David Schoenbaum

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David Schoenbaum
Born 1935 (age 78–79)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison (B.A.)
Oxford University (D.Phil, 1965)
Occupation Social scientist, historian, author, professor

David Schoenbaum (born 1935) is an American historian highly regarded for his writing on a wide range of subjects, including German political history (in the periods of WWI, Naziism, the 1960s, and contemporary politics), European and global cultural history, and U.S. diplomatic history.

Schoenbaum, for many years a professor of History at the University of Iowa, is best known for his 1966 book, "Hitler's Social Revolution." He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and, in 1965, his D.Phil from Oxford University. During his tenure at the University of Iowa he published additional books on German history and US-Israeli relations. He retired from the University of Iowa in 2008. His most recent book is The Violin: A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument, published by W. W. Norton and Company in December 2012.

In "Hitler’s Social Revolution" Schoenbaum challenged the then prevailing notion that the National Socialist regime was a backwards looking, reactionary anti-modernizing dictatorship, and instead argued that, in effect at least, the Nazi regime was a modernizing dictatorship.[1] Schoenbaum argued that the Nazi revolution was a "double revolution...of means and ends".[1] In order to accomplish its foreign policy goals, namely war, the Nazi regime was forced to encourage modernization and industrialization, despite the anti-modernist nature of Nazi ideology.[1] Schoenbaum wrote that "The revolution of ends was ideological—war against bourgeois and industrial society. The revolution of means was its reciprocal. It was bourgeois and industrial since in a industrial age, even a war against industrial society must be fought with industrial means and bourgeois are necessary to fight the bourgeoise".[2]

In Schoenbaum's view, there were two sorts of social realities, namely "objective" and "interpreted social reality".[3] By "objective social reality", Schoenbaum argued the Nazi regime had achieved greater degree of industrialization and urbanization, while by "interpreted social reality", the Nazi regime was able to break down the traditional lines of class, religion and regional loyalties to achieve an unparalleled degree of unity amongst the German people.[3] In particular, Schoenbaum argued that the Nazi regime was able to destroy the traditional class barriers that had divided German society, and for most Germans, the increased social mobility offered by the Nazi regime was sufficient compensation for the destruction of democracy.[3] Schoenbaum's book proved to be highly influential, and set off an important debate about both the intentions and the effects of Nazi social policies, and the nature of social change during the Nazi period.[4] Some historians such as Ian Kershaw have criticized Schoenbaum's work for placing too much reliance on what Kershaw considers to be subjective and impressionistic evidence.[5]

Schoenbaum has written books about other aspects of modern German history. In 1968, Schoenbaum published a book about the Spiegel Affair scandal of 1962, in which he sought to set the affair into the context of the history of the Federal Republic and the wider context of German history. His 1982 book Zabern 1913 concerned the political fall-out from the Saverne Affair in 1913. Schoenbaum argued that the affair revealed different aspects of the Second Reich, and argued that the Zabern Affair was the exception that proved that the rule that the Second Reich was no more or less liberal or illiberal then other Western nations[clarification needed].[6] In 1996, Schoenbaum wrote a highly critical book review in the National Review of Daniel Goldhagen's bestseller Hitler's Willing Executioners where he charged Goldhagen with grossly simplifying the question of the degree and virulence of German Antisemitism, and of only selecting evidence that supported his thesis.[7] Furthermore, Schoenbaum complained that Goldhagen did not take a comparative approach with Germany placed in isolation, thereby falsely implying that Germans and Germans alone were the only nation that saw widespread anti-semitism.[8] Finally, Schoenbaum argued that Goldhagen failed to explain why the anti-Jewish boycott of April 1, 1933 was relatively ineffective or why the Kristallnacht needed to be organized by the Nazis as opposed to being a spontaneous expression of German popular anti-semitism.[9] Using an example from his family history, Schoenbaum wrote that his mother-in-law, a Polish Jew who lived in Germany between 1928–1947, never considered the National Socialists and the Germans synonymous, and expressed regret that Goldhagen could not see the same.[9]

One of Schoenbaum's few works outside of German history is The United States And The State of Israel, a diplomatic history of relations between Israel and the United States from 1948 to 1993.

Work[edit]

  • The Violin: A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument, New York, New York : W. W. Norton & Company, December 2012. ISBN 9780393084405
  • with Elizabeth Pond, The German Question and Other German Questions, New York: St. Martin's Press, Oxford: In association with St. Antony's College, 1996, ISBN 0-312-16048-8.
  • "Ordinary People?" pages 54–56 from National Review, Volume XLVIII, Issue #12, July 1, 1996.
  • The United States And The State of Israel, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-19-504577-7.
  • Review of The German Gymnasium, 1780-1980 by Margret Kraul pages 132-133 from The American Historical Review, Volume 91, no. 1 February 1986.
  • "Review: The Wehrmacht and GI Joe: Learning What from History?: A Review Essay", Review of Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945 by Martin van Creveld pages 201-207 from International Security, Volume 8, Issue #1, Summer, 1983.
  • Zabern 1913: Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982, ISBN 0-04-943025-4.
  • Reply to John J. Mearsheimer, "Clausewitz and the British Generals," pages 223-229 from International Security, Volume 6, no. 3 Winter, 1981-1982.
  • "Dateline Bonn: Uneasy Super Ally" pages 176-191 from Foreign Policy, no. 37, Winter, 1979-1980.
  • Review of Hitler aus nächster Nähe: Aufzeichnungen eines Vertrauten, 1929-1932 by Henry Ashby Turner page 1082 from The American Historical Review, Volume 84, no. 4, October 1979.
  • "Passing the Buck(s)" pages 14–20 from Foreign Policy, no. 34 Spring, 1979.
  • "... Or Lucky? " Pages 171-181 from Foreign Policy, no. 10, Spring 1973.
  • Review of The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45 by JS Conway pages 458-461 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 42, no. 3, September 1970.
  • Review of labor service in Germany, plans and forms to achieve the introduction of compulsory labor service in 1935 by Henning Köhler & Wolfram Fischer pages 113-114 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 42, Issue #1, March 1970.
  • "Elections in West Germany" pages 265-271 from Polity, Volume 3, no. 2, Winter, 1970.
  • Review of Revolutionary Hamburg: Labor Politics in the Early Weimar Republic by Richard A. Comfort pages 637-638 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 41, Issue #4, December 1969.
  • Review of The Outlawed Party: Social Democracy in Germany, 1878-1890 by Vernon L. Lidtke pages 702-704 from The Journal of Economic History, Volume 28, Issue # 4, December 1968.
  • The Spiegel Affair, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1968.
  • Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939, Garden City, NY Doubleday, 1966.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold, 2000 pages 166-167.
  2. ^ Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold, 2000 page 166.
  3. ^ a b c Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold, 2000 page 167.
  4. ^ Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold, 2000 pages 168-169.
  5. ^ Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship : Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London : Arnold, 2000 page 177.
  6. ^ Schoenbaum, David Zabern 1913, London : George Allen & Unwin, 1982 page 184.
  7. ^ Schoenbaum, David "Ordinary People?" pages 54-56 from National Review, Volume XLVIII, Issue # 12, July 1, 1996 pages 54-55.
  8. ^ Schoenbaum, David "Ordinary People?" pages 54-56 from National Review, Volume XLVIII, Issue # 12, July 1, 1996 page 55.
  9. ^ a b Schoenbaum, David "Ordinary People?" pages 54-56 from National Review, Volume XLVIII, Issue # 12, July 1, 1996 page 56.

References[edit]

  • Aruri, Naseer "Trouble in Paradise?" Review of The United States and the State of Israel from pages 113-115 Journal of Palestine Studies, Volume 24, Issue #4, Summer, 1995.
  • Bavaj, Riccardo Review of Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany 1933-1939 pages 93-97 from Jürgen Danyel, Jan-Holger Kirsch & Martin Sabrow (eds), 50 Klassiker der Zeitgeschichte, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2007.
  • Berghahn V.R. Review of Zabern 1913 Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany pages 928-929 from The English Historical Review, Volume 99, no. 393, October 1984.
  • Divine, Donna Robinson Review of The United States and the State of Israel from pages 486-487 AJS Review, Volume 20, Issue #2, 1995.
  • Fergusson, Gilbert Review of Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany 1933-1939 pages 71–73 from International Affairs, Volume 44, Issue #1, January 1968.
  • Hahn, Peter Review of The United States and the State of Israel pages 692-693 from The American Historical Review, Volume 99, no. 2, April 1994.
  • Heckart, Beverly Review of Zabern 1913: Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany pages 131-132 from The American Historical Review, Volume 88, No. 1, February 1983.
  • Herwig, Holger Review of Zabern 1913: Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany pages 603-604 from German Studies Review, Volume 6, Issue #3, October 1983.
  • Kerhsaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold, New York: Copublished in the USA by Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • McKenzie, Mary Review of The German Question and Other German Questions pages 392-393 from German Studies Review, Volume 21, Issue #2 May 1998.
  • Mengelberg, Kaethe Review of Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 pages 619-620 from Political Science Quarterly, Volume 83, No. 4 December 1968.
  • Morgan, Roger Review of The German Question and Other Questions Page 383 from International Affairs, Volume 73, Issue #2, April 1997.
  • Paret, Peter Review of Zabern 1913: Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany pages 577-579 from The Journal of Modern History, Volume 55, no. 3, September, 1983.
  • Quandt, William Review of The United States and the State of Israel page 741 from Political Science Quarterly, Volume 108, no. 4, Winter, 1993-1994.
  • Schweitzer, Arthur Review of Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 from pages 171-180 Journal of Social History, Volume 3, no. 2, Winter, 1969-1970.
  • Silverman, Dan Review of Zabern 1913 Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany page 96 from Military Affairs, volume 47, no. 2, April 1983.
  • Snyder, Louis L. Review of Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany 1933-1939 pages 1188-1189 from The American Historical Review, Volume 73, Issue #4, April 1968.

External links[edit]