Isidore Rosenbaum Brussel was born in Minsk, Russia, in 1897 (according to the Old Russian calendar), and later moved to Brooklyn, New York, with his family. Brussel attended Brooklyn Polytechnic and worked for three years as a civil engineer before becoming a self styled “book scout,” specializing in nineteenth-century English and American literature. Known to his customers simply as “Ike,” his lively imagination, infinite persistence, and his wide acquaintance in the book trade, both in his own country and in England, established him as the scout of choice for such discriminating collectors as Oliver Brett (Lord Esher), Morris Parish, Michael Sadleir, and Carroll Wilson, and for many other dealers from London to New York. He earned the bulk of his living by finding stock on all subjects for public, school, and research libraries.
Brussel contributed two volumes to Sadleir's Bibliographica series: Anglo-American First Editions, 1826-1900, East to West (1935), and its counterpart West to East, (1936) which described and analyzed English editions of books by American authors. Brussel died on March 16, 1972, in Brooklyn, at the age of 74. His son is the well-known painter Cabell Brussel.