Alpheus Thomas Mason (1899-1989), McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University, was born in a small farming and fishing village outside Snow Hill, Maryland. He received his BA from Dickinson College in 1920 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1923. After teaching at Trinity College (now Duke University), he joined the Princeton faculty in 1925 and became a full professor in 1936. After his retirement from Princeton in 1968, Professor Mason taught until 1980 at 15 institutions in the United States, Japan and Israel, including Harvard, Dartmouth, Barnard College, Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia.
One of the country’s foremost judicial biographers, Professor Mason authored 22 books, including four volumes on Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, a study of Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone, one on Chief Justice William Howard Taft, and several on critical periods and issues in the history of the Supreme Court. His course in constitutional interpretation was voted several times by Princeton students as one of the school’s toughest courses.
His Brandeis, A Free Man’s Life sold over 50,000 copies and remained on the best-seller list for five months in 1947. His co-authored textbook, American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays and Selected Cases, was first published in 1954 and remains popular over sixty years later in its 16th edition.
His Harlan Fiske Stone: Pillar of the Law earned the Francis Parkman Prize in history and the Liberty and Justice Award from the American Library Association, which called the book “the most distinguished book of 1956 in history and biography.”
Professor Mason was one of the few political scientists to hold a visiting membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in the 1930’s. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1963 and served as vice president of the American Political Science Association.
Click on the cover for details about the eBook: