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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

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The impassioned memoirs from one of America’s leading civil liberties attorneys of the 20th century.

$17.95 $13.46

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What people are saying…

“Temple’s expertise was representing individuals who had chosen to place themselves in the path of history or who were victims of discrimination and injustice . . . These legal war stories will give readers a realistic view of what a civil rights lawyer faced in championing unpopular causes.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Ralph J. Temple:

“What a master of the law he is! I know people whom I regard as great teachers, as great trial advocates, as great appellate advocates, as great lobbyists, as great negotiators. Ralph is all of those things, and he does each of them better than anyone I know . . . He has an absolutely extraordinary record, not just of effort, but of solid accomplishment.”
—Monroe H. Freedman

“Of the many persons I came to admire during my years with the ACLU, I put none ahead of Ralph. He personifies the virtues that the ACLU displays at its best: a fierce commitment to civil liberty; imagination, energy, skill, and industry; integrity; persuasiveness; and a fine blend of irascibility, good humor, and anger. Ralph is moderate but never mealy-mouthed; passionate but never hysterical; moral but never pious.”
—Aryeh Neier, Former Executive Director, ACLU

“For a lot of people coming out of law school looking for public interest jobs, there are a relative handful of people in this country who are heroes, models to be followed, people who are known among young lawyers and who are admired for the example they set. I think Ralph deserves that reputation as much as anyone I know.”
—Ira Glasser, Former Executive Director, ACLU

“It isn’t just that Ralph has a passionate concern to see that civil liberties are protected. I have that and so do you. We all share a concern to guard our constitutional rights. But Ralph Temple has the knowledge and the skill to make this concern victorious.”
—Hilda Howland M. Mason, District of Columbia City Council


Description

This volume comprises Ralph J. Temple’s memoirs of his life and his work on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged. He was born in England on October 18, 1932. Shortly before his father was called into the Royal British Army in 1940, Temple fled with his mother by boat from the Nazi attack on London and settled in Miami, Florida.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1956, Temple worked for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund until he was drafted into the United States Army. A critical formative experience was Temple’s August 1964 trip to St. Augustine, Florida with the New York City Lawyers Constitutional Defense Fund, where he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others to ensure compliance with the newly enacted 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Moving to the American Civil Liberties Union, he soon found his calling as a civil rights and civil liberties attorney, rising to the position of Legal Director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area in Washington, DC, where he served from 1966–80. During his tenure there, he established himself in Washington as a lion ready to fight (and win) across a broad array of free speech issues. In 2008, the DC ACLU presented him with their annual Alan and Adrienne Barth Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service.

Temple kept up his legal activism and civic organizing in Oregon (where he relocated in 1996), until the day he passed away on August 27, 2011. On September 18, 2011, he was recognized by the ACLU Foundation of Oregon for his brilliant and tireless work on behalf of civil liberties.

Read an interview with Johnny Temple on his father Ralph J. Temple at the Ashland Daily Tidings.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Published: 9/2/14
  • IBSN: 9781617753145
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751059

Author

RALPH J. TEMPLE was born in England on October 18, 1932. Shortly before his father was called into the Royal British Army in 1940, Temple fled with his mother by boat from the Nazi attack on London and settled in Miami, Florida.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1956, Temple worked for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, until being drafted into the United States Army. A critical formative experience was Temple’s August 1964 trip to St. Augustine, Florida with the New York City Lawyers Constitutional Defense Fund; he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others to ensure compliance with the newly enacted 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Moving to the American Civil Liberties Union, he soon found his calling as a civil rights and civil liberties attorney, rising to the position of Legal Director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area in Washington, DC, where he served from 1966-80. During his tenure there, he established himself in Washington as a lion ready to fight (and win) across a broad array of free speech issues. In 2008, the DC ACLU presented him with their annual Alan and Adrienne Barth Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service.

Temple kept up his legal activism and civic organizing in Oregon (where he relocated in 1996), until the day he passed away on August 27, 2011. On September 18, 2011, he was recognized by the ACLU Foundation of Oregon for his brilliant and tireless work on behalf of civil liberties. Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness comprises his memoirs of his life and his work on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged.

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