“Carr situates the famous Bakke opinions in their full social, political, and rhetorical contexts. In particular, she skillfully presents the inventive force of Justice Powell’s opinion as the product of broader public discourse, the effect of amici briefs, and the internal deliberations of the justices. Legal and rhetorical scholars both will learn much from this detailed and elegantly written account.”
—Francis J. Mootz III, Dean and Professor of Law, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
“The Rhetorical Invention of Diversity is a superb rhetorical analysis of the Bakke decision. It meticulously situates Justice Powell’s efforts to rally a majority of his colleagues and the public to his position within the complex rhetorical currents and eddies of equal protection law, the civil rights movement, and the white backlash against affirmative action. Dr. Carr provides an important and richly textured case study of the process of ‘collaborative invention,’ whereby judges inevitably draw upon law, legal precedents, judicial philosophy, academic discourses, amicus briefs, and their understandings of history and culture to develop arguments that address specific cases and, in turn, shape thought and action involving the law.
―Clarke Rountree, Chair and Professor of Communication Arts, University of Alabama in Huntsville, author of Judging the Supreme Court: Constructions of Motives in Bush v. Gore, and editor of the book series Rhetoric, Law, and the Humanities
“M. Kelly Carr has written an engaging and important book that provides new perspective on the landmark Bakke decision. Drawing on a rich range of materials including not only the text of the decision but also amicus briefs, statements, internal memoranda, and marginalia, Carr encourages us to understand Bakke as an instance of public rhetoric developed through a collaborative inventional process drawing on social, political, and legal resources. The analysis is sharp and insightful, the writing is clear and accessible, and the interdependence between text and context is treated generatively and authoritatively. The significance of the Bakke decision cannot be overstated, and this book is an essential contribution to our appreciation of its continued relevance.”
—Robert E. Terrill, Professor of English and Director of Writing and Rhetoric Studies, Indiana University Bloomington, and author of Double-Consciousness and the Rhetoric of Barack Obama: The Price and Promise of Citizenship and Malcolm X: Inventing Radical Judgment