Letters of Louis D. Brandeis: Volume III, 1913-1915

Progressive and Zionist

By Louis D. Brandeis
Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky & David W. Levy

Subjects: Urban And Regional Planning
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781438422596, 750 pages, June 1973
Hardcover : 9780873952316, 750 pages, June 1973
Ebook (EPUB) - Unavailable

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Table of contents



Note on Volume III

Chronology, 1913-1915

Key to Letter Source Citations

Editorial Markings

Letters of Louis D. Brandeis, 1913-1915



With the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912, Louis D. Brandeis emerged as the undisputed intellectual leader of those reformers who were trying to recreate a democratic society free from the economic and political depradations of monopolistic enterprise. But now these reformers had a champion in the White House, and direct access to him through one of his most trusted advisers. In this volume we see what was probably the high point of progressive reform—the first three years of the Wilson Administration. During these years Brandeis was considered for a Cabinet position, consulted frequently on matters of patronage, and called in at key junctures to determine policy.

But he still kept up his many obligations to different reform groups: arguing cases before the Supreme Court, acting as public counsel in rate hearings, writing Other People's Money, one of the key exposés of the era, as well as advising his good friend Robert M. LaFollette and other reform leaders.

Yet at the height of his career as a reformer, Brandeis suddenly took on another heavy obligation, the leadership of the American Zionist movement, and helped marshal Jews in this country to aid their brethren in war-ravaged Europe and Palestine. Carrying over his democratic ideals, he challenged the established American Jewish aristocracy in the Congress movement, in order to broaden the base of Jewish participation in important issues. At the end of 1915, Brandeis was an important figure not only in domestic reform and Jewish affairs, but on the international scene as well. And although no one knew it at the time, he stood at the brink of nomination to the nation's highest court.

As in the earlier volumes, these letters indicate the inner workings of American reform, and they also show how American Zionism, under the leadership of Brandeis and his lieutenants, assumed those characteristics that would make it a unique and powerful instrument in world politics.