HARLAN FISKE STONE: Pillar of the Law by Alpheus Thomas Mason
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HARLAN FISKE STONE: Pillar of the Law

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One of the memorable biographies of our time was Mason's A Free Man's Life, now reissued in a 100th anniversary edition at $7.50. In this new work, a magnificent biography of another learned, courageous and independent jurist, Mason has measured up to his own peak standard. We see Stone grow from a country lad of the 19th century to the highest judicial post in the land. We see him as teacher of the law, practitioner, enforcing legal officer, Chief Justice. In all aspects he revealed courage, wisdom and vision. With Thomas we follow the growing intellectual power, the personal charm of the man -- and the story as it is told never flags in charm and interest. Stone was hewn from the granite of New England, and displayed those finer characteristics. Mason brings to life in this work not only Stone, but Holmes, Brandeis, Hughes, Cardozo, Hand, Hoover, F.D.R. and other greats of a memorable era. The biography is not only the story of Stone, but a history of the Supreme Court in action. Great cases come alive:- the NRA Case (Schechter): the AAA Case, the Gold Clause, Case and others. We live again the great Court Packing Debate. We learn why the justices differed and when, Stone was able to get along even with McReynolds, a miraculous feat for a known liberal. Questions in the public mind are answered and the work as a whole enobles the profession of the law. But not only lawyers will read this; the sociologist, the economist, the teacher will delight is it. Here is a definitive life of a legal scholar, a noble man, a forthright Justice. And beautifully written.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1956
Publisher: Viking