Book Forum

Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas

March 18, 2003 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the author, Bruce Allen Murphy; with comments by James L. Swanson, Editor in Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review.

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Constitutional scholar Raoul Berger called him “the oddest duck to ever serve on the United States Supreme Court.” The second youngest and the longest serving justice in American history, William O. Douglas never got the job he really wanted: president of the United States. The most liberal member of the Warren Court, he proclaimed a constitutional right to privacy, protected the environment, opposed the Vietnam War, and became a hero to the left. Reviled by his enemies, he survived three impeachment attempts. Blending fact and fiction, he mythologized himself as celebrated law professor, New Deal chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Supreme Court Justice, mountain man, and humanitarian. Join us for a lively discussion of the legend, life, and legacy of William O. Douglas as Pulitzer Prize nominee Bruce Allen Murphy answers three questions about him: Who did he say he was? Who was he really? And why the difference?