Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, Marshall devotedly pursued civil rights for African Americans through legal channels. Though the style of this sympathetic account is undistinguished, Haskins successfully establishes the social context of Marshall's career, presenting a full outline of major influences and political developments that affected him, as well as details of his personal life. Most enlightening are chapters explaining the strong effect that Marshall's family and the schools he attended had on his attitudes; one doesn't usually think of an eventual Supreme Court justice as a youthful ""cut-up."" Occasionally, Haskins describes Marshall's thoughts and feelings without clear attribution (""He wondered why there were so many amendments to the Constitution about equal rights when he knew very well that black people did not enjoy equal rights in America""), but he does give credit for direct quotes. Coverage continues through Marshall's retirement, though it doesn't include his pungent comments on his successor. Bibliography; index.