Louis, Louis

by Vault Law Editors | October 13, 2009

  • My Vault

Alan Dershowitz’s review of a new Louis Brandeis biography declares: “All in all, [Brandeis] may well qualify as the greatest legal personage in American history.”  The term “legal personage” is used advisedly: Brandeis is the only name which would appear on the short lists of the greatest American lawyers and the greatest American judges.  Moreover:

“He would also be included on a list of America’s most important social reformers and innovators, having developed savings bank life insurance and new ways of practicing law. He was the co-author of what may well be the single most influential law review article in history — on the right to privacy. And he was the most significant American in helping to establish the state of Israel."

And yet, according to a new book, “The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting It Wrong,” this amazing record of accomplishment is somewhat sullied by the fact that “[i]t was Brandeis who brought Taylor national and international acclaim.”  This “Taylor” is F.W. Taylor, the founding father of “scientific management” (aka “Taylorism”), today known to us as management consulting.  If it wasn’t clear from the title, Stewart’s book aims to debunk the practice of management consulting (e.g., “it isn’t a science, it’s a party trick”), about which Louis Brandeis once declared “Of all the social and economic movements with which I have been connected, none seems to me to be equal to this in its importance and hopefulness … Efficiency is the hope of democracy.”  Stewart acknowledges that although Brandeis was not a man easily duped, he did fail to grasp that, from the very beginning, “fudging, lying, and inflating are the [management consulting] profession’s stock-in-trade.”

                                                                                 -posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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