FELIX FRANKFURTER REMINISCES by Dr. Harlan B. Phillips

FELIX FRANKFURTER REMINISCES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Justice of the Supreme Court talks it over with his recorder, Dr. Phillips- and his reminiscences race through the years from 1896 to 1939. Even reading about him is exhausting. How could any man be doing so many things simultaneously and keep his lines untangled:- teaching, writing, counseling, advising in government, in politics, in law- and yet remaining clear-headed? He is generous in his praise to those he feels deserve praise, but when he stings, it burns deep- as does, for instance, with Morgenthau, Hoover and General Leonard Wood. His one great hero was not- as many suppose- Franklin D. Roosevelt, but Henry Stimson, and evidently he had good reason. The book is fast moving; events and those persons involved in the events are related with such gusto and eagerness to get the tale told and with such interest that he holds the reader tight in his grip. It makes little difference whether it is an important call from the President's office, or a bit of gossip about some distinguished lady, the pace is the same. The book is Frankfurther- and nothing else and no one else, - in speed, in spontaneity, in movement, in vigor. ""Cloak and dagger stuff"" and wire pulling behind the scenes, with which he is often associated, is cleared away. Whatever he did was direct and simple. When asked for a recommendation for a government post, a law office, a Judgeship, he made it- he gives himself away time and again; he thinks pretty well of himself for he appears never to have been mistaken in his judgment. While not a judge of the stature of a Holmes or Brandeis, a Cardoza or Stone, he is a tremendous personality and great influence for good in government and education of lawyers. His book is a must for his admirers- and his detractors will find much to give them pause.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1960
Publisher: Viking-Reynal