Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People

By Claude Moore Fuess | Go to book overview

IV
Apprenticeship in Public Service

ALTHOUGH Eastman inherited a clerical tradition, he never considered the Christian ministry as a profession, but entered Amherst with his mind rather vaguely fixed on the law. As he grew more and more engrossed with the Student, he began to imagine himself as a potential Horace Greeley or Richard Henry Dana and even consulted Talcott Williams as to the best way of getting a job on a newspaper. Finally, as he engaged more and more in debating, he studied current economic and social problems and was stirred by the crusading zeal of his high school hero, Theodore Roosevelt. At this juncture, Fate--or Luck--helped him to reach a decision and determined the course of his life.

As his senior year progressed, Eastman heard of a fellowship of $500 which had been established some years before by Amherst alumni at South End House in Boston, where Robert A. Woods, Amherst, '86, was in charge. Wishing to have the position filled, Woods consulted Professor James W. Crook, of the Amherst Department of Economics, who first recommended Edgar H. Goold, one of the most outstanding scholars in Eastman's class; but he had already planned to enter a theological seminary, and Eastman was Crook's second choice. Eastman had taken economics for one term under Crook, and had been disappointed in the course. Consequently, when Woods wrote Joe formally offering him the fellowship, the latter was much surprised and rather hesitant to accept. His father, however, urged him to try it for a year, believing that the experience would be worth while. Writing Mrs. Woods in 1926, Eastman said: "Instead of my career having been deliberately planned out, it has in reality just happened. I have never looked very far into the future or attempted to reach any particular mark, and

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Joseph B. Eastman: Servant of the People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I - Yankee Background 3
  • II - Growing Up 8
  • III - An Amherst Education 19
  • IV - Apprenticeship in Public Service 37
  • V - Transition to Power 61
  • VI - From State to Nation 80
  • VII - The Independent Commissioner 96
  • VIII - The Prosperity Era 126
  • IX - Valuation Is Vexation 153
  • X - Problems and Policies 166
  • XI - Federal Coordinator of Transportation 180
  • XII - The Coordinator's Task and Achievements 211
  • XIII - Eastman and the New Deal 245
  • XIV - The Last Big Job 270
  • XV - The End of the Road 297
  • XVI - The Measure of a Man 312
  • Index 345
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