Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet
by Jeffrey Rosen
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 Brandeis’s Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was one of the most farseeing constitutional philosophers 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 can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.
Mr. Rosen persuasively makes his case that recognizing Brandeis as an 'American prophet' 'seems more important today than ever.'"
--Adam Cohen, New York Times
"The brilliant, crusading Brandeis is the subject of Jeffrey Rosen’s excellent Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. The book, part of the Yale Jewish Lives series, is...a concise and sympathetic exploration of Brandeis’s main intellectual causes. It is well titled: Brandeis resembled an Old Testament prophet...with his highly articulated moral vision and true believer’s zeal. It is also well timed: Mr. Rosen persuasively makes his case that recognizing Brandeis as an 'American prophet' 'seems more important today than ever.'"
--Adam Cohen, New York Times
"As we debate today's issues of free speech and privacy, or wrestle with the powers of big government and corporations, we should be guided by the wisdom of Brandeis. In this insightful biography, Jeffrey Rosen shows why this visionary philosopher matters today."—Walter Isaacson, President, The Aspen Institute; Author, Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, and Steve Jobs
"Concise and compelling."--Thomas Healy, LA Review of Books
"An elegant and judicious look at the extraordinary jurist whose pioneering opinions on the sanctity of privacy and the dangers of bigness remain pertinent in the era of the internet and of institutions said to be too big to fail."—Geoffrey C. Ward, author of A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt
“Rosen's angle on Brandeis is crisp, fresh and incisive, with striking relevance to modern-day issues concerning (among other things) corporate power, the problems of big government, an economy at risk from huge financial institutions that are too big to fail, and the future of Israel as a democratic Jewish state.”—Akhil Reed Amar, author of America’s Constitution: A Biography
"In this fast-moving and easily digestible chronicle, Rosen pays ample tribute to Brandeis’s achievements, which included his judicial contributions, his political activism, and his promotion of Zionism. This is an ideal introduction to Brandeis’ life for general readers."--Booklist, Starred Review
Listen to an NPR Fresh Air interview with author Jeffrey Rosen. Click Here
Listen to Diane Rehm's interview with author Jeffrey Rosen and Linda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court. Click Here
To see an online exhibit celebrating the life of Justice Brandeis and highlighting pieces from the Louis D. Brandeis collection at Brandeis University, featuring Brandeis family photographs, letters, and other interactive and multimedia materials-- Click Here