This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which namely is to follow Thurgood Marshall from his civil rights practice in New York to Kenya under colonial rule. This story cannot be found in traditional sources for an American biography. The Bill of Rights that Marshall wrote for Kenya, for example, is not in any American archive, but in British colonial records in England. Marshall's African journey is not a triumphalist story of American law solving all problems. The legal ideas Marshall offered often were not American ones. And legal solutions did not create a legal edifice that would last for all time. Instead law could serve as a way station, giving political actors a way to talk to each other, a way to keep working together when things were hard.
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