Note Jan. 2005:
This page has been superceded by four separate pages:
, Inge, Erica and Franz Neumann.

I leave this page here for documentation purposes only.

link to homepageSeveral visitors to my Herbert Marcuse page have asked me about his wife Erica Sherover, and also about Inge Neumann. Thus I have made this page to collect some information about the three women he was married to. Additional contributions are welcome.
created by Harold Marcuse, Oct. 2002.

Sophie MarcuseSophie Wertheim (1901-1951)

Sophie was a mathematician. She was married to Herbert Marcuse from 1924 until her death from cancer in 1951.
Cover of 1961 edition of Eros and CivilizationDedication page of Eros and CivilizationHerbert and Sophie's son Peter was born in Berlin in 1928.
They lived in Freiburg, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Herbert dedicated his book Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, first published in 1955, to Sophie.

Inge S. Neumann (nee Werner) (1913-1972?)[actually -1973]


Franz & Inge Neumann, Golde & Leo Loewenthal, Herbert & Sophie Marcuse, ca. 1937
Franz & Inge Neumann,
Golde & Leo Löwenthal, and
Herbert & Sophie Marcuse, ca. 1937

This picture from ca. 1937 shows: Franz & Inge Neumann, Golde & Leo Loewenthal, Herbert & Sophie Marcuse.

Herbert married Inge Neumann, the widow of his friend Franz Neumann, in 1956. Inge was the author of:

European War Crimes Trials: A Bibliography, compiled and annotated by Inge S. Neumann. Additional material furnished by the Wiener Library, London. Edited by Robert A. Rosenbaum. Publisher: New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1951. (republished by Greenwood Press, 1978), 113 pages.
This bibliography, intended for scholarly use in the field of international law, consists of publications between 1941 and 1950. Approximately two-thirds of the citations are annotated. page

From the 1960s until her death in the summer of 1972, Inge taught modern languages at San Diego State University.

Franz Leopold Neumann (1900-1954), a political scientist, was also a member of the Frankfurt School emigre community in the United States. Franz, who died unexpectedly in a car accident, is best known as the author of:

Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1942. xvii, 532 pp. incl. tables.
London: V. Gollancz ltd., 1942, 1943. 429 pp., ill.
Toronto, New York [etc.] Oxford University Press, 1944. xix, 649 pp.
[2nd ed. with new appendix] (republished: New York, Octagon Books, 1963), 649 pp.

Gerald Markle, in Meditations of a Holocaust Traveler (SUNY Press, 1995, p. 84), writes of Behemoth:
"Neumann had been arrested in 1933, but was able to leave Germany. The book, over five hundred pages, was completed in 1942 at Columbia University, where Neumann was affiliated with the Institute for Social Research. I cite the 1963 version ... which contains an appendix of one hundred pages.
The title of the book is taken first from Hobbes, whose analysis of Leviathan--a coercive state founded on individual rights--is well known. Less known is his study of government during the seventeenth century English civil war, which depicts a nonstate, anarchy and chaos: the Behemoth. In a preface, Neumann explained that Hobbes had borrowed both titles, Leviathan and Behemoth, from Jewish mythology, where the former was the ruler of the desert, the latter of the sea. Both were monsters of Chaos."

Neumann was also the mentor of Raul Hilberg's pathbreaking three volume dissertation about the bureaucracy of the Nazi genocide, published in 1961 as The Destruction of the European Jews. (1961, 1967, 1978, 1981, 1985). Hilberg describes Neumann's feelings about Hilberg's topic briefly in the introduction to his autobiography, The Politics of Memory (1996).

Neumann also wrote:
cover of The Rule of Law under SiegeGerman Democracy 1950. (New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [1950]), 249-296 p. Series: International conciliation, no.461.

After Franz's death Herbert edited a collection of his essays:
The Democratic and the Authoritarian State: Essays in Political and Legal Theory, by Franz Neumann; edited and with a preface by Herbert Marcuse (New York: Free Press, 1957; republished 1964). [text of Herbert's introduction]

Finally, see also this posthumous collection:
The Rule of Law under Siege: Selected Essays of Franz L. Neumann and Otto Kirchheimer, edited by William E. Scheuerman. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), vii, 268 p. [ page; w/ 16 sample pages][contents]

Erica Sherover-Marcuse (1938-1988)

Ricky in 1978Erica (known to her friends as Ricky) studied with my grandfather, Herbert Marcuse, at UC San Diego in the 1970s. After his second wife, Inge Neumann, died, Ricky and Herbert were married on June 21, 1976. Herbert died in July 1979; Ricky died of cancer on December 15, 1988. This page collects some of the documents available on the web by and about Ricky and her work.

Ricky was perhaps best known for the "Unlearning Racism" workshops she developed and led in the Bay area of California and nationally. Her partner after Herbert's death, Kostas Bagakis, still works in the movement.

The place on the web to go to for more information about Ricky is (site), a website devoted to her life's work. It has a detailed illustrated biographical article that Bettina Aptheker wrote in 1989 (page 1, page 2, page 3), which includes photos from Ricky's childhood (born in New York City, she lived in Mexico and had a communist German refugee governess from ages 5 to 9, ca. 1943-1947) and all phases of her life right up until her death.
The Unlearning Racism site also has the texts of many of Ricky's writings about racism and activism, and welcomes submission of personal stories about Ricky.

See also this reminiscence from JDD, whose work in AIDS prevention was inspired by Ricky.

As most academics, Ricky is traceable in her publications:

1975: Erica Sherover, review of Russell Jacoby's Social Amnesia: A Critique of Conformist Psychology, in: Telos no. 25, Fall 1975.

1979: "The Virtue of Poverty: Marx's Transformation of Hegel's Concept of the Poor" in Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory (vol. 3, no. 1), 53-66. (14 page pdf [2.2MB=long download!]) (with comment by Jeremy J. Shapiro, 67-70; pdf). compressed version archived on
The Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory was published from 1976-91 as a peer-reviewed journal of critical thought. Envisioned as an independent intellectual journal, the CJPST quickly attracted to its pages an expanding circle of theorists, writers, artists, and poets who explored forms of critical thinking that were historically engaged, politically critical, and theoretically diverse.

Herbert, Erica and Harold in July 1978
Herbert, Ricky and Harold Marcuse, Frankfurt, July 1978

See Ricky's September 27, 1979 letter to the New York Review of Books after Herbert's death (authored jointly with Herbert's son Peter).

Her major book, deriving from her dissertation, was published in 1986:
Emancipation and Consciousness: Dogmatic and Dialectical Perspectives in the Early Marx
(Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), 211 pages. Bibliography: p. [143]-203. page
Originally presented as her doctoral thesis at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, in 1983. Having begun her dissertation under Herbert's direction, Ricky defended under Habermas.

Focusing especially on Marx's 1842-43 writings, Sherover-Marcuse seeks to develop a theory of emancipatory consciousness. She argues that in Marx's philosophy there is an unresolved tension between a deterministic (dogmatic) and a dialectical approach, and that this tension has been a major factor leading to the contemporary rethinking of Marxist theory.

From Choice
"In the last 60 years a wide variety of thinkers have tried to show what Marxism 'truly' consists of. The Sherover-Marcuse (women's studies, San Francisco State) study is one of the more recent efforts. . . . {The author} clearly has a deep knowledge of Marxist literature; almost a third of the book consists of wide-ranging bibliographical notes. Although somewhat prolix, her presentation is well organized and evenhanded but presumes some familiarity with Marxist vocabulary and philosophy--most undergraduates would find it difficult.Devotees of Marxist thought will probably not learn much from it either, but they will enjoy its tight reasoning and its erudition. Only for strong Marxist collections."

From Robert J. Antonio - American Journal of Sociology
"[The author], like many other critical Marxist intellectuals, believes that the contemporary 'crisis' of the Left begins in Marx's thought and, particularly, in his failure to elaborate the forms of communication and modes of thought that would produce a liberated society. Although Emancipation and Consciousness addresses a heavily discussed problematic, it expresses a fresh perspective and opens some new terrain. . . . Postmodernist skeptics would argue that Sherover-Marcuse's critique of Marx is not radical enough because it does not address their primary contention that the very idea of 'universal human emancipation' is inherently dogmatic and potentially authoritarian. . . . [This] is a high-quality scholarly work, deserving of the honors that it was awarded as a doctoral dissertation at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. The analysis is insightful and provocative, and, throughout, the argument is skillfullycrafted and well written. Sherover-Marcuse contributes significantly to debate over Marx's thought and to the current dialogue on the intellectual foundations of politically engaged social theory."

Cited in Chap. 5 "Toward a Transformative Model for Ethics Education in the First World" of Mark W. Young's 1995 Queensland University of Technology B.A. honors thesis Transforming Perspectives: An Approach to Ethics Education in a First World Context.

March 30, 1986 letter from Ricky to Harold Marcuse, in which she describes how Herbert could spend a whole year reading 150 pages of Hegel with a graduate seminar (a practice he learned with Heidegger). Ricky also mentions beginning cancer treatments.

Ricky died on Dec. 15, 1988, having been diagnosed with cancer less than two years earlier.

Obituary from the Los Angeles Times, Sunday Dec. 25, 1988, pg. 54:
Erica Sherover-Marcuse; Created Workshops on Racism
Erica Sherover-Marcuse, 49, creator of workshops to help people overcome racist attitudes. Miss Sherover-Marcuse, the widow of leftist political philosopher Herbert Marcuse, developed the workshops for small groups as well as large gatherings in institutional settings. They focused on helping participants take pride in their own heritage as a means of building alliances with racial minorities. In 1976, she married Herbert Marcuse, a controversial political philosopher and professor at UC San Diego. He died in 1979 at the age of 81. Miss Sherover-Marcuse led workshops in Israel, Germany and the Netherlands as well as across the United States. In 1985, she co-founded New Bridges, an Oakland-based multicultural awareness group designed to spread her philosophy to teen-agers. In Oakland on Dec. 15 of cancer.

link to homepagepage created Oct. 12, 2002, updated Mar. 27, 2004 [superceded Jan. 2005, see top]
by Harold Marcuse ([email protected])

return to Herbert Marcuse homepage; homepage