On The Forward Edge is an American Government text-novel. It teaches the basic principles of American Government through the medium of a novelistic account of young people working for change at the time of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. ...
Clark Schooler, a recent college graduate, begins his newspaper career by reporting on the sit-in demonstrations of the early civil rights movement. He covers the efforts of college students to use direct-action and protests to force the racial integration of a movie theater in Baltimore. His editor then sends him to the all-white University of Mississippi to witness and write about the campus riot that takes place when a black student, James Meredith, attempts to attend the University. After covering the 1963 March on Washington, Clark is given a journalistic internship in the Capitol Hill office of United States Senator Thomas H. Kuchel of California. Senator Kuchel is one of the floor leaders for the civil rights bill that will eventually be enacted as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In his capacity as a Senate aide, Clark observes first hand the inner workings of Congress, particularly the way in which senators supporting racial segregation are using the Senate filibuster to "talk to death" the civil rights bill. Clark works with Senator Kuchel to find 67 votes to "cloture" the civil rights bill and thereby end the filibuster. Clark meets Bonnie Kanecton, a young lawyer working for Senator Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois. Bonnie shows Clark how, through carefully crafted legislative compromises, Senator Dirksen is able to fashion a final version of the bill capable of winning 67 votes for cloture. But the battle is not over until the Supreme Court, in the late fall of 1964, upholds the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Number of pages: 316
Date of publication: 15/11/2005
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