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Benjamin V. Cohen

Benjamin V. Cohen


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Benjamin Victor Cohen, the son of Polish immigrants, was born in Muncie, Indiana, on 23rd September, 1894. He was educated at the University of Chicago and the Harvard Law School. Professor Felix Frankfurter arranged for his student to become legal secretary for Federal Circuit Court Judge Julian Mack.

Cohen served as counsel for the American Zionist Movement and attended the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and helped to negotiate the League of Nations mandate for Palestine. A young student, Ella Winter, also worked with Frankfurter: "Ben Cohen, a tall, slender, trembling young American whose clothes hung insecurely on a diffident frame. His fingers were long and skinny, and his hands didn't know what to do. He had a long nose, straight brown hair brushed slantwise from a broad white forehead above rimless glasses, and a shaking frightened voice."

Cohen worked for Louis Brandeis as a law clerk before practicing law in New York City. In 1933 Felix Frankfurter, who was providing legal advice to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, suggested that three of his former students, Cohen, Thomas Corcoran and James M. Landis, could help draft legislation. William E. Leuchtenburg, the author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (1963), has pointed out: "Roosevelt had discovered Corcoran and Cohen, who had teamed up to draft Wall Street regulatory legislation, to be remarkably resourceful in resolving knotty governmental problems, and by the spring of 1935 "the boys," as Frankfurter called them, were playing key roles in the New Deal."

Cohen and Corcoran helped draft the Federal Securities Act (1933), the Tennessee Valley Authority (1933), Securities Exchange Act (1934), the Federal Housing Administration (1934), Securities Exchange Commission (1935), the Public Utilities Holding Company Act (1935), Rural Electrification Administration Act (1935) and the Fair Employment Act (1938)

Cohen and Corcoran lived with Cohen and five other New Dealers in a house on R Street in Georgetown and were known as "the scarlet-fever boys from the little red house in Georgetown." Cohen and Corcoran were known as the "Gold Dust Twins" and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine on 12th September, 1938. One friend described Cohen as "like a Dickens portrait of an absent-minded professor."

In 1940 Cohen helped write the Lend-Lease plan. The following year he became counsel for John Gilbert Winant, American Ambassador to London. He also served as general counsel for the Office of Economic Stabilization. Cohen also assisted in the drafting of the 1944 Dumbarton Oaks agreements leading to the establishment of the United Nations.

In 1945 Cohen served as the United States' chief draftsman at the Potsdam Conference. Charles L. Mee, the author of Meeting at Potsdam (1975): "Cohen was known for his slouching posture, sloppy dress, absentminded table manners - and for a skill at drafting legislation that was generally reckoned the best in the United States." Cohen also drafted a 1957 Civil Rights Act and was special assistant to President John F. Kennedy on disarmament issues.

Benjamin Victor Cohen died from complications due to pneumonia in Washington, D.C. on 15th August, 1983.

The shy, modest Cohen, a Jew from Muncie, Indiana, was a former Brandeis law clerk who had developed into a brilliant legislative draftsman. Corcoran, an Irishman from a Rhode Island mill town, had gone from Harvard Law School to Washington in 1926 to serve as secretary to Mr. Justice Holmes; Holmes found him "quite noisy, quite satisfactory, and quite noisy." Roosevelt had discovered Corcoran and Cohen, who had teamed up to draft Wall Street regulatory legislation, to be remarkably resourceful in resolving knotty governmental problems, and by the spring of 1935 "the boys," as Frankfurter called them, were playing key roles in the New Deal.

Corcoran was a new political type: the expert who not only drafted legislation but maneuvered it through the treacherous corridors of Capitol Hill. Two Washington reporters wrote of him: "He could play the accordion, sing any song you cared to mention, read Aeschylus in the original, quote Dante and Montaigne by the yard, tell an excellent story, write a great bill like the Securities Exchange Act, prepare a presidential speech, tread the labyrinthine maze of palace politics or chart the future course of a democracy with equal ease." He lived with Cohen and five other New Dealers in a house on R Street; as early as the spring of 1934, G.O.P. congressmen were learning to ignore the sponsors of New Deal legislation and level their attacks at "the scarlet-fever boys from the little red house in Georgetown."

In the first two years of the New Deal, the Brandeisians chafed as the NRA advocates sat at the President's right hand. They rejoiced only in the TVA, since it both checked monopoly and accentuated decentralization, and in the regulation of securities issues and the stock market, which marked the success of Brandeis' earlier crusade against the money power. Not until 1935 did the Brandeisians make their way. That year saw the triumph of the decentralizers in the fight over the social security bill, and the enhanced power in TVA of Frankfurter's follower, David Lilienthal. Brandeis himself had a direct hand
in the most important victory of all: the invalidation of the NRA.

© John Simkin, March 2013


Benjamin V. Cohen

William Lasser Preface by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $65.00

A key figure in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894–1983) was a major architect of public policy from the first days of FDR’s presidency through the early days of the Cold War. Although he kept a low public profile, Cohen’s influence extended across a wide range of domestic and foreign policy initiatives. In this biography, William Lasser offers the first account of Ben Cohen’s life and career, and an assessment of his contribution to the origin and development of modern American liberalism.

Cohen’s life provides an extraordinary lens through which to view the development of the evolving political philosophy of the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies. A brilliant lawyer noted for his good judgment and experience, Cohen was a leading member of FDR’s “Brain Trust,” developing ideas, drafting legislation, lobbying within the administration and in Congress, and defending the New Deal in court. The book traces his contributions to domestic financial policy, his activities during the war years in London and Washington, his service as counselor to the State Department and member of the American delegation to the United Nations after the war, and his role in the American Zionist movement. From Cohen’s life and work, Lasser draws important insights into the development of the New Deal and the evolution of postwar liberalism.

“Lasser demonstrates the power of biography in fostering a more sophisticated understanding of political and intellectual history. With lucid discussion of complex developments in and ideas about the political economy, his study advances a compelling argument about Cohen’s significance within the Roosevelt administration and his enduring influence on the development of modern liberalism.”—Robert Mason, Journal of American Studies

“Highly recommended for academic collections on the presidency and the New Deal.”—Library Journal

“[An] excellent biography. . . .Lasser has accomplished a great deal in this book. . . . A very welcome addition to the shelf of fine books that chronicle the many architects of the New Deal.”—Jason Scott Smith, Business History Review


Benjamin V. Cohen : architect of the New Deal

Origins -- Zionist attorney -- Lawyer and investor -- Newcomer to Washington : the Securities Act of 1933 -- Into the maelstrom : the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 -- The Public Utilities Holding Company Act -- At the center of power -- The court-packing plan -- Domestic politics, 1937-1938 -- Waiting for the war -- Destroyers for bases -- London -- World War II -- Diplomat -- Elder statesman -- Benjamin V. Cohen: architect of the New Deal

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Benjamin V. Cohen

Download or read book entitled Benjamin V. Cohen written by William Lasser and published by Yale University Press online. This book was released on 01 October 2008 with total page 406 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: A key figure in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894–1983) was a major architect of public policy from the first days of FDR’s presidency through the early days of the Cold War. Although he kept a low public profile, Cohen’s influence extended across a wide range of domestic and foreign policy initiatives. In this biography, William Lasser offers the first account of Ben Cohen’s life and career, and an assessment of his contribution to the origin and development of modern American liberalism. Cohen’s life provides an extraordinary lens through which to view the development of the evolving political philosophy of the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies. A brilliant lawyer noted for his good judgment and experience, Cohen was a leading member of FDR’s “Brain Trust,” developing ideas, drafting legislation, lobbying within the administration and in Congress, and defending the New Deal in court. The book traces his contributions to domestic financial policy, his activities during the war years in London and Washington, his service as counselor to the State Department and member of the American delegation to the United Nations after the war, and his role in the American Zionist movement. From Cohen’s life and work, Lasser draws important insights into the development of the New Deal and the evolution of postwar liberalism.


Benjamin V. Cohen

This chapter summarizes the main themes covered in the preceding discussions. Contemporaries and historians alike view Cohen as a leading intellectual force behind the political philosophy of New Deal liberalism. Cohen stood squarely between those who sought radical reform of the capitalist system and those who opposed even modest changes. His goal—and, ultimately, the goal of the New Deal itself—“was not to make a revolution but to make the capitalist system work better, for the benefit of all.”

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The United Nations

Benjamin V. Cohen

Product Details

Publication Date: 01/01/1961

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The American Constitution established a government with power to act the United Nations Charter set up an instrument for international cooperation. &ldquoBoth,&rdquo Benjamin Cohen says, &ldquocreated an organism capable of life and growth&hellipdepending not simply on the written injunctions of the founding fathers but on the vision and wisdom of succeeding generations.&rdquo

These Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures (1961) are written in a spare, firm style, excluding trivialities and expressing the author&rsquos remarkable acumen. The first&mdash&ldquoCharter Power: The Competence of United Nations Organs under the Charter&rdquo&mdashdescribes the setting in broad perspective. The second&mdash&ldquoResponsibilities of Member States under the Charter&rdquo&mdashdeals with major problems. The third envisages the future with restraint and wisdom.

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A key figure in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Benjamin V. Cohen (1894�) was a major architect of public policy from the first days of FDR’s presidency through the early days of the Cold War. Although he kept a low public profile, Cohen’s influence extended across a wide range of domestic and foreign policy initiatives. In this biography, William Lasser offers the first account of Ben Cohen’s life and career, and an assessment of his contribution to the origin and development of modern American liberalism.

Cohen’s life provides an extraordinary lens through which to view the development of the evolving political philosophy of the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies. A brilliant lawyer noted for his good judgment and experience, Cohen was a leading member of FDR’s “Brain Trust,” developing ideas, drafting legislation, lobbying within the administration and in Congress, and defending the New Deal in court. The book traces his contributions to domestic financial policy, his activities during the war years in London and Washington, his service as counselor to the State Department and member of the American delegation to the United Nations after the war, and his role in the American Zionist movement. From Cohen’s life and work, Lasser draws important insights into the development of the New Deal and the evolution of postwar liberalism.

?Lasser demonstrates the power of biography in fostering a more sophisticated understanding of political and intellectual history. With lucid discussion of complex developments in and ideas about the political economy, his study advances a compelling argument about Cohen?s significance within the Roosevelt administration and his enduring influence on the development of modern liberalism. Robert Mason, Journal of American Studies

?Lasser has accomplished more than simply telling the story of Cohen?s life, as interesting and significant as it is. He has used the story to provide a fresh and important perspective on the New Deal, and indeed, on modern American reform. Richard Polenberg, Cornell University

?Highly recommended for academic collections on the presidency and the New Deal. Library Journal

"Lasser has done an admirable job of reconstructing Cohen?s life. . . . Cohen had a remarkable career, and in William Lasser he has a biographer who . . . does him full justice."?William E. Leuchtenburg, Washington Post Book World

?Lasser has succeeded in presenting the life of Benjamin V. Cohen against the backdrop of the New Deal, Zionism, World War II, and the United Nations in each of which he played a role. . . . A well-constructed picture of a relatively anonymous public servant, a prototypical liberal who was a model for presidential assistants and who richly deserves more recognition. Morton I. Teicher, Jewish Journal

"Lucid and well-organized. . . . This is a book that will repay careful reading. It is valuable for the light it sheds on the New Deal, liberalism, and politics in the 20th century, as well as on the significant though often little understood figure who is its subject. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above."? Choice

?A well-constructed picture of a relatively anonymous public servant, a prototypical liberal who was a model for presidential assistants and who richly deserves more recognition. Morton I. Teicher, National Jewish Post & Opinion

?[An] excellent biography. . . .Lasser has accomplished a great deal in this book. . . . A very welcome addition to the shelf of fine books that chronicle the many architects of the New Deal. Jason Scott Smith, Business History Review


Benjamin V. Cohen - History

On the 18th March, Mr. Bevin mentioned to Mr. Marshall the question of the projected Standard Oil–Anglo-Iranian Pipeline eastwards [ westward ] from Basra, and undertook to supply him with further details of the various projects which have been under consideration. The present position is understood to be as follows:

It is the intention of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company that pipelines from the Koweit and Persian oilfields should be linked to a main pipeline having its terminal near Basra.

There are three main routes from Basra at present under consideration. These are:— [Page 656] ( a ) A northern route through Syria coming out on the Syrian-Lebanese coast, shown on the attached map as route 1. A possible alternative is shown on the map as route 2. 2 ( b ) A southern route through Saudi Arabia, Trans-Jordan and Palestine coming out at Gaza, shown on the map as route 3. ( c ) A southern route coming out in Egypt. It would follow route 3 as far as Aqaba. The line of its extension to Egypt has not been considered, and is not shown on the map.

His Majesty’s Government have carefully considered these three routes and have come to the conclusion that route ( b ) is the most desirable, despite the fact that it has certain disadvantages. These are: (i) that its terminus would be in Palestine, the future of which is undecided, and where it may be impossible to maintain British troops to guard the refinery and pipeline, and (ii) that it would be much more costly than route ( a ) passing as it does through waste and waterless country and having its terminus at Gaza, where port development would be expensive.

His Majesty’s Government consider, however, these disadvantages are out-weighed by the following considerations, which have influenced them in reaching their decision:— (1) From the military point of view, the defensibility and security of the pipeline, refinery and pumping stations are increased the further south the pipeline is routed and the terminus situated. This applies whether British forces can be maintained in Palestine or not. (2) In case of need, Aqaba on the Bed Sea could be developed as an alternative outlet. (3) It would contribute to the economic development of a part of Palestine which is very little developed.

His Majesty’s Government consider that the main disadvantages of route ( a ) consist in the fact that it is less defensible in time of war, and that there is no alternative outlet to the Red Sea.

In the case of route ( c ), the attitude of the Egyptian Government is most uncertain and it is possible that the Egyptian Government would levy heavy charges because they would feel that the pipeline was a competitor to the Suez Canal. 3

His Majesty’s Government have informed the Chairman of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Sir William Fraser, who is believed at [Page 657] present to be in New York for talks with the Standard Oil Company, of their preference for route ( b ) and have instructed him to press for it despite the added costs. It is understood, however, that the Standard Oil Company are likely to be very much in favour of adopting route ( a ).

Sent on April 8 by Mr. Bevin to Secretary of State Marshall at Moscow where they were participating in the Fourth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers. The letter of transmittal stated in part: “I left with you on the 5th April a map on the projected Standard Oil-Anglo-Iranian Pipeline. I now enclose a memorandum which will help you to understand the map and which explains His Majesty’s Government’s attitude toward the various projects.”

At the request of Secretary Marshall, his special assistant, Brig. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, sent the memorandum and the transmitting letter for information to Acting Secretary of State Acheson on April 10. The map in question was transmitted by Benjamin V. Cohen, the Counselor of the Department, to Mr. Henderson in a memorandum of May 8 (890.6363/5–847).

For Secretary Marshall’s memorandum of his conversation with Mr. Bevin on April 5, dealing in part with the question of the location of the pipe line, see vol. ii, p. 309.


BENJAMIN V. COHEN, NEW DEAL PLANNER, DIES IN WASHINGTON

Benjamin Victor Cohen, a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'ɻrain Trust'' and a principal creator of the New Deal, died today at Georgetown University Hospital. He was 88 years old.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

Renowned as a brilliant legal scholar, Mr. Cohen, along with Thomas G. Corcoran, was credited with drafting major New Deal legislation, including the Securities and Exchange Act, the Public Utilities Holding Company Act, the Federal Housing Administration Act and the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.

After formally leaving Government service in 1947, he continued to advise Government leaders quietly from his home in Washington, and he served as a delegate to the United Nations several times. Moved to Washington in 1933

Mr. Cohen, who earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago, came to Washington in 1933. He served first as general counsel to the Public Works Administration, and from 1934 to 1941 he was counsel to the National Power Policy Committee. Later, he and Mr. Corcoran served together as counsel to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

Mr. Cohen was born Sept. 23, 1894, in Muncie, Ind., where his father, a Polish immigrant, was an ore dealer.

After World War I, Mr. Cohen represented American Zionists at the Paris Peace Conference and later opened a corporate law practice in New York City.


Vanguard News Network

Benjamin V. Cohen was a Jewish official in the F.D. Roosevelt administration. Cohen was one of the Horsejews of the Apocalypse, i.e., he helped produce World War II. He was part of the Jewish crew that created the Lend-Lease Act.

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2 Responses to “Article About Benjamin V. Cohen”

So Cohen played a key role in drafting the New Deal. He gets an F Minus for such a failed project. Cohen drafted legislation to provide military aid for American allies. That sounds like a welfare/warfare state–another F Minus for Cohen. The article says he wrote brilliant legislation. Excuse me while I throw up. Cohen’s work appears to be status quo Jewish Democratic Capitalism.

August 15th is, for me, not a day to remember the death of Benny Cohen, but to honor the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte, born on this date in 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica.

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Watch the video: streetSOUNDS. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah Cover by Benjamin Reitze (February 2023).

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