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Franz Neumann

page created by Harold Marcuse
Oct. 12, 2002, updated August 24, 2009

see also Inge Neumann page on the
Official Marcuse family website

Franz Neumann, a political scientist, was a member of the Frankfurt School emigre community in the United States. After a month of imprisonment by the Nazis in April 1933, Neumann escaped to England. He joined the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research in 1936. He is best known for his analysis of fascism, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism 1933-1944 (Oxford, 1942, 1944). In 1941 Neumann was recruited to the U.S. Board of Economic Warfare, and in July 1942 he became the chief economist in the Intelligence Division at the Office of the U.S. Chief of Staff. In 1943 Neumann was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), where he became deputy chief of the Central European Section. In 1954 he died unexpectedly in a car accident.

  • For more biographical information, see: Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School, (MIT Press, 1994), 300-301.
  • 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.
    • 2nd ed. with new appendix, Toronto, New York [etc.] Oxford University Press, 1944. xix, 649 pp.
    • republished: New York, Octagon Books, 1963, 649 pp.
    • has the table of contents, and a
    • 1942 review by C. Wright Mills
    • reviewed by George H. Sabine in The Philosophical Review 51:4 (July 1942), pp. 432, 433, 434, 435
    • 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."
  • other publications:
    • "Reeducating the Germans: The Dilemma of Reconstruction," Commentary 6(June 1947), 517-525.
    • "Military Government and the Revival of Democracy in Germany," in: Journal of International Affairs 2(1948), 3ff.
    • German 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).
  • cover of The Rule of Law under SiegeFinally, 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.
  • Best web site: has a "Franz Neumann Project" with a brief biography (scroll a bit further down for a bibliography of Neumann's publications)
  • Wikipedia Franz Leopold Neumann page.
  • Neumann was 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).
  • Additional texts:
    • David Kettler, “Negotiating Exile: Franz L. Neumann as Political Scientist,” pp. 205-224 in Caroline Arni et al., Hrsg., Der Eigensinn des Materials. Erkundungen sozialer Wirklichkeit. Frankfurt a. M./Basel: Stroemfeld, 2007.File: 15Kettler-3.doc (scroll down)

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