The House of Truth: A Washington Political Salon and the Foundations of American Liberalism

ISBN : 9780190261986

Brad Snyder
688 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In 1912, a group of young and ambitious bureaucrats and thought-leaders, disillusioned by the progress of change in the Taft Administration, transformed the house they shared into the capital's foremost political salon. Self-mockingly referred to as the "House of Truth," the row house was the residence of the young Felix Frankfurter and the aspiring journalist Walter Lippmann, and their guests included Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Herbert Hoover, and sculptor Gutzon Borglum (later the creator of the Mount Rushmore monument). 
Weaving together the stories and intellectual trajectories of these figures Brad Snyder shows how the progress of their thinking about government and policy, shifted from a firm belief in progressivism—the belief that the government should protect its workers and regulate monopolies—into what we call liberalism, the belief that government can improve citizens' lives through legislation while still being prevented from abridging their civil liberties and eventually civil rights. This fascinating historical and biographical narrative reimagines and recreates the birth of the minimum wage, child-welfare laws, banking insurance, Social Security, and other programs that we now take for granted. In essence, the origins of the New Deal and American Liberalism can be traced to a row house in Dupont Circle.


Book I: Felix Goes to Washington
Chapter 1: The People Collector
Chapter 2: A Man Named Valentine
Chapter 3: The Call of the Moose
Chapter 4: Mephistopheles
Book II: Lippmann and the New Republic
Chapter 5: The Buddha
Chapter 6: The Soldier's Faith
Chapter 7: Temperamentally Unfit
Chapter 8: Death of a Pioneer
Chapter 9: Valentine Would Have Been Proud
Book III: The Real American Artist
Chapter 10: The First Wonder of the World
Chapter 11: The One-Man War
Chapter 12: A Better Way to Win the War
Chapter 13: The Inquiry
Chapter 14: The Spy for Zionism
Chapter 15: Its Soul Goes Marching On
Book IV: The Making of a "Liberal" Justice
Chapter 16: Fighting Faiths
Chapter 17: Touched With Fire
Chapter 18: Protestant of Nordic Stock
Chapter 19: Pictures in Their Heads
Chapter 20: Different Roads in the 1924 Campaign
Chapter 21: Eloquence May Set Fire to Reason
Chapter 22: A Ku Klux Klan Matter
Chapter 23: A National Cause Célèbre
Chapter 24: This World Cares More For Red Than Black
Chapter 25: I Want The Name Calvin Coolidge on that Monument
Chapter 26: The Happy Warrior
Chapter 27: Death Plucks My Ear
Chapter 28: The Boy Scout
Chapter 29: The Meeting of Two "Liberals"


Brad Snyder teaches law at the University of Wisconsin and is currently Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University.