Brandeis: A Free Man’s Life
Alpheus Thomas Mason
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“There can be no question that [Brandeis: A Free Man’s Life] is a triumph of research and organization, clear, precise and comprehensive. Mr. Mason has quoted copiously from Brandeis’ speeches, letters and judicial opinions. He has delved deeply into corporation finances and legal technicalities. One could not reasonably ask for more information about Brandeis than Mr. Mason has assembled...” — Orville Prescott, The New York Times
“Professor Mason has written more than an authoritative record and interpretation of what he calls in his suggestive subtitle ‘A Free Man’s Life.’ This stimulating, highly readable book is also a chronicle of the processes of American democracy at work. This is a biography with a larger meaning — on all counts, it deserves a wide audience.” — Harvey Bresler, The New York Times
“In a great biography the author has done full justice to a great man — and given it a symbolism that makes it virtually a composite of American social history during a half century. Rooted in years of study, evidenced by previous publications on Brandeis, the biographer reveals to his readers Louis Brandeis, the people’s lawyer who became a Justice of the Supreme Court. He has done a magnificent job, covering every phase of his life, with main focus on his professional and public service, but with enough of his personal life, enough of his friends — and his enemies — and the personalities who crossed his path, enough of anecdote and minor incident, to give the book- and its subject — lasting vitality.” — Kirkus Reviews
“[Brandeis’] life, as Professor Mason recounts it, was an unending series of causes and campaigns. He threw himself into them with gusto. He said of himself that he ‘would rather fight than eat.’... [Brandeis] was indeed a great man, as Mr. Mason’s biography makes clear. It is primarily a public and political biography; the intimate man is implied rather than described. But Professor Mason within the limits he has set has done a splendid job of research; he has told the story in great detail with care, precision, and detachment... He has done well to quote copiously from Brandeis who spoke and wrote with verve and with an eye to education and action.” — Louis L. Jaffe, University of Chicago Law Review
“[A] superior, full-length biography... [Brandeis] was the arch foe of monopoly in industry, stood out against the closed shop in labor relations, and had no faith in socialism. Always, as Professor Mason stresses again and again, his method was to achieve complete mastery of the facts in relation to any problem in which he became interested and then to promote what he deemed to be sound solutions, enlisting aid in every conceivable quarter; keeping up a stream of advocacy and comment, signed and unsigned; stimulating others to do likewise; and giving of his substance as well as of his time and energy to almost every cause he attacked-leaving nothing to chance and no stone unturned. All this as a private citizen, while practicing law in the city of Boston... All hail... to Professor Mason for presenting us with this full length history of the embodiment of a living ideal. Into it have gone exhaustive study of the correspondence and documents and firsthand knowledge of the subject. This book will undoubtedly be widely read, as it should be; and as it is read, the Brandeis influence will be strengthened and prolonged in American life. Such a work is a major contribution to society, as well as a source of unending pleasure to the reader.” — Ralph F. Fuchs, Texas Law Review