Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day Three: Louis Brandeis

Welcome to Day Three of The 24 Days of Books! Today’s book is a humdinger of a biography. Louis D. Brandeis: A Life by Melvin I. Urofsky is the first full-scale biography of the distinguished Supreme Court justice to appear in twenty-five years. Named by Woodrow Wilson to the court in 1916, Brandeis had at least three full legal careers before that. Along with others, he developed the concept of the modern law firm, in which specialists manage different areas of the law. He was the author of the right to privacy, and pioneered the idea of pro bono publico work by attorneys. He still ranks today as one of the nation’s leading progressive reformers.

The child of intellectuals who fled Europe and settled in Kentucky, Brandeis attended Harvard Law School, and he soon became known as a reformer. In 1908, he defended an Oregon law that established maximum hours for women workers! Brandeis witnessed and suffered from anti-Semitism all of his life, and his experiences led him to become a powerful force in American Jewish affairs. This is a huge and galvanizing biography, a revelation of one man’s effect on American society and jurisprudence, and the electrifying story of his time.
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1 comment:

  1. We at Pantheon second this post, and are so glad to see it! I learned so much from this biography, and hope a lot of your readers will too. --Katie/Pantheon Books


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