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Dictionary of Literary Influences

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Böll, Heinrich

you came to see me” (Spink 1997, 24). Mother Teresa often spoke of her ministering to the lepers, the dying, and the unloved as a mission of caring for Jesus himself “in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor” (Mother Teresa et al. 1996, 19). In addition to recognizing Christ in the poor, Mother Teresa credits her faith in the seminal Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, with strengthening herself and her sisters for their daily work among the people. Mother Teresa also found special inspiration in St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s autobiography and its overarching message of childlike surrender to God. Just as St. Thérèse understood herself to be an instrument of God’s work on earth, “a ball in the hands of the Child Jesus,” Mother Teresa described herself as “a pencil in God’s hands” (Varday 1995, xxi). “I chose her as my namesake,” Mother Teresa said of the saint, “because she did ordinary things with extraordinary love” (Mother Teresa 1995, 64).


There is no public Mother Teresa archive available. In August of 2001, some 35,000 pages of documents were delivered to the Congregation for Sainthood Causes in Vatican City. Here, these documents will be analyzed with a view toward canonizing Mother Teresa. Meanwhile, they remain confidential.

Printed Sources

Mother Teresa. A Simple Path (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995).

Mother Teresa et al. My Life for the Poor (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996). Sebba, Anne. Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image (New York: Doubleday, 1997).

Spink, Kathryn. Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography (New York: HarperCollins, 1997).

Varday, Lucinda. “Introduction.” In Mother Teresa, A Simple Path (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995).

Todd Douglas Doyle

BÖLL, HEINRICH (1917–1985)

Heinrich Böll, born in 1917 in Cologne, entered secondary school in 1928 and obtained his school-leaving certificate in 1937. He began an apprenticeship as a bookseller in Bonn, Germany, but left soon afterward due to a call up for “labour service.” In 1939 he enrolled at the University of Cologne to study German and classic philology, but was not able to graduate due to an induction to military service. Böll’s education was largely coined by his parents’ Catholicism, although their relation to the Catholic church has always been distanced and critical. Therefore, his reading during childhood and adolescence was “ziemlich kanonisch und im Ganzen besonders anti-aufklärerisch” (Schröter 1982, 44).

Böll was awarded the most important literary prize in the German-speaking countries, the Georg-Büchner-Prize in 1967. In 1972 he received the Nobel Prize for literature “for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature.” In 1973 he was given the honorary doctoral degrees of the universities of Dublin, Birmingham, and Uxbridge. Furthermore, he was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The author’s novels, narrations, short stories, and essays reflect the problems of postwar Germany to a large


Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

extent. His early novels such as The Silent Angel (published posthumously in 1992),

The Train Was on Time (1949), and Stranger, Bear Word to the Spartans We . . . (1950) draw upon his experience of the Nazi era and the war and, beyond that, depict the societal development of postwar Germany. During his lifetime, Böll took an active part in the peace movement and in supporting persecuted writers such as the expatriated Russian Alexander Solzhenitsyn and civil rights activist Angela Davis. His works not only comprise literary writings but also numerous essays and articles. Next to Günter Grass and Siegfried Lenz, Böll became Germany’s most important writer after World War II.

Early in his childhood, Böll became acquainted with a variety of authors, including Daniel Defoe, Karl May, Jack London, Johann Peter Hebel, Charles Dickens, Honoré de Balzac, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dickens, Balzac, and Dostoyevsky served him as a model for covering a whole epoch in a literary work. Léon Bloy and Georges Bernanos are known to have influenced Böll to a large extent: both had a critical but willful attitude toward Catholicism. Bloy, passionately opposed to all free-thinkers, republicans, protestants, and Jews, left an impression on Böll because of his anticapitalistic praise of poverty. In 1936, Böll read Bloy’s novel Das Blut der Armen (The Blood of the Poor), which had appeared in German translation in the same year. Georges Bernanos, who belonged to a group of writers intending to renew Catholicism (Renouveau catholique) finally gave rise to Böll’s own writing.

During regular visits to Ireland, Böll and his wife became concerned with Irish literature. In the 1950s Annemarie Böll began to translate Irish authors into German with the sometime assistance of her husband, among them George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, Flann O’Brien, and Brendan Behan.


Heinrich-Böll-Archiv der StadtBibliothek Köln, Cologne. Secondary literature, newspaper clippings, correspondence. www.stbib-koeln.de/boell.

Printed Sources

Butler, Michael (ed.). The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich Böll. Social Conscience and Achievement

(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Conrad, Robert C. Heinrich Böll (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981).

———. Understanding Heinrich Böll (Columbia, S.C.: Columbia University Press, 1992). Reid, James H. Heinrich Böll: Withdrawal and Re-emergence (London: Wolff, 1973). Schröter, Klaus. Heinrich Böll (Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1982).

Ernst Grabovszki


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, born in Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland) in 1906, was the son of Karl Bonhoeffer, a well-known professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Berlin. He enrolled at Tübingen in 1923–24, and then transferred to the University of Berlin where he studied under such luminaries as Adolf Deissman, Karl Holl, Reinhold Seeberg, and Adolf von Harnack, receiving his doctorate in 1927. In 1928–29 Bonhoeffer served as an assistant minister to a Lutheran congregation in Barcelona. In 1930 Bonhoeffer did postdoctoral research at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, then returned in 1931 to lecture at the University of Berlin where he was identified with the ecumenical movement, which


Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

sought to unite Christians throughout the world. Bonhoeffer left Germany to protest the Nazi enforcement of anti-Jewish legislation in 1933 and worked in a German parish in London until 1935, when he returned to Germany to become head of a clandestine seminary of the German Confessing Church at Finkenwalde, Pomerania, until the Nazis shut it down in 1937. Bonhoeffer was involved in the German Resistance movement and in 1943 was arrested and imprisoned until 1945 when he was hanged at Flossenburg. Initial attention focused on Bonhoeffer’s discussion of Christianity and modernity in his Letters and Papers from Prison under the heading “religionless Christianity in a world come of age.” Later studies addressed his writings on ethics and social philosophy, Christian discipleship and community life, biblical interpretation, ecumenism, and Jewish-Christian relations.

Bonhoeffer’s Habilitationsschrift, Act and Being, is heavily influenced by such philosophers as Paul Natorp, Edmund Husserl, Max Scheler, Martin Heidegger, Hermann Cohen, and Erich Przywara. While in prison Bonhoeffer read the Bible in addition to such diverse writers as Euripides, Plutarch, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian, St. Cyprian of Carthage, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Rainer M. Rilke, and the philosophers Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm Dilthey, Nicholai Hartmann, and José Ortega y Gasset. Educated in the liberal theology of Berlin, Bonhoeffer became an ally of Karl Barth and was also deeply influenced by Martin Luther, Rudolf Bultmann, and Adolf von Harnack. He was strongly affected by the novels of Georges Bernanos. Bonhoeffer’s theology has the uncanny ability to extend into new intellectual arenas without deserting its historical context.


Die Staaatsbibliothek, Berlin, Germany is the best archive for the original Bonhoeffer material. Bonhoeffer Collection at the Burke Library, Union Theological Seminary, New York City.

This archive has primary sources in German, English, and some other languages, microfiche of the Bonhoeffer papers, and secondary literature, both published and unpublished.

Printed Sources

Bethge, Eberhard. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography. Victoria J. Barnett (rev. and ed.), (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). This volume and others by Bethge, a friend and relative of Bonhoeffer, are authoritative.

De Gruchy, John W. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Cambridge Companions to Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Feil, Ernst. Bonhoeffer Studies in Germany. A Survey of Recent Literature, James Burtness (ed.), Jonathan Sorum (trans.), (Philadelphia: International Bonhoeffer Society, 1997).

Floyd, Wayne Whitson Jr., and Clifford J. Green. Bonhoeffer Bibliography: Primary Sources and Secondary Literature in English (Evanston, Ill.: American Theological Library Association, Inc., 1992).

———. The Wisdom and Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). Green, Clifford J. Bonhoeffer: A Theolog y of Sociality, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: William B.

Eerdmans, 1999).

Kelly, Geoffrey B., and F. Burton Nelson. A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, rev. ed. (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1998).

Marsh, Charles. Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theolog y (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Rasmussen, Larry. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, His Significance for North Americans (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1990).


Borges, Jorge Luis

Wustenberg, Ralf K. A Theolog y of Life: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity, Doug Stott (trans.), (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).

Young, Josiah Ulysses III. No Difference in the Fare: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Problem of Racism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).

Richard Penaskovic

BORGES, JORGE LUIS (1899–1986)

Jorge Borges was born in Buenos Aires to Jorge Guillermo Borges, lawyer and psychology teacher, and Leonor Acevedo de Borges, descended from a long line of soldiers. Both of his parents spoke and read English, and Jorge and his younger sister Norah were bilingual. In 1908 Borges began to attend school but he found it a sad experience: the moral and intellectual level of the other students was much lower than his, and his admiration for the English culture and literature and his adoption of an English style of dress were considered provocative. In 1914 the whole family moved to Geneva, and the Borges children attended the high school at College Calvin, learning Latin, German, and French. During these years Borges developed a taste for symbolist literature, discovering through the works of Verlaine, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé a new, abstract way of depicting the world. He was also deeply interested in Arthur Schopenhauer and fascinated by Walt Whitman’s poems. The works of Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, and G. K. Chesterton inf luenced his own writing, too. In March 1921 the Borges family returned to Buenos Aires, where Borges fell under the inf luence of the poet Macedonio Fernandéz, who explained to him the thought of Berkeley and Hume. By this time Borges had already published some poems and short stories, but it was in the 1930s that he became famous with the publication of Historia universal de la infamia (A Universal History of Infamy, 1933–34) and of Historia de la eternidad (A History of Eternity, 1936). The complete blindness of his father forced him to accept a job as first assistant in the Miguel Cané branch of the Municipal Library. He remained in the library for nine years, and though it was an unhappy period, Borges was able to spend most of his working hours in the basement, reading the classics or translating modern fiction into Spanish. Soon after leaving the library he accepted positions as lecturer on American and English literature. Even though the Perón regime made life difficult for him and his family, he published his major books of short stories, Ficciones (1944) and Aleph (1949), and Otras inquisiciones (Other Inquisitions, 1952) shortly before being appointed director of the National Library in Buenos Aires. The 1960s saw him travel across America and Europe together with his mother—he was by now, like his father, completely blind—giving lectures and writing short stories, essays, and poems: El informe de Brodie (Dr. Brodie’s Report, 1970), El libro de arena (The Book of Sand, 1975), El libro de los seres imaginarios (The Book of Imaginary Beings, 1967), Nueve ensayos dantescos (Nine Essays on Dante, 1982). He died on June 14, 1986, in Geneva of liver cancer.

Borges’s main heritage consists in a very particular elaboration of the concepts of time and space and in a close number of symbols that can reproduce the whole world. His influence is most clearly seen in Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Ernesto Sabato, Bruce Chatwin, Salman Rushdie, and José Saramago.


Bourke-White, Margaret


Special Collections Department at the University of Virginia Library: manuscripts and letters.

The Helft Collection–Buenos Aires: autographed books, letters, manuscripts, and books corrected and annotated by Borges.

University of Notre Dame: one script of a conference, one handwritten short poem, a letter dictated and signed by Borges.

Printed Sources

Bloom, Harold (ed.). Jorge Luis Borges (New York: Chelsea House, 1969). Lennon, Adrian. Jorge Luis Borges (New York: Chelsea House, 1992). McMurry, George R. Jorge Luis Borges (New York: Ungar, 1980).

Maria Tabaglio


Margaret Bourke-White was born in New York City. After graduating from Cornell University in 1927, she moved to her mother’s home in Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as a freelance commercial photographer. Her experimental photographs taken inside steel mills gained the notice of Henry Luce and earned her a job as the first staff photographer for Fortune. She took the first cover photo for Life and remained a staff photographer from 1935 to 1969. Bourke-White traveled overseas on assignment regardless of war or peace and was in fact the first woman war photographer, covering multiple fronts during World War II. She wrote eleven books detailing her adventures and including her remarkable photographs. Bourke-White became the first woman photographer of the U.S. Air Force. She photographed Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later Mahatma Gandhi during India’s fight for independence. After covering the Korean conflict in 1952, Bourke-White discovered that she had early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. This decreased both her photographic and writing ability, yet she put her last efforts toward completing her autobiography, A Portrait of Myself (1963). She died at her home in Darien, Connecticut, in 1971.

Passionate about insects and nature, she read the Jean-Henri Fabre classics The Hunting Wasps (1916) and The Life of the Grasshopper (1917) and lived with Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature-study (1911). She and her first husband, Everett Chapman, enjoyed reading many of the same authors, mentioned in Goldberg’s biography: John Milton, Carl Sandburg, and Henry James. Additionally, Goldberg notes several other literary influences: Jane Addams’s A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), Frances Donovan’s The Woman Who Waits (1920), and Ellen Key’s The Woman Movement (1912). Goldberg also includes a list of books that most influenced Bourke-White: The Education of Henry Adams (1907), John Strachey’s The Coming Struggle for Power (1933), and Raymond L. Ditmars’s Reptiles of North America (1907). While working on Eyes on Russia (1931), she completed Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1930). When she met author John Buchan, he loaned her several books to read, two of which he wrote, the Green Mantle (1916) and ThirtyNine Steps (1915), which she was delighted with. Though natural history and herpetology books captured her interests, she also enjoyed detective stories. For her trip to Russia in 1941 she took 28 paper-bound detective stories. While exploring the shelves of a bookstore in Lanchow, China, which she had to travel through to


Bradbury, Ray

get to Russia, she bought a textbook for English students that contained short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When she read James R. Newman’s Tools of War (1942) in bed, she wrote “always I have been an incurable reader in bed; even war could not break me of the habit” (Bourke-White 1944, 66–67). Never without a book to read, she often carried books on her person and read while waiting atop her suitcases or in bomb shelters.


George Argents Research Library, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.: chief repository of her papers including biographical materials, correspondence, writings, memorabilia, and photographic equipment.

Printed Sources

Bourke-White, Margaret. A Portrait of Myself (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963).

———. They Called it Purple Heart Valley” (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944). Goldberg, Vicki. Margaret Bourke-White: A Biography (New York: Harper & Row Publish-

ers, 1986).

Rebecca Tolley-Stokes

BRADBURY, RAY (1920– )

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1934 where Ray began writing short stories and for school publications. While selling newspapers for income, 1940–43, Bradbury broke into the professional market in 1941 with a story cowritten with Henry Hasse. As Bradbury’s reputation grew, Arkham House published a book-length collection of his short stories, Dark Carnival (1947). The fantasy and horror stories written in his distinctive poetic style were readily accepted by genre magazines, but Bradbury published increasingly in the mainstream Mademoiselle, Harper’s, and The New Yorker, and in short story collections. The Martian Chronicles (1950) legitimized science fiction’s growing respectability among mainstream critics. Film director John Huston took Bradbury to Ireland in 1956 to write the screenplay for Moby Dick, and this experience provided material for several stories and plays and sparked Bradbury’s interest in Herman Melville. His first novel, Fahrenheit 451 (1953), is revered as both an attack on censorship and the growing power of television in the mass culture. Between the 1960s and 1970s Bradbury focused on dramatic writing and poetry. He returned to fiction and short stories in the 1980s and published a fourth novel, From the Dust Returned (2001), based on his fantasy short stories about the Elliot family in The October Country.

Bradbury’s influences range from serious writers to comic books. He has written that his first literary influences were “Edgar Allan Poe when I was eight, Buck Rogers at nine, [Edgar Rice Burroughs’s] Tarzan at ten, and all the science fiction magazines from these same years,” the traditional ghost stories of Charles Dickens and H. P. Lovecraft, and later Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and his friend Leigh Brackett (Nolan 1975, 6; Bradbury 1990, 14, 26). He left his brief infatuation with Thomas Wolfe’s writing style for the spare, controlled works of Jessamyn West, Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, and Katherine Anne Porter, all recommended by Henry Kuttner in 1944 (Nolan 1975, 55; Bradbury 1990, 26). He credits as influences on his writing style William Shakespeare and Robert Frost, the plays of George Bernard Shaw, John Steinbeck’s novels, the short stories of Eudora Welty


Brancusi (Brâncus¸i), Consantin

and John Collier, and Edith Wharton (Santa Barbara). Robert Heinlein’s humanistic science fiction “influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical” (Kelley 1996). As a boy he read Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, but Bradbury believes “you should read in your own field only when you’re young. . . . I went on to Alexander Pope and John Donne and Moliére to mix it up” (Kelley 1996). Bradbury thinks he “was born a collector of metaphors. I’m deeply influenced by Greek mythology, Roman mythology. The colorful stuff, anything magical.” The Bible story of Daniel in the lion’s den “influenced my story ‘The Veldt’ where the lions come out of the walls and eat the parents” (Mesic 1998–99, Cosmic Ray). Bradbury said he goes “back to Mark Twain all the time, and to Melville . . . because he was deeply influenced by Shakespeare and the Old Testament,” both of which have shaped Bradbury’s own work (Mesic 1998–99, “Ray’s Faves”).


Bowling Green State University, Libraries, Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green, Ohio. Correspondence, interviews.

Department of Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif. 21-hour audiotaped interview in 1961.

Printed Sources

Bradbury, Ray. Zen in the Art of Writing (New York: Bantam, 1990).

Kelley, Ken. “Playboy Interview: Ray Bradbury,” Playboy 43, no. 5 (May 1996), 47–56, 149–50. Reprinted http://www.raybradbury.com/articles_playboy.html.

Mesic, Penelope. “Cosmic Ray.” Book Magazine, Dec. 1998/Jan. 1999. Reprinted http:// www.raybradbury.com/articles_book_mag.html, accessed October 21, 2003.

———. “Ray’s Faves.” Book Magazine, Dec. 1998/Jan. 1999. Reprinted http://www. raybradbury.com/articles_rays_faves.html, accessed October 21, 2003.

Mogen, David. Ray Bradbury (Boston: Twayne, 1986).

Nolan, William F. The Ray Bradbury Companion (Detroit: Gale Research; Bruccoli Clark, 1975).

Spalding, John D. “The Bradbury Chronicles.” Santa Barbara Magazine, Jan./Feb. 1992. Reprinted http://www.raybradbury.com/articles_santa_barbara.html, accessed October 21, 2003.

Susan Hamburger


Brancusi was born in the village of Hobia in Oltenia, a rural region of western Romania. His primary-school instruction was basic and his attendance infrequent: it has been suggested that he taught himself to read and write so as to enroll in the School of Arts and Crafts in the regional capital Craiova (1894–98); this is uncertain, although his mother was illiterate, and his own handwriting and orthography in both French and Romanian remained shaky. After Craiova, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest (1898–1902). A government grant enabled him to attend the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1905–7); although made to leave because he was over 30, he expressed no regrets, saying that “in any case, I learnt more from life” (Miller 1995, 97). Thenceforth Brancusi lived and worked in Paris and came to be recognized as one of the most innovative and influential sculptors of the twentieth century. His masterpieces include The Kiss (1912), The Beginning of


Brandeis, Louis Dembitz

the World (1924), and the memorial to the war dead at Târgu Jiu, Romania, including the Endless Column (1938) and the Table of Silence (1938).

Brancusi was generally evasive about literary influences on his work. Early presentations of him as a simple peasant genius have been somewhat modified now that it is known that he underwent a thorough French academic training, albeit one in which technical instruction prevailed over the theoretical or aesthetic. But folk influences should not be discounted. An early sculpture, Maiastra (1908–12, lost; the prototype for Bird in Space, 1919) takes its theme from a Romanian fairy tale: Brancusi’s relation of it does not resemble existing published versions (Brezianu 1998, 227). When erotic elements in his sculpture La princesse X were attributed to his unconscious desires, he replied that “I have a very low opinion of psychoanalysis.”

Many visitors to Brancusi’s studios from the 1920s onward reported his enthusiasm for philosophical and mystic writers such as Plato, Lao-Tse, and especially the eleventh-century Tibetan monk Milarepa; but the latter was only translated into French in 1925 when Brancusi was nearly 50 and his artistic conceptions and practices had long been crystallized. His few published writings—aphorisms, postcards to friends, a 100-word fantastic story—show possible folk influences, but also the immediate contact he enjoyed with friends such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Ezra Pound, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, Eric Satie, and other luminaries of the Parisian avant-garde. About 160 books in his possession at the time of his death have been preserved (Lemny 1997, II, 1–57). Of these nearly 50 were gifts from friends and admirers which reveal much about the artists gravitating around him but cannot automatically be considered as representative of his own preferences. There are some classics (Ovid, La Fontaine, Aesop), some philosophical works ( Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henri Poincaré, Henri Bergson), some lives of artists (Botticelli, da Vinci), and three technical manuals of geometry and mechanics. The only book he illustrated was the Romanian surrealist poet Ilarie Voronca’s Plante ¸si animale—terase (1929).


Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Fonds Brancusi (currently closed to researchers but a detailed analytical account can be found in Lemny, Le milieu).

Arhivele Statului, Craiova/Arhivele liceului industrial; Craiova (school certificates).

Printed Sources

Brezianu, Barbu. Brancusi en Roumanie (Bucarest: Bic All, 1998).

Istrati, Alexandru, and Natalia Dumitrescu. Constantin Brancusi (Paris: Flammarion, 1986). Lemny, Doïna. “Le milieu artistique et culturel de Brancusi. Essai d’investigation à partir du

legs au Musée Nationale d’art moderne,” 2 vols. (Doctoral thesis, Université de Paris I, 1997).

Miller, Sanda. Constantin Brancusi: A Survey of his Work (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).

Alexander Drace-Francis


Louis Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Bohemian Jewish parents. He attended public schools in Louisville and spent three years in the Annen Realschule


Brandeis, Louis Dembitz

in Dresden, Germany. Brandeis returned to the United States to study at Harvard Law School, where he received his LLB in 1877 and his graduate degree in 1878. After practicing law for less than a year in St. Louis, he returned to Boston, where he earned the title of “the people’s attorney” for his vigorous defense of the public interest, often for no retainer. In the 1908 case, Muller v. Oregon, Brandeis submitted his most famous argument, the so-called Brandeis Brief. Marshalling a wide variety of economic and sociological data, he argued for the constitutionality of a state law limiting working hours for women. Beginning in 1912 Brandeis was also a public supporter of Zionism. On August 31, 1914, he became chairman of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs, serving until June 1921. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson appointed Brandeis to the Supreme Court, where he developed a reputation for the mistrust of unchecked governmental power and monopolistic business practices, both usually conducted in the name of the public interest. Brandeis retired from the bench on February 13, 1939.

Before traveling to Europe in 1872, Brandeis acquired a copy of Dr. John Todd’s Index Rerum, a blank book into which he collected useful literary quotations for later reference. At Harvard Brandeis started a second notebook filled with references, quotations, and his own thoughts on books he had read, including Shakespeare, Milton, Emerson, Swift, Tennyson, Longfellow, Robert Louis Stevenson, Algernon C. Swinburne, Horace Walpole, James Russell Lowell, and Matthew Arnold. Brandeis was especially impressed by Emerson and his thoughts on selfreliance, optimism, and care for one’s neighbor, as well as his preference for flexibility over so-called consistency. Furthermore, he adopted a lifestyle of simplicity, living in a relatively Spartan manner and, as a consequence, accumulating a respectable fortune at a young age. When Brandeis began practicing law in Boston he spent a significant amount of time trying to meet Henry Adams, Emerson, and other literary celebrities living in the area. Brandeis’s views on labor, capital, and the public interest all seemed influenced by his Puritanical education. Although in his youth neither Louis nor either of his parents exhibited any strong sense of Jewish identity, Brandeis was brought into contact with thousands of Jewish workers during a New York cloak-making strike he arbitrated in 1910. He eventually adopted a Zionistic philosophy (first publicly articulated in March 1913) but remained restrained and pragmatic on the subject. Brandeis was inspired by the post-Biblical wisdom book of Ben Sira. Jews, he believed, were in need of a movement loyal to the fundamental principles of Judaism.


Albany archives, University Libraries, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York: copies of letters to family, friends, and colleagues, 1870–1941, judicial activity.

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky: correspondence, drafts of speeches and publications, scrapbooks, reference files, pamphlets, reports, and legal documents.

Robert D. Farber University archives and Special Collections Department, Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts: notebooks (including those mentioned above, in Box III.I.a.2), books, articles, photographs, memorabilia.

Printed Sources

Gal, Allon. Brandeis of Boston (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980).

Mason, Alpheus Thomas. Brandeis: A Free Man’s Life (New York: The Viking Press, 1956).


Brandt, Willy

Paper, Lewis J. Brandeis: An Intimate Biography of One of America’s Truly Great Supreme Court Justices (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983).

Strum, Philippa. Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984).

Paul Allan Hillmer

BRANDT, WILLY (1913–1992)

Willy Brandt was born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm, the illegitimate child of Martha Frahm, a shop assistant in Lübeck, and one John Möller, whom he never met. He grew up in a working-class milieu of Social Democratic convictions. Brandt’s mother, stepfather, a foreman bricklayer, and his grandfather, Ludwig Frahm, a former farm laborer in Mecklenburg and then truck driver in Lübeck, were members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Ludwig Frahm exerted the strongest influence on the young Herbert, making him, among other things, see Socialism as a way of life and an ideal community without injustice and poverty. It was he who spurred on Herbert to enter the world of Social Democratic workingclass associations from the early age of nine, a world which became a home to the boy soon. Herbert attended the St. Lorenz-Knaben-Mittelschule not far away from his home for seven years, went on to a Realschule (1927–28) and then, on a scholarship, on to four years at the Johanneum, where he graduated in 1932. In 1930 he was accepted as a member of the SPD, although still two years away from the age of eighteen usually obligatory for admission into the party. In 1933, the nineteen- year-old fled to Scandinavia, first to Denmark, then to Norway, and after the German invasion in 1940 to Sweden, to escape persecution by the National Socialists, assuming what was to become his official name in 1949, Willy Brandt. His achievements as a politician are multifarious. Brandt was governing mayor of Berlin from 1957 to 1966—that is, during the years of the second Berlin crisis, at the time of the erection of the Wall in 1961 and the visit of President John F. Kennedy. As foreign minister (1966–69) of a coalition government with the conservative party, he initiated the so-called policy of small steps toward East Germany, part of the concept to change the relations between the two German states by means of a rapprochement. As the first Social Democratic Chancellor (1969–74) in Germany since 1930, Brandt enacted, most important of all, a new “Ostpolitik,” a new policy toward East Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union, which culminated in the treaties with Warsaw and Moscow in 1970 and East Berlin in 1972. This fundamental change in German foreign policy ushered in a German conciliation with her World War enemies and a better understanding between the superpowers, so that, in the long run, it turned out to be the first step toward German reunification. It was to earn Brandt the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971.

Brandt’s grandfather had introduced him to the ideas of Ferdinand Lassalle and, a lifelong interest, August Bebel—the subject of his final paper in history at the Johanneum. In his youth, as he puts it in one of his autobiographies, reports on social conditions, biographies, and novels that had something to say interested him most (Brandt 1960, 35), among them books by the Dane Martin Andersen-Nexö, Erich Maria Remarque, Thomas Mann, whose novel about the Lübeck patrician family, Die Buddenbrooks, Brandt knew well, Maxim Gorki, Upton Sinclair, B. Traven, Jack London, and Ernst Toller’s Masse Mensch. He started to get acquainted


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