“The Great Dissenter” Justice John Marshall Harlan

THU, JUL 8, 2021

The Managing Editor of Politico, former Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe, and author Peter S. Canellos will discuss his latest book,“The Great Dissenter,” and then join in a conversation with author and Professor Carlo Rotella of Boston College about the life and work of Justice John Marshall Harlan.

At the time of Harlan’s service on the United State Supreme Court from 1877 to 1911, during America’s Gilded Age, Northern whites were prepared to take away black rights to appease the South and giant trusts monopolized entire industries. As case after case came before the court, challenging his core values, Harlan broke with his colleagues in fundamental ways, becoming the nation’s prime defender of the rights of Black people, immigrant laborers, and people in distant lands occupied by the United States.

Celebrate our country in this holiday week by learning about Harlan’s life and times, and his work that set the stage for our country’s future including the legal revolutions of the New Deal and Civil Rights era.
The Boston Public Library together with the New England Historic Genealogical Society presents another virtual event in the American Stories, Inspiration Today author series. This event is co-produced by the GBH Forum Network.

+ BIO: Peter Canellos

Peter S. Canellos is the Managing Editor at POLITICO and author of The Great Dissenter: The story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero, the profound tale of how a former slave owner – with the help of a once-enslaved man who grew up alongside him and was believed to be his half-brother – changed American law.

His is also the former editorial page editor of The Boston Globe, and editor of the New York Times bestseller Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. Peter has harbored an interest in Harlan since his days at Columbia Law School three decades ago.

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