paperback forthcoming 2011
You can read the Introduction to Exporting American Dreams here.
"Dudziak brings out with impressive clarity how Thurgood Marshall's greatness stemmed from his Whitman-esque ability to contain multitudes: committed to the rule of law, he could chide Kenya's new leadership for departing even slightly from it, work for justice in segregated America, and sustain a relationship with young civil rights activists taking direct and 'illegal' action in the early 1960s."--Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School and author of Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1956-1961 "In this gem of a book, Mary Dudziak brings vividly to life the important but little known history of Thurgood Marshall's intense involvement with Kenya during its journey toward independence in the 1960s. This great champion of the American civil rights struggle never relinquished his hope that democracy and equality would one day flourish in Kenya, even as he became painfully aware of the obstacles that stood in the path of this dream. A powerful and poignant story, beautifully told."--Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University and author of American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century "By dint of creative and exhaustive research, Mary Dudziak has written an excellent book about a facet of Thurgood Marshall's career that has never before received substantial attention. Who knew that 'Mr. Civil Rights' contributed significantly to African as well as American legal systems. All students of this great man's life owe a major debt to Professor Dudziak's labors."--Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School and author of Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal
“A work for the ages.
Dudziak’s Exporting American Dreams creatively juxtaposes the African
American struggle for equality in law with the Kenyan for political
independence from white British colonial rule. With the lessons of both
struggles ever present, Dudziak casts Marshall as a bridge between two epochal
quests for human dignity, drawing painful parallels.”
--Makau Mutua, Human Rights Quarterly
“Insightful and important.”
– Henry Richardson, Law and History Review
While Marshall is best known for his pivotal role during Brown v. Board of Education and his appointment to the Supreme Court, Dudziak (Cold War Civil Rights) recovers a nearly buried undertaking, “one of the great adventures of his life”: Marshall's contributions to the Kenyan Bill of Rights. Marshall arrived in London in January 1960; a month later, the Greensboro, N.C., sit-in began, and Marshall found himself “torn between two continents and two movements.” The author effectively sketches those events in the civil rights movement (civil disobedience, urban riots, Black Power) and in Kenya (President Kenyatta's early moderation and subsequent mistreatment of the Asian minority and suppression of opposition) that supported and undermined Marshall's “faith in the law as a vehicle for social change.” The tensions between Marshall's desire for equal rights and Kenyatta's priorities of “sovereignty and national unity” are still heartbreakingly unresolved, as are Marshall's great hope for the “entrenchment in Kenya of the rights he still hoped for in America.” Dudziak's clarity and careful documentation make her book accessible to the general reader and a valuable tool for African and African-American studies.
Law & Politics Book Review, by Julie Novkov, University at Albany, SUNY
Mary Dudziak’s EXPORTING AMERICAN DREAMS: THURGOOD MARSHALL’S AFRICAN JOURNEY connects two stories – the American path from civil rights reform to the national institutional and cultural rejection of racial transformation and the Kenyan path from the boundless possibility and hope of independence to the rise to power of the repressive regime of Daniel arap Moi. The stories parallel each other loosely through their tragic arcs, particularly in the assassinations of movement visionaries Martin Luther King, Jr. on the balcony of a Memphis hotel in 1968 and Tom Mboya on the streets of Nairobi in 1969. But Dudziak puts the stories into dialogue with each other through the person of Thurgood Marshall, who bridged historic events in both nations through his own struggles to facilitate the triumph of the rule of law and the ideal of democratic governance with guarantees for full participation and protection of minority rights....