By Prof William Lasser
A key determine within the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894-1983) used to be made an important architect of public coverage from the 1st days of FDR's presidency in the course of the early days of the chilly conflict. even supposing he stored a low public profile, Cohen's impact prolonged throughout quite a lot of family and overseas coverage tasks. during this biography, William Lasser bargains an account of Ben Cohen's lifestyles and profession, and an evaluation of his contribution to the starting place and improvement of recent American liberalism. the amount lines Cohen's contributions to household monetary coverage, his actions in the course of the struggle years in London and Washington, his carrier as counsellor to the kingdom division and member of the yankee delegation to the United countries after the warfare, and his position within the American Zionist flow.
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Extra resources for Benjamin V. Cohen: Architect of the New Deal
Though obviously a progressive in the tradition of his mentors—especially Pound, Mack, and Frankfurter—his political philosophy was still evolving. If he was motivated by a desire to serve the public, it was not to implement any particular social, political, or personal agenda, and except for his dislike of private practice he does not seem to have had strong feelings about what professional course to pursue. On a personal level, he remained lonely and isolated, especially from his peers. In many ways he resembled an awkward schoolboy whose intellect was developed far beyond his years but whose social skills and personal life were severely lacking.
Born in San Francisco in 1866, Mack spent most of his early life in Cincinnati, where Jews enjoyed full acceptance in the social, economic, and political life of the community. From Cincinnati Mack went directly to Harvard Law, where he ﬂourished under the tutelage of James Barr Ames, the leading law professor of his day. ’’ Mack spent three years studying in Berlin and Leipzig, then returned to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he became a practicing attorney, law professor, and local judge.
20 Unquestionably there was something of a father-son relationship between Frankfurter and Cohen, including, eventually, a strong degree of tension as Cohen began to break free from Frankfurter’s inﬂuence. The two men were also drawn to each other by their common roots in Judaism. Frankfurter was not a practicing Jew; he married a non-Jew and was a self-described agnostic. For much of his early life, he explicitly rejected Judaism and regarded it only as a barrier to be overcome. After graduating from Harvard, for example, Frankfurter set his sights on the prestigious law ﬁrm of Hornblower, Byrne, Miller and Potter.