Louis D. Brandeis

  • by Melvin I Urofsky
  • Narrated by Sean Pratt
  • 35 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- J

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.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2010
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC