Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)
 
Below is the American National Biography entry for the well-known Jewish New Left guru of the 60s. Acccording to this, his Ph.D. was in literature. Marcuse, a German Jew, is "another who survived." He came to the U.S. in 1934, and look where he ends up within a few years:
 
"Marcuse, a naturalized citizen since 1940, joined the U.S. Office
of War Information as a senior analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence
in December 1942 and prepared a report on ways that the mass
media of the Allied countries could present images of German
fascism
. In March 1943 Marcuse transferred to the Office of Strategic
Services (OSS)
, working until the end of the war in the Research
and Analysis division of the Central European Branch. He and
his colleagues wrote reports attempting to identify Nazi and
anti-Nazi groups and individuals in Germany and drafted a civil
affairs handbook that dealt with denazification.
In September
1945, after the dissolution of the OSS, he moved to the State
Department and was head of the Central European bureau
until
1951, when he left government service following the death of his wife."
 
How many non-Jews would end up in sensitive, high-ranking positions like those within a few years of arriving in a foreign country?
 
 
 
Marcuse, Herbert (19 July 1898-29 July 1979),  author, professor,
and political activist, was born in Berlin, Germany, the son
of Carl Marcuse, a prosperous Jewish merchant, and Gertrud Kreslawsky,
the daughter of a wealthy German factory owner. Marcuse studied
at the Mommsen Gymnasium in Berlin before World War I and served
with the German army in the war. Transferred to Berlin early
in 1918, he observed and sympathized with the German revolution
that drove Kaiser Wilhelm II out of Germany and established a
Social Democratic government.

After demobilization, Marcuse went to Freiburg to pursue his
studies and received a Ph.D. in literature in 1922 for a dissertation
on the German artist-novel ("Der deutsche Kunstlerroman"). In
1923 he married Sophie Wertheim, with whom he was to have one
child, and for a time he worked in Berlin as a bookseller. But
by 1928 he was back in Freiburg, enrolled as a student of Martin
Heidegger, whose influence in German philosophical circles was on the rise.

Marcuse soon began drawing together strands from different lines
of thought, resulting in a type of Marxism colored by existential
and phenomenological themes, which anticipated the work of the
main exponents of existentialism and phenomenology of the post-World
War II era. According to Marcuse, Marxist dogma regarding economics
and the political sphere had led to a theory-laden paralysis
that could only be alleviated by relating Marxism to contemporary
cultural and social phenomena and to the existential needs of
individuals. While socialist principles were meant to free society
from the grip of capitalist exploitation, they also ought--in
Marcuse's view--to liberate individuals from the narrow conventions
of bourgeois life. 

When Marcuse reviewed an edition of Karl Marx's previously unpublished
"1844 Manuscripts" in 1932, he was one of the first to stress
the importance of Marx's early philosophical perspectives on
labor, human nature, and alienation, which were in line with
Marcuse's own thinking at the time. For his Habilitationsschrift
(qualifying publication for university employment), Marcuse turned
to Hegel, in whom there was increasing interest among European
philosophers, and wrote a study of the Hegelian categories of
life and history, Hegels Ontologie und die Grundlegung einer
Theorie der Geschichtlichkeit (1932; published in English as
Hegel's Ontology and the Theory of Historicity). 

In 1933, the year that Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany,
the Institut fur Sozialforschung (Institute for Social Research)
in Frankfurt-am-Main offered Marcuse an appointment. The institute's
aim was to develop a model of "critical theory" to counter more
descriptive, empirical "traditional theory." A haven for interdisciplinary
studies, the institute was well suited to Marcuse's outlook and
interests, and he felt at home there. Several of his colleagues,
including Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Leo Lowenthal, and
Franz Neumann, were to remain lifelong friends of his. 

Of Jewish birth and openly leftist in his politics, Marcuse
was compelled to flee Nazism; his move to the United States in
1934 proved to be permanent. To his good fortune, however, Columbia
University was able to house the Institute for Social Research,
thus allowing Marcuse and other emigres to sustain their intellectual
projects begun in Europe. With Reason and Revolution (1941),
the first significant treatise of his to appear in English, Marcuse
carried forward his study of Hegel and Marx, demonstrating affinities
in their thinking, and challenged the notion that Hegel's philosophy
of state provided a rationale for German fascism, seeing it instead
as part of a liberal constitutional tradition. 

Marcuse, a naturalized citizen since 1940, joined the U.S. Office
of War Information as a senior analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence
in December 1942 and prepared a report on ways that the mass
media of the Allied countries could present images of German
fascism. In March 1943 Marcuse transferred to the Office of Strategic
Services (OSS), working until the end of the war in the Research
and Analysis division of the Central European Branch. He and
his colleagues wrote reports attempting to identify Nazi and
anti-Nazi groups and individuals in Germany and drafted a civil
affairs handbook that dealt with denazification. In September
1945, after the dissolution of the OSS, he moved to the State
Department and was head of the Central European bureau until
1951, when he left government service following the death of his wife. 

Marcuse received a Rockefeller Foundation grant to study Soviet
Marxism, lecturing on the topic at Columbia in 1952-1953 and
at Harvard in 1954-1955. Meanwhile, he undertook an intensive
study of Sigmund Freud's writings, which lead him to propose
a philosophical nexus where Marxist and Freudian theories seemed
to intersect logically. Using Freud's categories to provide a
critique of bourgeois society, Marcuse attempted to adumbrate
in Eros and Civilization (1955) a society in which repressive
tendencies are held in check and the possibilities for self-fulfillment
are enhanced. Critics generally thought well of the book, and
it was to become an intellectual touchstone of sorts in the latter
half of the 1960s, when the revolt against establishment culture
was animated by utopian visions of individual liberation. 

In 1955 Marcuse married Inge Werner, the widow of his friend
Franz Neumann, who had died in an automobile crash the year before;
this second marriage did not result in children. Marcuse's appointment
to a faculty position at Brandeis University in 1958 coincided
with the publication of his Soviet Marxism, which was notable
for being a leftist's sharply critical examination of the USSR.
Although he did not consider the Soviet Union incapable of reform,
he saw much in the country's bureaucracy and culture that was
at odds with his conception of Marxist theory. His view of how
the USSR might evolve was borne out by the introduction of structural
and organizational changes (perestroika) that caused Soviet Marxism
to wither thirty years later. 

In One-Dimensional Man (1964), perhaps his most important work,
Marcuse turned his attention to the "ideology of advanced industrial
society," in both its capitalist and socialist manifestations.
As new forms of social control were being developed, so Marcuse
argued, a "society without opposition" was emerging. Against
the conformism engendered by mass media, ceaseless commercialization,
and the constantly stimulated addiction to consumer goods of
little intrinsic value, Marcuse counterpoised critical and dialectical
thinking that could suggest a freer and happier form of culture
and society. In One-Dimensional Man he also analyzed the integration
of the industrial working class into capitalist society and new
forms of capitalist stabilization, thus questioning the Marxist
postulates for the revolutionary proletariat and the inevitability
of capitalist crisis. Marcuse perceived in the struggles of the
U.S. civil rights movement an exemplary form of oppositional
thought and struggle. In response to all modes of repression
and domination, he advocated a "great refusal." While U.S. involvement
in the Vietnam War during the mid-1960s was radicalizing many
younger people and abetting the growth of the counterculture,
One-Dimensional Man gave expression to widespread feelings of
social alienation and cultural discontent as well as to desires
for a more liberated society and culture. 

Having provoked fierce intellectual controversy over his views,
Marcuse was forced to depart from Brandeis in 1965. He spent
the remainder of his teaching career on the faculty of the University
of California at San Diego. In a series of influential books
and articles, including "Repressive Tolerance" (1965), An Essay
on Liberation (1969), Five Lectures: Psychoanalysis, Politics,
and Utopia (1970), and Counterrevolution and Revolt (1972), Marcuse
contributed to the ideological underpinnings of New Left policies
and expanded his critique of capitalist societies. A charismatic
teacher, he nurtured students who rose in the academic world
and further disseminated his ideas. During this time Marcuse
became an international icon--in the words of Time magazine,
the 'guru of the New Left'--although the notoriety that he gained
was ironic in light of his scathing assessment of the mass media
as a corrosive agent of uncritical thought. 

Following the decline of the New Left in the mid-1970s, Marcuse
concerned himself to a large extent with questions of aesthetics.
In The Aesthetic Dimension (1979), the last of his books, he
argued for an "authentic art" that has the power to unshackle
thought and feeling. He criticized, however, both Marxist aesthetics
that celebrated "proletarian culture" and the "anti-art" movement
of the time, which renounced the exigencies of aesthetic form.
Within bourgeois art, Marcuse saw an admirable critical tradition
that used aesthetic form to expose what was false or destructive
in society and to envision a less repressed and repressive existence.
He believed that the "aesthetic dimension" was a crucial component
of an emancipated life.

Marcuse's second wife died in 1974, and two years later he married
Erica Sherover. She was with him on his last trip to Germany
when he died in Starnberg. 

Primarily a philosopher, rather than an analyst of empirical
data, Marcuse possessed a highly developed dialectical imagination
that exemplified the kind of critical thinking espoused at the
Institute for Social Research. Like others in the Frankfurt school
of cultural criticism, such as Adorno and Horkheimer, he tended
to conceptualize the world from the perspective of the social
sciences; indeed, hostile critics denounced Marcuse's writing
style as a morass of dense, obscure sociologese. Nonetheless,
he was often prescient in his ruminations on social and cultural
trends, and he provided a philosophical language for identifying
the dynamics of both repression and emancipation. More than any
other thinker in the tradition of critical theory, Marcuse had
a direct impact on American culture. To the youth- oriented New
Left during the 1960s, he was the exceptional elder whose views
could be taken seriously; to political and social conservatives,
he was anathema. Although he vanished from the popular American
scene, Marcuse left an intellectual legacy of lasting import,
having articulated the cultural pathologies of a "society without
opposition." 

 
Bibliography

The Stadtsbibliothek in Frankfurt, Germany, holds Marcuse's
papers. For analysis of his thought and influence, see Paul A.
Robinson, The Freudian Left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert
Marcuse¬  (1969; repr. 1990); Paul Breines, ed., Critical Interpretations:
New Left Perspectives on Herbert Marcuse (1970); Vincent Geoghegan,
Reason and Eros: The Social Theory of Herbert Marcuse (1981);
Barry Katz, Herbert Marcuse and the Art of Liberation: An Intellectual
Biography (1982); Douglas Kellner, Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis
of Marxism (1984); and John Bokina and Timothy J. Lukes, eds.,
Marcuse: From the New Left to the Next Left (1994). The New York
Times of 31 July 1979 has an obituary. 

Douglas Kellner 
 
 
Citation:
Douglas Kellner. "Marcuse, Herbert";
http://www.anb.org/articles/20/20-01202.html;
American National Biography Online Feb. 2000.
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