Reviews for Democratic Justice:

“It is a really good example of how to effectively use archival sources. Frankfurter has been pictured by some historians as having doubts about declaring racial segregation in the public schools invalid and thus being a ‘holdout’ for the court’s eventual embrace of unanimity in Brown and the companion cases. Snyder’s use of Frankfurter’s correspondence with other justices and with his close associates, as well as other papers of the justices, convincingly demonstrates that from the outset, Frankfurter was a strong supporter of desegregating public schools.”

— Prof. G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law (scroll down)

“I can’t recommend too highly Georgetown law professor Brad Snyder’s massive (979 pp.) biography of Felix Frankfurter.”

— Prof. Robert Gordon, Stanford Lawyer

“In capturing Frankfurter, Snyder has written a serious history of ideas, law, and politics leavened by a touch of soap opera. This is a book to be enjoyed as well as admired.”

— Prof. Christopher W. Schmidt, Jotwell

“Remarkably, Frankfurter’s reward for forging today’s progressive liberal establishment is to be dismissed by many progressives as a conservative—too wedded to judicial modesty, too mindful of national security, too convinced of the essential goodness of America. I doubt he would recognize his descendants, but Brad Snyder’s rich portrait leaves them no excuse for failing to understand him in all his complexity.”

— Andrew C. McCarthy, The New Criterion

“Powerhouse portrait . . . An exemplary biography of a true public servant.”

— Kirkus (starred review)

“This is the definitive biography of a towering judicial figure.”

— Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“A new biography of Justice Felix Frankfurter by @bradsnyderprof explores some of the reasons the Supreme Court has so often been on ‘the wrong side of progress and history.'”

— Larry Tribe

“An amazing, riveting, eye-opening book: Democratic Justice. All about Felix Frankfurter and his world. Almost unimaginably relevant to current debates, especially those involving the Supreme Court.”

— Cass Sunstein

“Impressive….One of the many virtues of Snyder’s book is the wealth of detailed evidence he provides for each of his assertions.” (paywall)

— Judge Jed Rakoff, New York Review of Books

“In a legal career that included more than two decades on the U.S. Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter warned fellow liberals that political battles should not be settled in courtrooms. With an arch-conservative high court now firmly in place, this comprehensive biography asks: Was he right all along?”

— New York Times Editors’ Choice

“Mr. Snyder’s book is a well-timed defense of Frankfurter’s hands-off approach to judicial review at the Supreme Court, and more broadly tells the stirring chronicle of Frankfurter’s life as a supremely engaged citizen of the United States.”

— Charles S. Dameron, Wall Street Journal

“Snyder is well-equipped to write [Frankfurter’s] first full-length biography . . . Snyder tells the story in a generally neutral narrative voice but with great detail. . . . The book’s accounts of Frankfurter’s personal experiences of anti-semitism are memorable.”

— Jeffrey Rosen, New York Times

“comprehensive, compelling, and generally admiring biography … arrives at a moment when the justice’s stock may, in some quarters, seem poised for a rebound.”

— Justin Driver in The Atlantic

“the first work to grapple with his life and legacy in full”

— John Fabian Witt in The New Republic

“. . . I think it’s going to be big. I’m interested in Frankfurter and the New Deal and all that, but everyone is going to be talking about what’s the proper composition of the Supreme Court, should it be politicized? Some say of course it is, some people say no, the Supreme Court justices should be like Felix Frankfurter, [who was] to some extent a liberal but above it all.”

— John R. MacArthur, publisher, Harper’s Magazine

“A monumental account of a life in public service, Democratic Justice is welcome reading for our troubled time.”

— New York Journal of Books

“a sweeping, searching and scintillating biography of Frankfurter”

— Glenn C. Altschuler in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Exhaustively researched, gracefully written, persuasively argued, and historically grounded, [Democratic Justice] enriches our understanding of American democracy, politics, jurisprudence, and the liberal establishment.… One comes away from a reading of this book with a profound and renewed admiration for Felix Frankfurter and the obligation to reexamine his steadfast adherence to what he believed to be the limited role of an appointed judiciary in a liberal democracy.”
― David Nasaw, author of The Last Million and The Patriarch

“A magnificent and indeed definitive biography of a vitally important but highly imperfect Justice.” 

— David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Bearing the Cross and Liberty and Sexuality

“For years people interested in constitutional law and US history have missed a comprehensive biography of Felix Frankfurter, in his time the most influential figure in constitutional law and an important contributor to Progressive thought and politics. Finally we have one. Brad Snyder gives us a balanced view of Frankfurter’s life and work, connecting them to broader currents in US law, politics, and thought. With this work we can see how Frankfurter contributed to twentieth century constitutionalism—and what the limitations of his contribution were. This is a major achievement that deserves to be widely read.”

— Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law Emeritus, Harvard Law School

“The conventional wisdom is that Felix Frankfurter was a liberal lawyer who became—surprisingly—a conservative justice. Brad Snyder’s spellbinding biography brilliantly revises this understanding to present Frankfurter as a champion of democracy in his day—and for our own as well.”

— Laura Kalman, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Felix Frankfurter was one of the most significant figures of the American twentieth century. For more than fifty years, he knew everybody and he was part of everything; he was central in creating the society we live in now. Brad Snyder has given this protean man the major biography he has long deserved. Democratic Justice is vivid, meticulous, and irresistibly absorbing.”

— Nicholas Lemann, Pulitzer-Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus, Columbia Journalism School, and author of Transaction Man

Reviews for The House of Truth:

One of the best history books of the month of February.

— Amazon

“Snyder’s account usefully maps a hinge moment in American political history.”

— Franklin Foer, The Atlantic

“Brad Snyder . . . has used their common living quarters and intimate fellowship as an organizing principle for a lengthy,
lively and exhaustively researched study of their impact on American liberalism from 1912 to 1934.”

— Lewis L. Gould, The Wall Street Journal 

“An accomplished, authoritative history of American liberalism.”

Kirkus Reviews

Advance reviews for The House of Truth:

“For the first time, we have the real story of this incredible little galaxy that included such disparate figures as Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, and Gutzon Borglum, and reached out to cultivate and invigorate the aged Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes–with profound and lasting influence on the course of American politics. Brad Snyder tells this story with verve and insight. This is a major work in the history of this nation’s public life.”

— John Milton Cooper, Jr., author of Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

“With his deep understanding of history and the law, Brad Snyder has crafted a notably illuminating and refreshing book. Deeply researched and finely written, The House of Truth brings to life a group of brilliant friends whose passion for justice helped shape what became known as the American Century.”

— David Maraniss, author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

“This dazzling book provokes reconsideration of the Progressive era, legal reform and modern American liberalism. I know of no other work that so ably transports its readers into the packed and exciting years of the early twentieth century.”

— Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Reviews of A Well-Paid Slave:

“Justice Blackmun’s Lengthy Ode to Baseball,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2006

“The Player Who Hit One Out of the Park,” Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2006

“Fielders’ Choice,” New York Times Book Review, Oct. 8, 2006

“Before You Could Say Jackie Robinson,” New York Times Book Review, May 25, 2003 (paywall)


“The Supreme Court Has Too Much Power,”, July 27, 2022

“The Supreme Court’s Red Herring Argument,”, July 9, 2022

“How Liberals Should Rethink Their Views of the Supreme Court,”, June 21, 2022

The Washington Salon That Saved Liberalism Politico, Feb. 5, 2017

“Was Louis D. Brandeis ‘the Jewish Jefferson’?” Washington Post, June 10, 2016

“Jackie Robinson Myth-Busting Gone Wrong,” Slate, Apr. 15, 2016


Green Bag, 2022 Exemplary Legal Writing

“Trump Shaped the Supreme Court – Now He Wants His Victory,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 25, 2024

“Six great books about baseball,” The Economist, Mar. 27, 2024

“BIO Podcast #161 – Brad Snyder,” Biographers International Organization, Jan. 19, 2024

Elena Kagan, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Nov. 7, 2023

“Challenge to Antitrust Exemption Nears Juncture” The Athletic, Oct. 26, 2023

“Interview: Brad Snyder,” High School SCOTUS, June 17, 2023

“ ‘The Most Dangerous Man’ in Supreme Court History,” Democracy Nerd podcast, June 8, 2023

Labor Relations in Major League Baseball: Past, Present, and Future,” LERA, May 4, 2023

Finalist, David J. Langum, Sr. Prize for American Legal History , Apr. 26, 2023

“Legal Scholars Brad Snyder and Jeffrey Rosen in Conversation,” Congregation Beth El, Apr. 24, 2023

“Brad Snyder on His Book Democratic Justice,” Massachusetts Historical Society, Jan. 9, 2023

“Casting New Light on Justice Frankfurter’s Legacy,” Georgetown University Law Center, Dec. 14, 2022

SABRCast with Rob Neyer, Oct. 25, 2022

Brian Lamb, Booknotes+ Podcast, Oct. 18, 2022

Interview with Laura Kalman, Supreme Court Historical Society, Oct. 17, 2022

“Zelig on the Court,” Part II, Amarica’s Constitution podcast, Oct. 12, 2022

“The History and Power of the Supreme Court Portrait,” New York Times, Oct. 7, 2022

“Zelig on the Court,” Part I, Amarica’s Constitution podcast, Oct. 5, 2022

“What the impact of the minor league unionization vote?” Chicago Tribune, Aug. 31, 2022

“Selected by NYC literary mavens, here are the best books of fall 2022,” Gothamist, Aug. 24, 2022

“Nonfiction Views,” DailyKos, Aug. 23, 2022

“20 new books to bite into this week,” LitHub, Aug. 23, 2022

“PW Picks: Books of the Week,” Publishers Weekly, Aug. 22, 2022

“After Jackie,” History Channel, June 18, 2022

“History of Reproductive Rights,” CSPAN, June 1, 2022

“Baseball Gets a Mixed Bag Labor Agreement to Save the 2022 Season,” Bloomberg Law, Mar. 11, 2022

“Labor Dispute Upends MLB Season: Baseball Lockout Explained,” Bloomberg Law, Mar. 1, 2022 

“Brad Snyder talks about Curt Flood and Free Agency in Baseball,” BaseballBiz Podcast, Jan. 12, 2022

“In Baseball Lockout, Free Agency Window Spurs Battle Over Pay,” Bloomberg Law, Dec. 6, 2021

“Curt’s Flood’s letter to Bowie Kuhn: 50 years later, a close look at the founding document of free agency,” The Athletic, Dec. 24, 2019

“For black baseball fans, Griffith Stadium offered a ‘separate but equal’ experience,” Washington Post, Nov. 2, 2019

“Washington’s last World Series team was not the Senators. It was a Negro League dynasty” Washington Post, Oct. 25, 2019

Mike Wise, “The last DC baseball team to play for a championship wasn’t the Senators,”, Oct. 24, 2019

“Newly released document gives voice to a private justice” SCOTUSblog, Apr. 5, 2018

“Why Jerry Jones has a strong case against the NFL,” Wall Street Journal, Mar. 5, 2018

“Legal experts review Listenbee, TCU case,” Ft. Worth-Star Telegram, Feb. 5, 2018

“Proceedings start in Colin Kaepernick’s right-to-work suit this week,” Axios, Jan. 3,  2018

“Did Trump’s tweet make it safer for NFL players to kneel for the anthem?” Washington Post, Oct. 15, 2017

“What Politicos Are Reading This Summer,” Politico Magazine, July 18, 2017

Q&A with Brad Snyder, CSPAN, Mar. 23, 2017

“What’s Brad Snyder Reading?” Tampa Times, Mar. 23, 2017

“What’s On The Nightstand of Brad Snyder ’94,” Duke Magazine, March 2017

Jim Engster Show, 107.3, Baton Rouge, LA, Mar. 8, 2017

“Keeping Democracy Alive,” Burt Cohen, Mar. 8, 2017

“The Public Eye,” NPR, Boston, WICN, 90.5 FM, Mar. 5, 2017, 10:30 p.m.

Book TV, Feb. 26, 2017, C-SPAN2, 9:30 a.m.

“The House of Truth and Justice Holmes,” Feb. 22, 2017, Concurring Opinions

“The Red and the Black: Sacco and Vanzetti’s lesson for Justice Holmes,” SCOTUSblog, Nov. 21, 2016

“Sacco-Vanzetti Murder Case,”, Nov. 16, 2016

“Sports courses at UW-Madison emerging due to relevance, resources,” Sconnie Sports Talk, Apr. 28, 2016

“Roger Goodell has the power, court rules in upholding Tom Brady suspension,” Washington Post, Apr. 25, 2016

“Deflategate Evidence is Circumstantial,”Washington Post, May 12, 2015

“National Football League and the Courts,” C-SPAN, Washington Journal, Sept. 13, 2015

“The Legacy of Curt Flood,” ESPN, Outside The Lines, July 25, 2015

“Unsealed testimony throws doubt on conviction of Ethel Rosenberg,” The Australian, July 16, 2015.

“MLB HOF Honors Curt Flood,” ESPN, Outside the Lines, June 26, 2015

“Tom Brady Swears His Innocence,”Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2015

“Stevens Takes Swing at Baseball Antitrust Exemption,”National Law Journal, May 19, 2015 (paywall)

“The 50 Greatest Baseball Books of All-Time,”Huffington Post, Apr. 6, 2015

“Curt Flood: The Man Who Gave Rise to the Powerful Athlete,”Huff Post Live, Oct. 6, 2014

“The Supreme Court Paper Caper,”New Yorker, Dec. 1, 2014

Chattanooga versus the Supreme Court: The Strange Case of Ed Johnson,” Nov./Dec. 2014

“Rebel Without a Clause,”New York Times, Retro Report, Oct. 5, 2014

“MLB’s Antitrust Shield Likely To Survive San Jose Cert. Bid,” Law360, Aug. 14, 2014,

“Babe Ruth, Knocked Out,”New York Times, May 16, 2014

“Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Soldier, pragmatist, jobist, skeptic,” Scotusblog, May 14, 2014.

“Justice Holmes and the Civil War,” C-Span, May 8, 2014

“Ahead of baseball season, famed Jewish executive remains out of Hall of Fame,”, Mar. 16, 2014

“Justice Sotomayor Takes Aim at Famous Baseball Case,”, May 23, 2013

“New Look at an Old Memo Casts Doubt on Rehnquist,”New York Times, Mar. 19, 2012

“The Beginning of the End of the NCAA,” Grantland, Nov. 11, 2011

“The Curious Case of Curt Flood,” HBO Sports, July 13, 2011

“Is LeBron James a ‘runaway slave’?” Salon, July 12, 2010

“As Marshall Clerk, Kagan Was Wary of Conservatives,” Associated Press, May 25, 2010

“High Court’s liberal leader to retire,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 10, 2010