This short, readable biography focuses on Frankfurter's public life as Washington administrator, politically engaged law professor, and--most importantly--Supreme Court justice. Urofsky asks why Frankfurter, whom liberals thought would lead the Court, ultimately disappointed them. The answer he offers is Frankfurter's adherence to judicial restraint, a position he adopted in attacking the Court's invalidation of economic legislation. When the Court's focus shifted to scrutinizing laws affecting civil liberties, judicial restraint led Frankfurter to uphold the legislation and thus align himself with conservative forces on the Court. This biography breaks no new ground but offers a concise account of an important figure on the Supreme Court.-- G. Alan Tarr, Rutgers Univ., Camden, N.J.
This biography looks at Frankfurter's career as Supreme Court Justice in light of his previous work as a law professor and reformer, arguing that he failed to live up to his potential, and placing the blame squarely on his insistence on the conservative notion of judicial restraint. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)