Blog Index

Reviews of Ellery's Protest

"Solomon's fascinating and sweeping history of the legal fight over mandatory school prayers is compelling, judicious, and elegantly written. Fabulous!"

-David Rudenstine, Dean, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

"Stephen Solomon's Ellery's Protest provides a brilliant analysis of a major Supreme Court decision that redefined the relationship between church and state almost a half century ago. This study goes well beyond simply offering a gripping account of the course of litigation that brought before the Justices the contentious issue of prayer and Bible reading in public schools, though the thoroughness of that account would merit careful reading by itself. Especially impressive is the author's deep probing of hitherto neglected sources, and invaluable primary material including extensive direct contact with the plaintiff, the 'Ellery' of the book's title. Finally, and perhaps most impressive, is Solomon's careful placement of the issue and the case in a far broader context that is as critical to national life and policy today as it was four and a half decades ago when the high Court first tackled these questions."

-Robert O'Neil, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

"Ideally we would have a book like this for every such landmark case, because there is 'knowing' a case, and then there is knowing the full scope of a case. Ellery's Protest gives us the complete story, in fluid prose and with original archival and interview data."  Read the review

-Brian Pinaire, Lehigh University, Law & Politics Book Review

"...a richly detailed yet fast-moving account of the Supreme Court's first decisions on school-sponsored prayer. Ideal for the general reader and with new information for the expert."

-Douglas Laycock, Professor of Law, University of Michigan School of Law

Ellery's Protest is "an analysis, no—a brilliant analysis, of an historically important and precedent setting legal decision...There is deep meaning and insight in pages of this book. I recommend Ellery's Protest to anyone who seeks knowledge and illumination. I certainly benefited from reading it. I am not exaggerating by stating that page after page provided an education on some aspect of America's secular roots which were unknown to me...Books like Ellery's Protest push back the darkness."  Read the review

-Mojoey, Deep Thoughts Blog

"This is a great book bringing a vast subject into focus as its one particular court case plays out. . . .The history of that decision, and the history of church and state issues that led up to it, is given here with clarity and comprehensiveness; anyone interested in issues of church and state will find this book a rich resource."

-Rob Hardy, Commercial Dispatch (Columbus, MS)

"A riveting telling of the backlash that Ellery's quiet protest caused and so much more... What makes this work eminently fascinating, though, is the inclusion of a comprehensive history directly entangled with our own that hows the ills of government sanctioned religious practices... All of these threads are woven expertly together to tell a compellling story of the ushering in of the religious animosity that is so much a part of the national debate today. What makes this work even more engrossing, though, is its accessibility." Read the review

-Kyle E. Moore, Comments From Left Field blog

"The book is a fascinating account of both Ellery's early life and the legal developments of the case as it wound its way to the Supreme Court."

-Don Byrd, Blog From The Capital

"...Mr. Solomon takes the reader inside the chambers of the Supreme Court, into the homes of the beleaguered litigants, and through the complexities of one of the most contested issues not just of our time, but in American history. He fleshes out the colorful characters, like Judge John Biggs of the Third Circuit, whose ruling in the Schempp case was upheld by the Supreme Court. He also reveals the inner workings of the secretive high court, told with a flair more typical of a spy novel... Ellery's Protest is as entertaining as it is informative."

-Joan Ruddiman, The Princeton Packet

"Stephen D. Solomon's book Ellery's Protest is one of the very best books I have read on the subject of separation of church and state. It deals in great and fascinating detail not only with the Schempp case but with the long history of religion in the public schools from Colonial times to our own day. . . . He has the attributes of painstaking research as well as fine storytelling. Every one of the charcters in Ellery's Protest is vividly described." Read the review

-Rabbi Morris B. Margolies, Kansas City Jewish Chronicle