Download Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases Audiobook

Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases Audiobook, by Michael Chabon Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Genuinely brave and human.”

    New York Times on A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman

  • “The depth of Chabon’s thought, his sharp language, his inventiveness, and his ambition make this a novel of towering achievement.”

    New York Times Book Review on The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

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About the Author

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.

About the Narrators

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.

David Birney is an American actor and director whose career performances include both contemporary and classical roles in theater, film and television. He has recorded numerous audiobook bestsellers, including works by Dean Koontz, Paul Theroux, Annie Dillard, Thomas Kenneally, and Orson Scott Card. His reading of Julie Salomon’s The Christmas Tree was honored with the prestigious Audie Award and has also been the recipient of several AudioFile Earphone Awards.

Ann Patchett is the author of several novels and books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novels Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars have been made into major motion pictures. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She has written for many publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.

Geraldine Brooks is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, Year of Wonders, and People of the Book and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. She was previously a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Blair Underwood is an author and award-winning actor, director, and producer. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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.

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.