One hundred years ago — on Jan. 19, 1920 — the American Civil Liberties Union was formed by a group of visionaries, including Helen Keller and Jane Addams. To mark that anniversary, writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman commissioned short essays on 40 seminal issues, ranging from Brown vs. Board of Education to the pipeline protests at Standing Rock. Chabon and Waldman tapped a wide range of writers, including Louise Erdrich, Yaa Gyasi, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Marlon James, Lauren Groff, Salman Rushdie and Neil Gaiman.
These 40 essays have been collected in “Fight of the Century,” published by Avid Reader Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).
A local book launch, hosted by Birchbark Books, will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., with Erdrich, Brenda J. Child, Kao Kalia Yang and others. Music will be by Dan Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.
Tickets are $100, which includes a copy of the book, and the proceeds will go to support the Minnesota chapter of the ACLU.