Marcuse Family website > Herbert Marcuse homepage
Herbert at FU Berlin, 1968 Herbert in the late 1970s (photo I. Ohlbaum)

Herbert Marcuse
Official Homepage

Marcuse family homepage:

webmaster: Harold Marcuse (Harold's UCSB homepage)
page created March 27, 2001, last updated 8/19/15

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Herbert's Hippo
full texts:
  • One Dimen. Man
  • Repressive Toler.
  • Lib. fr. Affl. Soc.
  • End of Utopia
  • Books
    about Marcuse

    Unpublished Papers
    Haters Page

    News, Events and

    & stories
    What's read in courses?

    Student Papers
    & Activists
    Links & Web Pages

    Encyclopedia Entries

    Site News (see also Old News page; current visitor statistics and interesting guestbook at bottom)

    • Aug. 18, 2015:1974 Paris lectures, table of contentsIn 1974 Herbert presented 7 lectures to students in Paris. An English translation is now available: Paris Lectures at Vincennes University, 1974: Global Capitalism and Radical Opposition ($20 on CreateSpace; same price on amazon where you might get free shipping)
      • Blurb: "This volume advances Marcuse scholarship by presenting seven newly discovered, hitherto unpublished, lectures to students at Vincennes University, a branch of the Sorbonne. Marcuse's critical analysis focuses on core features of American society, its political economy, its culture, and the potential attainability of a free socialist future. These 1974 manuscripts were found in 2014 in the Marcuse archive at the University of Frankfurt by Peter-Erwin Jansen. Jansen and Charles Reitz edited and annotated the lectures for publication. Commentary by Sarah Surak, Detlev Claussen, and Douglas Kellner illuminates the historical context of Marcuse's theoretical perspective and his relevance to contemporary movements for social change." (cover image)
      • Also added to Publications and BooksAbout pages.
      • Also new on BooksAbout: Shannon Brincat and Damian Gerber, "The Necessity of Dialectical Naturalism: Marcuse, Bookchin, and Dialectics in the Midst of Ecological Crises," in: Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 47:4(Sept. 2014), pages 871–893. (pdf)
    • **Nov. 12-14, 2015**: The sixth biennial conference of the International Herbert Marcuse Society will be held at Salisbury University (wikipedia page) in Salisbury, Maryland, on November 12-14, 2015. Details forthcoming, or contact Prof. Sarah Surak (poli sci/faculty webpage; env. studies webpage).
    • Aug. 2 & 11, 2015:
      • new translations available:
        1977 Spanish
        : "El asesinato no es un arma política," translated by Juan David Palacios Suárez (2 page pdf). Original: "Mord darf keine Waffe der Politik sein," in: Die Zeit, Sept. 23, 1977. [translation available under this Creative Commons License](posted on Publications page)
      • Palacios, a scholar at the National University of Colombia, also added to the ScholarActivists page.
      • 1964 Spanish: "Un Mundo sin un Logos," translation of "World Without Logos," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 20 (January 1964): 25-26. Translation by Juan David Palacios (2 page pdf).(Original available on google books; archived pdf [use "fit to printable area" if printing]) [translation available under this Creative Commons License]
      • Dialectic of Liberation 2015, coverRe-publication of 1967 "Liberation from the Affluent Society" lecture, in: David Cooper (ed.), The Dialectics of Liberation (Verso, June 2015; $17 at publisher's website). With contributions by Gregory Bateson, Stokely Carmichael, John Gerassi, Lucien Goldmann, Paul Goodman, Jules Henry, R.D. Laing, Herbert Marcuse, and Paul Sweezy. This volume is part of Verso's Radical Thinkers series. Book tagline: "A revolutionary compilation of speeches which produced a political groundwork for many of the radical movements in the following decades."
    • May 4, 2015: The 2015 International Herbert Marcuse Society Conference will be held November 12-14, 2015 at Salisbury University (in Maryland on a peninsula across the Chesapeake Bay from Washington & Baltimore). Conference highlights:
      • * Deadline for proposals (paper and creative projects): May 20, 2015
        * Deadline for undergraduate student paper proposals: October 15, 2015
        * Submit abstracts of 250-500 wordsto and
        * Confirmation of acceptance: June 1, 2015
        * Conference registration opens June 1, 2015
        * For a tentative schedule, travel information, and more visit
      • See also the May 2015 Int'l Herbert Marcuse Society Newsletter
    • Dec. 16, 2014: Willi Jasper, "Vor 50 Jahren erschien Herbert Marcuses 'Der eindimensionale Mensch'," in: Der Tagesspiegel (16. Dez. 2014)
    • Dec. 7, 2014: I just noticed that there is a Kritische Theorie Facebook group with 638 (mostly German) members as of today.
    • Nov. 17, 2014: Ron Aronson published a nice article in the Boston Review: "Marcuse Today Fifty years later, 'One-Dimensional Man' is more prescient than its author could have imagined." (added to Books About page)
    • Jan. 10, 2015: deadline for submission of papers to a special issue of Radical Philosophy Review devoted to "Herbert Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man." Brazil ODM anniversary Conference, thumbnailSee the call for papers on google docs. This deadline was extended so that papers presented at Columbia and Brandeis in Sept/Oct 2014 can be submitted as well.
    • Nov. 25-27, 2014: Another One-Dimensional Man anniversary conference will he held in Brazil on Nov. 25-27 at the Federal University of ABC (UfABC) in São Bernardo do Campo, in the state of São Paulo. It was organized by professors Marilia Mello Pisani and Flamarion Caldeiras Ramos. This is the fourth conference on One-Dimensional Man in Brazil this year, after one in Maringa in July, one in Ouro Preto in September, and one in Sao Paulo in October. Many thanks to Silvio Carneiro for the flyer and information.
    • .
    • Nov. 21, 2014: Stephen J. Whitfield, author of a book on Hannah Arendt and a professor of American Studies at Brandeis University, published an article in the Fall 2014 issue of Dissent in which he claims that Herbert has descended into irrelevancy, while Arendt's thoughts on totalitarianism hold the key to the future: "Refusing Marcuse: 50 Years After One-Dimensional Man." (If I may editorialize, I think Whitfield himself offers more evidence of any decline of critical thought in the US than Marcuse does or ever did. I marvel at his inability to perceive the applicability of Herbert's analysis to the developments he decries. Whitfield's claims are diametrically opposed to the comic in the same issue--see next item.)
    • Nov. 21, 2014: Thorkelson ODM Comic thumbnailDissent magazine published a 4-page comic celebrating the 50th Anniversary of One-Dimensional Man: "The 50-Year-Old One-Dimensional Man" by Nick Thorkelson. (the image at right is the first panel)
    • Nov. 11, 2014:

    Archived Old News Page (history of this site going back to March 2001)

    Frequently Asked Questions (back to top)

    1. Where are Herbert's Papers?
      • Herbert's letters and papers are held by the Marcuse archive at the Archivzentrum of the University Library in Frankfurt,Germany (Universitätsbibliothek). Peter-Erwin Jansen, the publisher of Herbert's papers in German, who lives in Frankfurt, can grant permission to scholars to see limited-access materials. (For more information on Peter-Erwin, see the Nachgelassene Schriften page.)
      • 2013 note: several important collections of primary and secondary materials are becoming available in the US (such as the manuscript of One-Dimensional Man at Brandeis), and we are seeking to establish an archive or study center here as well.
    2. How can I obtain permission to publish some of Herbert's writings?
      • Usually from the previous publisher. For hitherto unpublished materials, see the information on Herbert's son Peter's page; Peter is the literary executor.
    3. Do you have photographs of Herbert that Isolde Ohlbaum portrait of Herbert Marcusecan be used for a publication, conference announcement, etc?
      • Most photos on this site are scanned from various publications, or are from nebulous internet sources, and we cannot offer rights to them.
      • We do have a few photographs from the 1930s (such as the one in his biography, below, standing next to the old car in Santa Monica) and 1950s (see the header of the Books About page), as well as a number from his 1979 funeral and 2003 burial. There are also a few personal/family snapshots on the Sophie and Ricky pages, but these are not suitable for publications and we would probably not give permission. If you have further questions, ask me:
      • Herbert among students, Berlin, 1968A note on the photo of Herbert among students at the Free University of Berlin at right: It was found in 2001 on the Copenhagen Goethe Institute website, from which it has since been removed. The Goethe Institute now has an image from a different vantage point. In 2011 an editor at Yale University Press tracked down the image owner:
        Ullstein bild: Bildnummer: 00003800 - Jung Datum: 01.01.1967 Bildgrösse: 3639x2784 Pixel
        The Ullstein caption dates it as "1967;" it may be May 1968 however.
      • Isolde Ohlbaum's portraits of Herbert are the best commercially available ones on the internet. (See image above right, in this page's header, and 2004 announcements.)
      • The UCSD library's collection has quite a few portraits and images of Herbert (278: most are newspaper clippings). They include 10 "informal" faculty portraits of Herbert in a suit in his office, taken by Gay Crawford on April 2, 1968. He's sitting (in his office presumably) in a shirt, tie and jacket. I like no. 8 with the mischevious smile best. A link for permissions accompanies the photos. The contact for permission to publish those photos (free for non-commercial uses) is:
        • Archives of Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library
          University of California, San Diego
          9500 Gilman Dr #0219
          La Jolla, CA 92093-0219
        • Other images are held by the
          Mandeville Special Collections Library
          UCSD Libraries 0175S
          9500 Gilman Drive
          La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
    4. How did Herbert pronounce "Marcuse"?
      • I'd write it phonetically (in US-English) [mahr KOO zeh], with the emphasis on the middle syllable. That is the standard German pronunciation.
      • has audio (I'd put a bit more "zz" in the final s), while Allrefer, and Infoplease have pronunciation guides.
      • As a member of Herbert's son Peter's family, we grew up in the US with an anglicized pronunciation (which you'd hear on my answering machine, phonetically [mar "QU"SS] (with the 'cu' pronounced like the letter "Q") and the emphasis on the second syllable.
    5. Are we related?
      • Although Marcuse is by no means a common name, there are many thousands of us. Some years ago the city of Berlin had a web site listing the names of the city's Jewish citizens who were murdered under the Nazis. There were 144 "Marcuses" on it, only a few of whom were related to Herbert.
      • I don't do genealogical research, and don't have a reliable family tree to check. The best I can offer is the information on this site's page about Herbert's father Carl Marcuse. We know that Carl had siblings, but not who they were. We've been told that the sexologist Max Marcuse (1877-1963) was Herbert's cousin, whereas the literary scholar Ludwig Marcuse (1894-1971) was unrelated, as was the character actor Theo Marcuse (1920-1967).

    Title page of Herbert's 1922 dissertation on "the German artists' novel"Herbert Marcuse was born in Berlin on July 19,1898. After completing his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Freiburg in 1922, he moved to Berlin, where he worked in the book trade. He returned to Freiburg in 1929 to write a habilitation (professor's dissertation) with Martin Heidegger. In 1933, since he would not be allowed to complete that project under the Nazis, Herbert began work at the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, a Marxist-oriented think-tank (as we might say today).

    Herbert outside his home in 1937He emigrated from Germany that same year, going first to Switzerland, then the United States, where he became a citizen in 1940. During World War II he worked for the US Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA), analyzing intelligence reports about Germany (1942-45-51).
    In 1952 Herbert began a university teaching career as a political theorist, first at Columbia and Harvard, then at Brandeis from 1954 to 1965, and finally (already retirement-age), at the University of California, San Diego.

    Herbert at UCSD Herbert at a hearing where he testified in behalf of UCSD students. SDHS photo.
    from The Journal of San Diego History
    47:4(2001) (link)
    His critiques of capitalist society (especially his 1955 synthesis of Marx and Freud, Eros and Civilization, and his 1964 book One-Dimensional Man) resonated with the concerns of the leftist student movement in the 1960s. Because of his willingness to engage seriously with (and support) student protesters, Herbert soon became known as "the father of the new left" (a term he disliked and rejected). He had many speaking engagements in the US and Europe in the late 1960s and in the 1970s. He died on July 29, 1979, after suffering a stroke during a visit to Germany.

    The biographical timeline of the Berlin German Historical Museum's LEMO site
    was reworked by Peter-Erwin Jansen and is the most reliable.
    I've also updated the Wikipedia entry, which now links to A. Buick's excellent narrative biography,
    and Douglas Kellner's detailed intellectual biography.
    See also Theresa MacKey's excellent biography in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (2001).

    For more biographical information about Herbert, see: [back to navbar]

    • Herbert, with cigar, speaking to reporters in the 1960sshort biography Herbert's typescript CV, included in his 1922 dissertationgrandson Harold (the author of this page) prepared for a presentation at a screening of the documentary film Herbert's Hippopotamus in 1997 at UC Santa Barbara, where I teach 19th and 20th century German history.
    • His own typescript Lebenslauf (CV) that was included in his 1922 dissertation at the University of Freiburg. (jpg image; html version; html with English translation; image of title page of dissertation) [from photocopies I made at the University of Freiburg library in the early 1980s]
    • Available only on this site is a Sept. 1970 article by Michael G. Horowitz, "Portrait of the Marxist as an Old Trouper." This "personality profile" of Herbert was written by a former undergraduate student (1963-67) of Herbert's at Brandeis, after Herbert's April 1969 appearance at SUNY Old Westbury. Herbert during a May 1967 lecture at BrandeisIt was published in Sept. 1970 in Playboy  magazine. Highlights: short biography with details about why Herbert left Brandeis, and a description of a meeting with students in 1969.
    • ;-)  Of course you were wondering why he was called Marcuse? It's actually a Belgian-French abbreviation: "Mouvement autonome de réflexion critique à líusage des survivants de líéconomie" (Autonomous movement of critical reflection for use by survivors of the economy). See this anti-advertising manifesto [2006 version at web archive] by the "Group Marcuse," a group of politically engaged young sociologists, economists, philosophers, historians, psychologists and doctors (according to this review of their 2004 book De la Misere humaine en milieu publicitaire: Comment le monde se meurt de notre mode de vie [Human Misery in Advertising: How the World is Dying of Our Way of Life]).
      • November 2014: the group using this acronym is still active. Near Sivens in France, where a dam was to be constructed, protester Remy Fraisse was killed by a police flash grenade in October 2014. The project was scrapped on its lack of merits anyway. See MARCUSE, "Killing for Growth," Posted on [Thanks to Jordan Levinson for the reference, July 2015]
    • This site's Links page has annotated links to the best (and worst) biographical sites and texts available on the web.

    A Film about Herbert (back to top) [back to navbar]

    Herbert, looking pensive with students in the background, 1970s

    Permission to publish Herbert's works (back to top)

    • Herbert's letters and papers are held by the Marcuse archive at the City and University Library in Frankfurt, Thumbnail portrait of Peter MarcuseGermany (Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek). Peter-Erwin Jansen can grant permission to scholars to see limited-access materials. (see Nachgelassene Schriften page)
    • Requests to publish any of Herbert's writings should be addressed to Peter Marcuse, Herbert's son, who is the literary executor of Herbert's estate, at
    • see Peter's page for the required permissions text, and more information about him

    Other famous Marcuses of Herbert's generation (back to top) [back to navbar]Max Marcuse at an advanced age. Note duelling scars, unusual for Jewish students.

    • The literary scholar Ludwig Marcuse (1894-1971) was, as far as we know, at best a distant relative. See USC's Feuchtwanger library page about him.
    • The renowned sexologist Max Marcuse (1877-1963) may have been Herbert's cousin, according to archivist Haeberle at the Robert-Koch-Institut in Berlin, which maintains a very informative website about Max and other pioneers in the field.
      OCLC: Levy, Amihai.; Ohry, Abraham, "A forgotten giant: Dr Max Marcuse, one of the founders of the science of sexology," in: Adler Museum Bulletin Vol. 11, no. 3 (Nov. 1985).

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