Herbert at FU Berlin, 1968
Herbert in the late 1970s (photo I. Ohlbaum)

Herbert Marcuse
Official Homepage

Marcuse family homepage: www.marcuse.org

webmaster: Harold Marcuse (Harold's UCSB homepage)
page created March 27, 2001, last updated 12/14/06

Bold headings link to separate pages italics directly to content pages; regular links jump down on this page.
Site News

Old News

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

    Haters Page
    News, Events and

    & stories

    What's read in courses?
    & Student Papers

    & Activists


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

    • Dec. 14, 2006: two new publications added to the Books About page: a collection of key Frankfurt School texts edited by Axel Honneth, and an essay by Peter-Erwin Jansen, "'Die Begierde nach Gesellschaft:' Herbert Marcuses Blick für die Unzulänglichkeiten staatlicher Utopien." Stasi file: Jansen's article includes a detailed discussion of the observation file maintained about him by the East German Stasi spy agency.
      [I also typed in some excerpts from A.Soellner's Zur Archäologie d. Dem. (1982)]
    • Dec. 11, 2006: Thanks to Uli Schöberl (Bauhaus University, Weimar), who notes in the guestbook that you can watch the full video Herbert's Hippopotamus on google video.
    • Dec. 11, 2006: The International Herbert Marcuse Society will hold its second annual conference at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia PA on November 8th-11th, 2007. The topic is "Critique and Liberation in the Work of Herbert Marcuse." If you wish to present a paper, please send an abstract to Arnold Farr <[email protected]> by March 15, 2007. I've also added Prof. Farr to the Scholars page.
    • Dec. 11, 2006: I have removed the bulk of One-Dimensional Man from this website (leaving only the introduction, chap. 1, and the conclusion) because Beacon Press requested it, attributing a recent decline in sales to the existence of this internet version. If any visitors have thoughts about how the existence of this web version might affect their decision to purchase (or not to purchase) the book itself, please share them in the Guestbook, below.
      • I see two conflicting factors: On the one hand, its existence on this site makes the work available to many people around the world who would never be able to purchase the book, while generally increasing the book's visibility, thereby not decreasing, but probably promoting sales.
      • On the other hand, if college courses are requiring the book, students might be tempted to read it on-line instead of purchasing it. However, there is a thriving used market (over 90 copies on amazon.com, and over 200 on abebooks.com), indicating that there is a large buffer before readers have to purchase a new copy.
    • Sept. 15, 2006: Added to Books About page: 1971 interview by Sam Keen and John Raser, "A Conversation with Herbert Marcuse: Revolutionary Eroticism, the Tactics of Terror, the Young, Psychotherapy, the Environment, Technology, Reich," in: Psychology Today 4:2(Feb. 1971), 35-40, 60-66. This is a superb piece in which Herbert gives frank answers to excellent questions. (On Aug. 17, 2006 an Australian graduate student wrote the following in the site guestbook: "Do you have any info about the late Professor John Raser, a former student of Herbert Marcuse and his advocate in Perth, Western Australia?")
    • Aug. 7, 2006: I just added a longer excerpt from David Horowitz's 2006 book The Professors to the Haters page.
    • June 28, 2006: David Satz, a musician and recording engineer who at the time recorded an October 1970 radio broadcast of a lecture by Herbert with an hourlong Q&A afterward, donated two sound files for inclusion on this site.
      • 44min/21Mbyte mp3 of the lecture; 60min/28M mp3 of the Q&A.
        Note: I have broadband, and these are 4 1/2 and 6 min. downloads for me.
      • I don't know the title yet (may be able to add the introduction soon), but the topic seems to be something like: 'to what extent is The Revolution possible today'?
      • Archived on the Sound and Video page.
      • This is a superb lecture with fascinating and evocative Q&A. Many thanks, David

    Frequently Asked Questions (back to top)

    • 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.
    • Do you have photographs of Herbert that Isolde Ohlbaum portrait of Herbert Marcusecan be used for a publication, conference announcement, etc?
    • 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.
      • Yourdictionary.com has audio (I'd put a bit more "zz" in the final s), while Allrefer, Answer.com 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.
    • 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 the 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, but that the literary scholar Ludwig Marcuse (1894-1971) was unrelated.

    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 undergraduatestudent (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 l�usage des survivants de l�économie" (Autonomous movement of critical reflection for use by survivors of the economy). See this anti-advertising manifesto 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]).
    • The Links Page on this site 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 [email protected].
    • 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).

    back to marcuse.org homepage
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    page by Harold Marcuse
    begun in Nov. 1997 at history.ucsb.edu
    expanded and moved to marcuse.org
    in March 2001

    contact: [email protected]

    hits since March 27, 2001

    for a more detailed tracking of hits,
    see visitor statistics page

    7700 on Mar. 27, 2002 [64/day]

    7,700=21 hits/day first year
    10,000 on 5/3/02 [62/day]
    27,000 on Mar. 27, 2003

    19,300=53 hits/day 2nd year
    32,000 on 5/30/03 [87/day prev. month]
    Herbert buried in Berlin, 7/18/03
    38,000 on 7/26/03 [157/day since 7/1/03]
    40,000 on 9/7/03 [70+/day recently]
    50,000 on 1/18/04 [75/day]
    56,300 on March 27, 2004
    29,300=80 hits/day 3rd year
    60,000 on May 3, 2004 [100/day]
    70,000 on Sept. 24, 2004 [73.5/day]
    84,000 on Jan. 5, 2005 [136/day]
    90,000 on Feb. 15, 2005 [146/day]
    {ca, 1000 hits uncounted 3/4-10/05}
    95,300 on March 27, 2005 [132/day]
    40,000=109 hits/day 4th year
    97,000 on Apr. 6, 2005 [170/day]
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    180,340 on Dec. 11, 2006 [131/day]

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    [data at sparklit, under guestbooks; edit; entries]
    In the 9 months from Sept 6, 2001 to June 6, 2002, the Guestbook had
    600 of 1165 total views were unique, namely 51.5%.
    On 10/12/02: 887 of 1866 views were unique (47.5%).
    On 12/18/02: 994 of 2057 views were unique (48.3%)
    On 1/3/2003: 1030 of 2114 views were unique (48.7%)
    On 6/1/2003: 1410 of 2792 views were unique (50.5%).
    On 7/8/2003: 1485 of 2954 views were unique. (160 entries)
    On 7/27/2003: 1561/3102=50.3%views unique (178 entries)
    On 9/8/03: 1622/3252=49.9% unique (187 entries).
    On 3/27/04: 1979/3863=52.2% unique (249 entries)
    On 5/30/04: 2168/4587=47% unique (277 entries)
    O n 7/9/04: 2270/4852=46.8% unique (284 entries)
    On 10/5/04: 2455/5238=46.9% unique (296 entries)
    On 11/30/04: 2668/5281=50.5% unique (315 entries)

    On 2/17/05: 3014/6978=43.2% unique (341 entries)
    On 7/6/05: 3786/11,960=32% unique (379 entries)
    [At this point I think spam engines inflated the number of visits substantially]

    On 3/12/06: 12,069/158,961=7.6% unique (429 entries)
    On 6/2/06: 15,700/170,300=9.2% unique (438 entries)
    The counter keeps a history of visitors over time, so the numerator of the fraction is the total number of unique different locations from which the guestbook was accessed.

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