Benjamin V. Cohen: Architect of the New Deal

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Political Science - 406 pages
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A key figure in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894–1983) was a major architect of public policy from the first days of FDR’s presidency through the early days of the Cold War. Although he kept a low public profile, Cohen’s influence extended across a wide range of domestic and foreign policy initiatives. In this biography, William Lasser offers the first account of Ben Cohen’s life and career, and an assessment of his contribution to the origin and development of modern American liberalism.

Cohen’s life provides an extraordinary lens through which to view the development of the evolving political philosophy of the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies. A brilliant lawyer noted for his good judgment and experience, Cohen was a leading member of FDR’s “Brain Trust,” developing ideas, drafting legislation, lobbying within the administration and in Congress, and defending the New Deal in court. The book traces his contributions to domestic financial policy, his activities during the war years in London and Washington, his service as counselor to the State Department and member of the American delegation to the United Nations after the war, and his role in the American Zionist movement. From Cohen’s life and work, Lasser draws important insights into the development of the New Deal and the evolution of postwar liberalism.

 

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BENJAMIN V. COHEN: Architect of the New Deal

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A painstakingly documented life of an unsung hero—or villain, depending on your point of view—in the making of the liberal state.Lasser (Political Science/Clemson Univ.) chronicles the life and work ... Read full review

Benjamin V. Cohen: architect of the New Deal

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hardly a household name, Benjamin Victor Cohen (1894-1983) was first an associate of Justice Louis Brandeis and then one of Felix Frankfurter's "Happy Hotdogs" who played a major role in FDR's New ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Origins
7
Zionist Attorney
25
Lawyer and Investor
47
Newcomer toWashington The Securities Act of 1933
65
Into the Maelstrom The Securities Exchange Act of 1934
86
The Public Utility Holding Company Act
108
At the Center of Power
130
Destroyers for Bases
216
London
232
Illustrations follow page 254
254
World War II
255
Diplomat
279
Elder Statesman
302
Benjamin V Cohen Architect of the New Deal
318
Abbreviations in Notes
339

The CourtPacking Plan
150
Domestic Politics 19371938
182
Waiting for theWar
202
Notes
341
Index
369
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

WILLIAM LASSER, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, is a graduate of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law and American politics, including The Limits of Judicial Power: The Supreme Court in American Politics (University of North Carolina Press); Benjamin V. Cohen and the Spirit of the New Deal (Yale University Press); "The Supreme Court and the Political Process," in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States; and "Was There a Switch in Time: Justice Roberts and the Constitutional Revolution of 1937" (Texas Law Review). He has also written extensively for the Atlanta Constitution and other newspapers, and his opinions have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report, and the National Law Journal. He has appeared on radio talk shows and on local and cable television. Lasser has taught courses in constitutional law and American government for the past 25 years, and in 1993 was the recipient of Clemson's Master Teacher Award.

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