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Louis D. Brandeis: A Life | [Melvin I Urofsky]

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life

The first full-scale biography in 25 years of one of the most important and distinguished justices to sit on the Supreme Court - an audiobook that reveals Louis D. Brandeis the reformer, lawyer, and jurist, and Brandeis the man, in all of his complexity, passion, and wit. As a lawyer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he pioneered how modern law is practiced.
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Publisher's Summary

The first full-scale biography in 25 years of one of the most important and distinguished justices to sit on the Supreme Court – an audiobook that reveals Louis D. Brandeis the reformer, lawyer, and jurist, and Brandeis the man, in all of his complexity, passion, and wit.

As a lawyer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Brandeis pioneered how modern law is practiced. The author of the right to privacy, he led the way in creating the role of the lawyer as counselor and pioneered the idea of pro bono publico work by attorneys. Named to the Supreme Court, Brandeis, ranked as one of the nation’s leading progressive reformers. He invented savings-bank life insurance in Massachusetts and was a driving force in the development of the Federal Reserve Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the law establishing the Federal Trade Commission.

As an economist and moralist, Brandeis warned in 1914 that banking and stock brokering must be separate, and 20 years later, during the New Deal, his recommendation was finally enacted into law - only to be undone by Ronald Reagan, which led to the savings-and-loan crisis in the 1980s and the world financial collapse of 2008.

At age 58 Brandeis became the head of the American Zionist movement. During the next seven years, Brandeis transformed it from a marginal activity into 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 an electrifying story of his time.

©2009 Melvin Urofsky (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[A] monumental, authoritative and appreciative biography of the man Franklin D. Roosevelt called "Isaiah" . . . [Urofsky] demonstrates, deploying a Brandeisan array of factual material, why Brandeis still matters, nearly 70 years after his death." (Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review)

"A comprehensive biography of an American legal giant.... likely to become the standard biography.... An authoritative, impressive assessment of a man whose legal reasoning continues to influence our republic." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

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  •  
    J Yardley, PA, USA 07-11-10
    J Yardley, PA, USA 07-11-10
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    "a Listen to Louis D. Brandeis"

    a great listen of Our Supreme Court, Our Justices and the affect on our lives, a History from 1880 thru 1940 and today, World and American Jewish History, the integrated characteristic of a good, honest, and smart man along with his family who gave to us, gave to our President, to our Country - a patriot who was ethicial along with asking nothing in return.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-09-14
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "The book is utterly fascinating"

    One of my goals for 2014 is to read about the Supreme Court justices so here is my first one this year. The life of Louis B. Brandeis, as explored in Professor Urofsky’s remarkable book, had innumerable passages that amazed me. Urofsky’s prose along with the meticulous detail he put into the book help capture the sweep and the details of the life of Brandeis. More than half the book is about Brandeis’s pre-court years. Brandeis was fifty-nine years old when he was appointed to the court. Urofsky’s writes in a scholarly fashion packed with lots of detail about various legal cases. Brandeis is considered one of the most brilliant minds of all the Supreme Court Justices. He was a crusader against oversized institutions and eloquent proponent of free speech and privacy. When he was an attorney he was known as “The People’s Attorney” for taking cases for labor unions, utility consumers and women’s rights. The one item I felt that was over done by Urofsky was about Zionism. The detail on this could have been significantly reduces and resulted in a better book. Urofsky shows how Brandeis was a man of facts, ethics, principle and courage. I learned so much about the man and his times as well as the workings of the Supreme Court. I also felt that Urofsky could have balanced the book a bit more pointing out more of Brandeis’s weakness. Overall it is an excellent book I would recommend to anyone interested in the Justices of the Supreme Court or history. Sean Pratt did an excellent job reading this long (36 hours) book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Patricia Eastham, MA, United States 01-26-11
    Patricia Eastham, MA, United States 01-26-11
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    "The View from Halfway Through"

    I am in the middle of this book and finding it fairly interesting. I would like to comment though, that I find the narration slightly irritating. Th narrator tends to pause and emphasize key words in many sentences, which makes me feel like I am being spoon fed the concepts in this book. I would prefer a slightly faster and smoother narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark United States 01-22-13
    Mark United States 01-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Clearly the definitive Brandeis biography"

    Urofsky did his homework and I learned a lot about Brandies' reform work, Zionism, and jurisprudence. Urofsky applogizes too much for Brandeis' failure to consider issues of race. This is not a small flaw, but the critical reader can put this in perspective and still learn an enormous amount about the man and the period from this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Murfreesboro, TN, United States 06-10-12
    Amazon Customer Murfreesboro, TN, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2006
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    "The Legacy of Old Issah"

    Louis D. Brandeis did so much in life supreme court clerk top layer supreme court justice. he was man who set out to do what he felt was right and had the work ethic luck and yes money to pursue them.It was this attitude that made him an Icon of the "progressive era" please note I use quitation marks around the term only in deference to the historical debate around the term.

    Urofsky draws an excellent portrait of the man but is still willing to criticize him and his scolarahip leads the field in his chosen topic. if you dont want to take my word for it google him

    Sean Pratt is wonderful a rich and varied tone of voice throughout the work

    Maybe if more people read books about people like him people could rediscover the spirit of service and doing what is right that once defined America

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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