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Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet


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Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet

Louis Brandeis
Louis Brandeis

Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet


By Jeffrey Rosen
Published June 1, 2016
256 pages

“Compelling” —LA Review of Books

A riveting new examination of the leading progressive justice of his era, published in the centennial year of his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court

According to Jeffrey Rosen, Louis D. Brandeis was “the Jewish Jefferson,” the greatest critic of what he called “the curse of bigness,” in business and government, since the author of the Declaration of Independence. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was the most farseeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. In addition to writing the most famous article on the right to privacy, he also wrote the most important Supreme Court opinions about free speech, freedom from government surveillance, and freedom of thought and opinion. And as the leader of the American Zionist movement, he convinced Woodrow Wilson and the British government to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Combining narrative biography with a passionate argument for why Brandeis matters today, Rosen explores what Brandeis, the Jeffersonian prophet, can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Rosen is President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, professor of law at the George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor of the Atlantic. His books include The Supreme Court, The Most Democratic Branch, The Naked Crowd, The Unwanted Gaze, and, as co-editor, Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.

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“Rosen persuasively makes his case that recognizing Brandeis as an ‘American prophet’ seems more important today than ever.” —The New York Times

“Fast-moving and easily digestible...This is an ideal introduction to Brandeis’ life for general readers.” —Booklist, Starred Review

“In this insightful biography, Jeffrey Rosen shows why this visionary philosopher matters today.” —Walter Isaacson, President, The Aspen Institute

“An elegant and judicious look at the extraordinary jurist” —Geoffrey C. Ward, author of A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt