Washington Law Review


Stimson Bullitt


In 1916, Felix Frankfurter introduced Harold Laski to Justice Holmes. An aristocratic Yankee, 75, and an upstart, middle-class Englishman just 23, whose father was in trade, they made friends and wrote to each other for 18 ½ years, until Holmes's death. One looked like Hitler, the other like Uncle Sam. They had in common: an interest in law, philosophy and literature; egotism; deep learning; a concern for liberty. Each was familiar with the thought and leading thinkers of the other's country. Each was happily married to a woman older than himself. Each had had trouble with his father. Former Brandeis clerk David Riesman would call both "inner directed." The letters contain accounts of daily life, comments on reading and adventures among ideas. They are intellectual and warm. One man wrote to the son he never had, the other to the father he preferred. They did not hide their basic differences about what is and does the public good.

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