The Battle to Pass the Civil Rights Act

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A procession during the march on Washington in 1963.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passage has often been credited to the political leadership of President Lyndon Johnson or to the moral force of Martin Luther King. Yet, in The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, author and New York Times editor Clay Risen shows, the story is much bigger than those two men—and includes unceasing grassroots activism, ringing speeches, backroom deal-making, and hand-to-hand legislative combat.