From the Diaries of Felix Frankfurter Hardcover – by Felix Frankfurter (Author), Joseph P. Lash (Editor, Contributor)
Great insights into a crucial period of world history
“Joe Lash’s introductory essay is beautifully written. I regard it as the best thing anyone has thus far done on Felix Frankfurter. For the legal profession it should be more interesting than a full biography.” ―Herbert Wechsler, Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, Columbia Law School
These diaries present fragments from a remarkable life: the immigrant boy who became a counselor to presidents and a shaping force in the evolution of our Constitution into a twentieth-century instrument. As Henry L. Stimson noted, Felix Frankfurter had a talent “for keeping in touch with the center of things.” The life of his times at the level of decision and policy, the human tensions elicited by the possession of power pulse through the pages of his diaries. There are fascinating glimpses, from the inside, of the Taft administration, of Roosevelt’s Washington during World War II, and of the early years of the Truman presidency.
These diaries present fragments from a remarkable life: the immigrant boy who became a counselor to presidents and a shaping force in the evolution of our Constitution into a twentieth century instrument.
The 1930s and 1940s were probably the two most important decades of recent world history. The Depression and WWII ended the European empires, established Communism in multiple countries, and saw the USA become the world's greatest power. It also saw the growth of the US federal government in both size and scope, coming to the aid of both businesses and people. Much has been written about the actions within the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government during this time. Less so of the Judicial branch, which is unfortunate as many members of the US Supreme Court during this time would influence the members of the subsequent Warren and Burgher courts. This book is a compendium of the diaries of one Court Justice from this time, Felix Frankfurter. Being only the second Jewish member of the Court after Louis Brandeis, his documented thoughts are quite important as it was WWII that led to the establishment of Israel, which involved many members of the US government.
The book is written in chapters, each one covering a specific time frame of Frankfurter's career in law, both before and during his stay on the US Supreme Court. Each chapter consists of diary entries from specific days. The entries cover everything from his insight on certain cases, his opinions of fellow Court members, recollections of meetings with over US government leaders, and commentaries of world events. The writing style is easy to read, quite modern, making the book easy to read and understand. He also cites a lot of other published works from the time, as many of influential and powerful people of the time were themselves prolific writers, such as Walter Lippman, Harold Ickes, Joseph Pulitzer, Arthur Krock, etc.. Overall, a good read of history.
About the Author
Joseph P. Lash (1909–1987) was secretary and confidant to Eleanor Roosevelt and the author of numerous acclaimed books.
Publisher: Norton; 1st edition (January 1, 1975)
Hardcover: 366 pages
Item Weight: 1.72 pounds (780 g)
Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 3,5 cm