan, a formerly enslaved man whom John’s father raised like a son. After the Civil War, Robert emerges as an Ohio political leader. With Black people holding power in the Republican Party, it is Robert who helps John land his appointment to the Supreme Court. The narrative follows both men through the course of their lives, as their great individual actions lead to the sparking of massive social change.

Peter S. Canellos is an award-winning writer and former Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe. He is currently Managing Editor of Politico. He is also the editor of the New York Times bestseller Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.

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