University Press of Kansas Logo

Brandeis on Democracy

Edited by Philippa Strum

240 pages, 13 photographs, 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-0678-8, $29.95
Paper ISBN 978-0-7006-0679-5, $17.95

Book Cover ImagePhilippa Strum, our foremost authority on Louis Brandeis, gathers together for the first time a sterling selection from his most provocative and profound writings. A kind of "Portable Brandeis," this book provides a concise and readable guide to the thought of a truly great American.

Brandeis, the Ralph Nader of the early twentieth century, was known as the "People's Attorney" for his continuous crusades on behalf of the public and later for his outstanding service as a Supreme Court justice (1916–1938). The problems he confronted and wrote about could have leaped from today's newspapers: corruption in government, persistent poverty and inequality, conflicts between majority rule and minority rights, movements to limit free speech and the right to privacy, the social costs of excessive political or corporate power, the tension between Federal power and states' autonomy, the primacy of education, and the responsibility of citizens to their community.

These selections from Brandeis's speeches, letters to family and colleagues, newspaper interviews, articles, and judicial opinions offer us the essence of Brandeis's genius and allow us to appreciate the range and relevance of his ideas for America today.

"A most timely re-presentation that captures the full range and richness of Brandeis's writings in his own compelling words."--James MacGregor Burns, author of The American Experiment and Government by the People

"Philippa Strum puts her considerable skills to an impressive result, crafting a 'Brandeis Reader' that teaches the value of an unflinching commitment to democracy at the same time that it deepens our understanding of majority rights, freedom of expression, and privacy. Every American will benefit from reading--and then re-reading--this book."--Kermit L. Hall, author of The Magic Mirror: Law in American History

"A first rate book, remarkable in every way--the right documents, the right order, the right way to introduce them."--David W. Levy, coeditor of Half Brother, Half Son: The Letters of Louis D. Brandeis to Felix Frankfurter

"A super job of selecting and editing. This collection is far superior as representative of Brandeis's thought than any previous work."--Melvin I. Urofsky, author of A History of the American Constitution

PHILIPPA STRUM, professor of political science at the City University of New York–Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, is author of numerous books, including When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate, Brandeis: Beyond Progressivism, Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People, The Supreme Court and "Political Questions," and Presidential Power and American Democracy.

Facebook button