Benjamin V. Cohen: Architect of the New Deal by Prof William Lasser

By Prof William Lasser

A key determine within the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894-1983) was once made an important architect of public coverage from the 1st days of FDR's presidency during the early days of the chilly struggle. even supposing he stored a low public profile, Cohen's effect prolonged throughout quite a lot of family and overseas coverage projects. during this biography, William Lasser bargains an account of Ben Cohen's existence and profession, and an evaluate of his contribution to the beginning and improvement of recent American liberalism. the amount lines Cohen's contributions to family monetary coverage, his actions throughout the struggle years in London and Washington, his carrier as counsellor to the kingdom division and member of the yankee delegation to the United international locations after the warfare, and his function within the American Zionist move.

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I’d heard that they had never taken a Jew and wouldn’t take a Jew. I decided that that was the office I wanted to get into not for any reason of truculence, but I was very early infused with, had inculcated in me, a very profoundly wise attitude toward the whole fact that I was a Jew, the essence of which is that you should be a biped and walk on the two legs that man has. . ’’ 21 Frankfurter took a similar line in explaining his outrage over the controversy surrounding the nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court in 1916.

There is an increased sense of collective or social responsibility in regard to the problems that modern industrial civilisation raises. . Therefore, I think that the law which deals with these problems is one of the most important branches of the law; and one that requires the most painstaking consideration and the exactest kind of thinking. . [T]here are still many unsolved problems and new problems consistently arise. 18 The charismatic young professor quickly attracted the very best students, who clung to him as disciples.

Finally, he opted for an administrative arrangement that stressed ‘‘flexibility and simplicity,’’ choosing to enlarge the powers of the federal district courts of admiralty and their appointed commissioners rather than creating a separate federal commission. Again, he relied on the views of those with practical experience: ‘‘I found satisfaction expressed with 6581 Lasser / BENJAMIN V. ’’ 31 Cohen’s position at the Shipping Board had given him valuable practical experience, but the difficult decision of what to do next—postponed by the war emergency—still loomed.

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