Strum supplements her much-praised biography, Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People , with a brief, insightful analysis of the great lawyer and judge's political thought. The 85-year-old Brandeis died in 1941. Though New Dealers saw his opposition to large institutions as nostalgic and naive, Strum suggests that Brandeis's pragmatic approach to social problems remains relevant. She sketches his evolution from economic conservatism to egalitarianism, showing how his experiences--investigating crooked insurance companies in Massachusetts, analyzing the conditions that led to violence in the Homestead steel strike in 1892, learning about the communal Jewish kibbutzim in Palestine, introducing the sociological "Brandeis brief" to Supreme Court advocacy--shaped his thought. Before he joined the Supreme Court, on which he served between 1916 and 1939, Brandies argued in a speech that the Constitution's right to life implied a minimal level of freedom from want; as a justice, the forward-looking Brandeis emphasized the importance of individual rights of speech and privacy. Strum concludes that, since Brandeis's thought was derived from "the American experiences of industrialization," his ideas mainly addressed economics and that he was less concerned with issues of sexism and racism.
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"If there are any who doubt that Louis Brandeis is one of the truly great Americans of this century, let them read this book. Strum has brilliantly explicated Brandeis's ideas to show their applicability not only to his times, but to ours as well."--Melvin I. Urofsky, author of A March of Liberty and coeditor (with David W. Levy) of Half Brother, Half Son: The Letters of Louis D. Brandeis to Felix Frankfurter
"Strum has mastered virtually all of the relevant materials relating to the thought of this central figure. She has combined these materials with her own marvelous insight and penetrating intelligence. As an exposition of the evolution of Brandeis's ideas, there is nothing else in print that even comes close to equaling this book."--David W. Levy, author of The Life and Thought of Herbert Croly
"The most practical and sophisticated of all American judges has been Louis Brandeis. This gem of a book is the best short study of the totality of his life, thought, and work, on and off the bench."--Norman Dorsen, professor of law, New York University, and President, American Civil Liberties Union 1976-1991
"Philippa Strum has here produced a wonderful, readable, and politically meaningful discussion of the ideas of one of America's great thinkers on issues of politics and economics--and on the interrelation of politics and economics."--H. N. Hirsch, author of The Enigma of Felix Frankfurter and A Theory of Liberty: The Constitution and Minorities
"Concise and insightful. Strum shows how Brandeis's ideas about industrial organization, Zionism, and the rights and duties of citizenship derived from his experiences as a lawyer, and why we should locate Brandeis in the tradition of American pragmatism."--Mark Tushnet, author of Red, White, and Blue: A Critical Analysis of Constitutional Law --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews