Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases Audiobook, by Michael Chabon Play Audiobook Sample
Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases Audiobook, by Michael Chabon Play Audiobook Sample
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Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

45

Longest Chapter Length:

40:22 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

19 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

14:43 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

17

Other Audiobooks Written by Michael Chabon: > View All...

Publisher Description

To mark its 100-year anniversary, the American Civil Liberties Union partners with award-winning authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman to bring together many of our greatest living writers, each contributing an original piece inspired by a historic ACLU case.

On January 19, 1920, a small group of idealists and visionaries, including Helen Keller, Jane Addams, Roger Baldwin, and Crystal Eastman, founded the American Civil Liberties Union. A century after its creation, the ACLU remains the nation’s premier defender of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

In collaboration with the ACLU, authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have curated an anthology of essays about landmark cases in the organization’s one-hundred-year history. Fight of the Century takes you inside the trials and the stories that have shaped modern life. Some of the most prominent cases that the ACLU has been involved in—Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Miranda v. Arizona—need little introduction. Others you may never even have heard of, yet their outcomes quietly defined the world we live in now. Familiar or little-known, each case springs to vivid life in the hands of the acclaimed writers who dive into the history, narrate their personal experiences, and debate the questions at the heart of each issue.

Hector Tobar introduces us to Ernesto Miranda, the felon whose wrongful conviction inspired the now-iconic Miranda rights—which the police would later read to the man suspected of killing him. Yaa Gyasi confronts the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the ACLU submitted a friend of- the-court brief questioning why a nation that has sent men to the moon still has public schools so unequal that they may as well be on different planets. True to the ACLU’s spirit of principled dissent, Scott Turow offers a blistering critique of the ACLU’s stance on campaign finance.

These powerful stories, along with essays from Neil Gaiman, Meg Wolitzer, Salman Rushdie, Ann Patchett, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Louise Erdrich, George Saunders, and many more, remind us that the issues the ACLU has engaged over the past one hundred years remain as vital as ever today, and that we can never take our liberties for granted.

Chabon and Waldman are donating their advance to the ACLU and the contributors are forgoing payment.

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“Masterly literary portraitists restore the warts and wardrobes, the motivations and machinations to those whose stories have been stripped down to surnames or pseudonyms.”

— New York Times 

Quotes

  • “An all-star list of authors…revisits key lawsuits in which the ACLU has been involved…[and] brings these cases to life.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “[A] powerful, inspiring collection.

    — Christian Science Monitor
  • “Packs a mighty wallop…This is a book to read, share and keep.”

    — Associated Press
  • “A stunning collection of original and topical essays.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “Vigorous, informative, and well-organized, this outstanding collection befits the ACLU’s substantial impact on American law and society.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “This collection is a reminder that basic human rights and dignity tend to get crushed under populism. An essential, necessary look at a century of progress.”

    — Library Journal (starred review)

Awards

  • A Booklist Pick of Best New Books of the Week
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

Fight of the Century Listener Reviews

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About the Authors

Michael Chabon is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, collections of short stories and essays, and a young-adult novel. Titles include Wonder Boys, which was made into a critically acclaimed film; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, among others.

Ayelet Waldman is an essayist and author of several books including Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and The New York Times bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her personal essays and profiles of such public figures as Hillary Clinton have been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Vogue, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former criminal defense lawyer. Waldman currently lives in Berkeley, California with her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband Michael Chabon, their four children, and their Bernese mountain dog Fanny.

Jacques Roy is a audio narrator and actor, known for The Lower Angels and Room and Board.

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Sympathizer, which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Edgar Award for First Novel, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the California Book Award for First Fiction. He is also the author of the nonfiction books Nothing Ever Dies and Race and Resistance. He teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Jacqueline Woodson, named national Young People’s Poet Laureate, is a multiple-award-winning author of more than two dozen acclaimed books for young adults, middle graders, and children. She won the 2019 Indie Champion Award for advocacy of independent bookstores. Among her many other honors are the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, among others. She is the 2018 winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.” She was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Ann Patchett is the author of #1 New York Times bestselling novels, works of nonfiction, and children’s books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner, the Women’s Prize in the United Kingdom, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. President Biden awarded her the National Humanities Medal in recognition of her contributions to American culture. Visit her at annpatchett.com

Brit Bennett was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from Stanford University. She later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Paris Review, and Jezebel.

Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March and numerous New York Times bestsellers. Caleb's Crossing won the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Christianity Today Book Award and was a finalist for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence

Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Berkeley, California.

Dave Eggers is the author of children’s fiction, young adult fiction, science fiction, and more. His works have won the Newbery Medal, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, France’s Prix Médicis, Germany’s Albatross Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the American Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco, and is cofounder of 826 National, a network of educational centers around the country offering free tutoring to kids of all backgrounds.

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and the author of nine other books, including three New York Times bestsellers. His account of photographer Edward Curtis, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, won the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction. His book on the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, won a National Book Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Washington State Book Award winner, and a Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book.

Yiyun Li is the author of several works of fiction and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. She is the recipient of many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University.

Meg Wolitzer is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels for adults as well as Belzhar for young adults.

Hector Tobar, now a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and a novelist. He is the author of Translation Nation and The Tattooed Soldier. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he is a native of the city of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno, which appeared on Best Books of 2000 lists nationwide, won several literary awards, and was published in eighteen countries, as well as of Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon arrived in Chicago in 1992, began writing in English in 1995, and now his work appears regularly in the New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories.

Elizabeth Strout is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous award–winning novels, including Olive Kitteridge, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. She has also won the Story Prize, the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award, and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has been a finalist for the Booker Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Orange Prize in London.

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels The Angel of History; An Unnecessary Woman; The Hakawati; I, the Divine; Koolaids; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize.

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is an American-Israeli writer, poet, and novelist. Born in Jerusalem, he graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Arabic and political science. A recipient of a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellowship for Literature, his work has been published in the New York Times, Haaretz, and elsewhere.

Jonathan Lethem is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including The Fortress of Solitude and the National Book Critics Circle Award winner Motherless Brooklyn. Lethem’s stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and the New York Times, among others. He lives in New York City.

Salman Rushdie is the author of a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, and fourteen novels, including Midnight's Children, which won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker. He has also published four works of nonfiction and coedited two anthologies. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a distinguished writer in residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, he was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.

Lauren Groff is the author of several novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Monsters of TempletonFates and Furies, and Matrix, as well as short-story collections. She has won the Story Prize and the Joyce Carol Oates Prize and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work regularly appears in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and elsewhere.

Jennifer Egan, the author of several books of fiction, is the recipient of the 2019 New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s 2019 Legacy Award for lifetime achievement. Her works including the New York Times bestseller Manhattan Beach, as well as A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Books Critics Circle Award; The Keep, a national bestseller; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award finalist; and The Invisible Circus, which was adapted into a major motion picture. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, McSweeney’s, the New York Times Magazine, and many others.

Scott Turow is the author of nonfiction and bestselling works of fiction, including Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, which reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestsellers list. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

Victor LaValle is the award-winning author of The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and Slapboxing with Jesus. Big Machine was the winner of an American Book Award and the Shirley Jackson Award in 2010, and was selected as one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, the Nation, and Publishers Weekly. He teaches writing at Columbia University and lives in New York.

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the nonfiction book, Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. He teaches at Yale University.

Neil Gaiman is the author of several #1 New York Times bestsellers, including Norse Mythogy, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Anansi Boys, and others, as well as the Sandman series of graphic novels. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. His novel American Gods aired as a TV series in 2017. Originally from England, he lives in the United States, where he is a professor at Bard College.

Jesmyn Ward is the winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones. Her memoir Men We Reaped was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University.

George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; and others. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Marlon James is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller Black Leopard, Red Wolf. His book A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Book of Night Women won the Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the NAACP Image Award. He is a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

William Finnegan is the author of several books, including the memoir Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. He has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1987.

Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of science fiction, young adult fantasy, mysteries, and more. Her works have been named a finalist for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and Arthur C. Clarke Award. Her TED Talk, “Go Ahead, Dream about the Future” got 700,000 views in its first week. With Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.

Andrew Sean Greer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers Less and The Confessions of Max Tivoli Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Louise Erdrich is a multiaward–winning author of Native American descent. She twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award, for her debut novel, Love Medicine, and for LaRose. The Plague of Doves, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. Many of her books have made the New York Times bestsellers list. She has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the World Fantasy Award, and American Academy of Poets Prize, among many other honors. She has also written poetry, children’s books, short stories, a memoir, and other works of nonfiction.

About the Narrators

Louis Gossett, Jr. (1936–2024) was one of the most respected African American actors in film, television, stage, and audio voice-over history with a distinct voice that carried quiet authority. He won the triple awards of an Emmy for Roots, an Oscar for Officer and a Gentleman, and a Golden Globe for The Josephine Baker Story. As an impassioned activist, he firmly believed in giving back to the community and donated his performance royalties from the Twelve Years a Slave audiobook to his nonprofit organization, the Erascism Foundation, which focuses on planting the seeds of social tolerance with children and eliminating the stigma of racism.

Judith Light is a two-time Tony Award–winning actress, winning Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for both The Assembled Parties and Other Desert Cities. She also won Drama Desk Awards for both of these roles. Judith’s television career began with the role of Karen Wolek on One Life to Live, for which she won two “Best Actress” Emmy Awards. She has many more stage, film, and television roles to her credit as well.

Patrick Stewart is a distinguished stage and screen actor whose illustrious career spans six decades. He is a classically trained theater artist who got his start at England’s Royal Shakespeare Company, and his legendary performances have garnered him three Olivier Awards, Emmy and Tony Award nominations, and a Grammy Award, among many other honors. His beloved screen work, known to audiences worldwide, includes his iconic portrayals of Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard and X-Men’s Professor Charles Xavier. Follow him on social media at @SirPatStew.

Michael C. Hall is an American actor, known for his award-winning role as Dexter Morgan in the Showtime television series Dexter and as David Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. He has also starred in nearly a dozen major off-Broadway plays, including Macbeth for the New York Shakespeare Festival, and he performs in independent motion pictures. His audiobook narrations have earned him an AudioFile Earphones Award.

Santino Fontana is a stage actor, director, and composer. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and recently provided the voice of Prince Hans in Frozen. In 2015 he became the first guest artist to perform three times in the space of one year with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Norbert Leo Butz is an American actor, singer, and narrator best known for his work in Broadway theater. He is a two-time winner of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and is one of only nine actors ever to have won the award twice as lead actor.

Kirk Franklin is the top gospel artist in Nielsen Soundscan history, selling more than twelve million albums and more than twenty #1 gospel hits. The host of his own talent search program, Sunday Best, he is the winner of seven Grammy awards, six NAACP awards, and many other honors. Also the author of the memoir, Church Boy: My Music & My Life, he lives in Texas with his wife and children.

Brian d’Arcy James is an American actor and musician whose on and off Broadway credits include Time Stands Still, Sweet Smell of Success, The Good Thief, Titanic, and Shrek. In 2009, his performance as Shrek in Shrek the Musical earned him his second Tony nomination. He is also an accomplished concert performer and has had the honor of performing for President Clinton and for President Obama and the First Family. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than eighty years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources, and digital products. The company’s products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than sixty countries, and translated into nearly two hundred languages.

Heather Alicia Simms is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, finalist for an Audie Award, and an actress. Her filmography includes Broken Flowers, Flutter Kick, Shock Act, Kingscounty, Head of State, Third Watch, and others. She also provided voice acting for the video game Red Dead Revolver.

Zachary Quinto grew up in Pittsburgh. He has had guest starring roles on such shows as Touched By an Angel, CSI, Six Feet Under, and Crossing Jordan. In 2004, he spent an entire season as computer analyst Adam Kaufman on FOX’s highly rated drama 24. He is best known to date for his role as Sylar, the super powered psychopathic serial killer on the NBC smash hit series Heroes. In May 2009, Quinto appeared as Spock in the blockbuster reboot of the Star Trek franchise, directed by J. J. Abrams. He lives in Los Angeles.