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First-time author John Ferren received the Langum Project for Historical Literature’s book prize for “Salt of the Earth, Conscience of the Court,” about Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge. The book, published by the University of North Carolina Press last year, chronicles the life and work of Justice Rutledge, who served on the court from 1943 to 1949. In naming the prize, the project’s founder, David Langum Sr., said, “Ferren gives us a richly textured description and nuanced evaluation of Rutledge’s entire life, his personal life and career as a legal academic, as well as his judicial years.” Ferren was a judge on the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for 18 years. After he retired, he was looking for something to do and decided to research Rutledge. Of Rutledge, Ferren says, “It was an absolute thrill to write about a man who was the great balance wheel on the court, who had a settling and grounding influence that is still felt today.” The book prize is given to a book “rooted in sound scholarship, accessible to the educated general reader and with themes that touch upon matters of general concern to the American public, past or present.”

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