Douglas, William Orville
Among Douglas's published works are case books on business law and volumes on American law and civil rights, including We The Judges (1956) and A Living Bill of Rights (1961). An advocate of outdoor life and an enthusiastic traveler, Douglas wrote many books on these subjects, including Men and Mountains (1950), Russian Journey (1956), My Wilderness (1962), and The Three Hundred Year War: A Chronicle of Ecological Disaster (1972). He also wrote the autobiographies Go East Young Man (1974) and The Court Years (1980). Douglas was sometimes critized for various ethical lapses in his personal life, and the heroic image that emerges in his autobiographical works has been somewhat tarnished by discoveries that he had bent the truth on a number of details, e.g., his youthful health and social status, his military service, and his academic record. Nonetheless, his reputation as an outstanding jurist, staunch protector of privacy and civil rights, and defender of the environment remains intact. An anthology (1959) of Douglas's Supreme Court opinions was compiled by V. Countryman.
See biographies by J. F. Simon (1980) and B. A. Murphy (2003); H. Bosmajian, Justice Douglas and Freedom of Speech (1980); N. Feldman, Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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