A Passion for the True and Just: Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen by Alice Beck Kehoe

By Alice Beck Kehoe

Felix Cohen, the legal professional and pupil who wrote The Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1942), was once drastically influential in American Indian coverage making. but histories of the Indian New Deal, a 1934 software of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, forget Cohen and in its place specialise in John Collier, commissioner of Indian affairs in the division of the inner (DOI). Alice Beck Kehoe examines why Cohen, who, as DOI assistant solicitor, wrote the laws for the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) and Indian Claims fee Act (1946), has obtained much less cognizance. much more ignored used to be the contribution that Cohen’s spouse, Lucy Kramer Cohen, an anthropologist proficient via Franz Boas, made to the process.

Kehoe argues that, as a result of anti-Semitism in Nineteen Thirties the United States, Cohen couldn't communicate for his laws earlier than Congress, and that Collier, an upper-class WASP, turned the spokesman in addition to the administrator. in keeping with the writer, historians of the Indian New Deal haven't given due weight to Cohen’s paintings, nor have they famous its origin in his liberal secular Jewish tradition. either Felix and Lucy Cohen shared a trust within the ethical accountability of mitzvah, making a dedication to the “true and the simply” that used to be rooted of their Jewish highbrow and ethical background, and their Social Democrat principles.

A ardour for the genuine and Just takes a clean examine the Indian New Deal and the novel reversal folks Indian rules it brought on, relocating from ethnocide to retention of Indian homelands. moving awareness to the Jewish culture of ethical legal responsibility that served as a beginning for Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen (and her professor Franz Boas), the e-book discusses Cohen’s landmark contributions to the primary of sovereignty that so considerably inspired American felony philosophy.

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