by RICHARD KLUGER
823 pages. Knopf. $15.95.
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren, speaking for a unanimous Supreme Court, found for the plaintiff in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Brown was Linda, a cheerful, slightly plump, eleven-year-old Kansas schoolgirl who happened to be black. Halfway through his opinion, the Chief Justice asked a long, deceptively innocent question: "Does segregation of children in public schools, solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal, deprive the children of the mi nority group of equal education...