Alfred de Grazia

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Alfred de Grazia in Naxos, Greece, August 2003

Alfred de Grazia (December 29, 1919 – July 13, 2014), born in Chicago, Illinois, was a political scientist and author. He developed techniques of computer-based social network analysis in the 1950s,[1] developed new ideas about personal digital archives in the 1970s,[2] and defended the catastrophism thesis of Immanuel Velikovsky.[3]


De Grazia attended the University of Chicago, receiving an A.B. there in 1939, attended law school at Columbia University from 1940–1941, and in 1948 gained a PhD from the University of Chicago[4] in political science. His thesis was published as Public and Republic: Political Representation in America by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, New York (1951): "A thoroughgoing examination of the meaning of representation, the fundamental element in any definition of republic." (The New York Times)[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Military activity[edit]

Alfred de Grazia at Dachau concentration camp, shortly after its liberation, May 1945

In World War II, Alfred de Grazia served in the ranks from private to captain, in artillery, intelligence, and psychological warfare.[14] He received training in this then new field at in Washington D.C. and the newly established Camp Ritchie, Maryland.[15][16][citation needed] He served with the 3rd, 5th and 7th US Armies and as a liaison officer with the British 8th Army.[citation needed] He took part in six campaigns, from North Africa to Italy (Battle of Monte Cassino) to France and Germany, receiving several decorations.[citation needed][17] He co-authored a report on psychological warfare for the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force.[18] By the end of the war, he was Commanding Officer of the Psychological Warfare Propaganda Team attached to the headquarters of the 7th Army.[19][citation needed] With his fiancée, then wife, journalist Jill Oppenheim, he carried on an extensive wartime correspondence of well over 2,000 lengthy letters, probably one of the largest such correspondences still extant, published on the web under the title "Letters of Love and War." [16][20][21][22] He wrote manuals of psychological warfare for the CIA for the Korean War and organized and investigated psychological operations for the Department of Defence during the Vietnam War. His reports on psychological operations, now largely declassified, include Target Analysis and Media in Propaganda to Audiences Abroad (1952),[23] Elites Analysis (1955), as well as Psychological Operations in Vietnam (1968). On Oct. 31st, 2014, he was made posthumously a Distinguished Member of the Regiment (DMOR) of the Regiment of Psychological Operations - Special Operations Command - at Fort Bragg, NC. [24][25]

Academic career[edit]

He was assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis from 1948 to 1950, before becoming associate professor of political science Brown University.[4] He was appointed at Stanford University in 1952 as director of the Committee for Research in the Social Sciences, supported by a Ford Foundation grant, but in 1955 he was turned down for academic tenure at Stanford.[26]

From 1959 he was professor of government and social theory at New York University.[4]

In 1957 Alfred de Grazia founded PROD; Political Research: Organization and Design, later renamed The American Behavioral Scientist, an academic journal devoted to the Chicago school of behaviorist sociology. In 1965, he created the Universal Reference System, the first computerized reference system in the Social Sciences.[27]

Support for Velikovsky[edit]

De Grazia became interested in Immanuel Velikovsky's catastrophism. Following considerable criticism of Velikovsky's claims by the scientific community, de Grazia dedicated the whole September 1963 issue of American Behavioral Scientist to the issue.[28][29] He also published two books on it, The Velikovsky Affair: The Warfare of Science and Scientism and Cosmic Heretics: A Personal History of Attempts to Establish and Resist Theories of Quantavolution and Catastrophe in the Natural and Human Sciences.

Michael Polanyi stated:

A number of sociologists actually supported the popular view against the scientists. They came out first in The American Behavioral Scientist (September, 1963) and then again in a book (de Grazia 1966), which angrily attacked the whole community of natural scientists for paying no attention to Velikovsky. For my part I believe that the scientists were quite right in refusing to pay serious attention to Velikovsky's writings, and that the sociologists' attack on them was totally unfounded.[28]

In a review of the second book, Henry Bauer suggests that de Grazia's efforts may be responsible for Velikovsky's continuing notability.[30]

In both books de Grazia subscribes to the thesis that, in the words of Henry Bauer, "the affair revealed something seriously rotten in the state of science". The review however suggests that the rejection came about…

because Velikovsky wanted instant recognition as the authority on science when he had no standing in any science, no qualifications, had not paid his dues through recognized achievements and presented his ideas in the form of a popularly published book rather than through technical articles.

The review further suggests that "de Grazia does not understand how the content of science is generated" and that his "understanding of science as a social activity is ambiguous."[30]

In the second book, de Grazia upholds Velikovsky's most general claim, that geologically recent (in the last 15,000 years) extraterrestrially-caused catastrophes occurred, and had a significant impact on the Earth and its inhabitants. De Grazia terms this belief Quantavolution.[30]

Later career[edit]

In the early 1970s, de Grazia founded the "University of the New World" in Haute-Nendaz Switzerland, as an unstructured alternative to American universities. He invited Beat author William S. Burroughs to teach at it. In his biography of Burroughs, Ted Morgan described the students that it attracted as "drifters and dropouts on the international hippie circuit"; he suggested that this resulted in a culture clash with the "prim Swiss", and that the university lacked adequate facilities or a sound business model.[31]

In 2002, de Grazia was appointed visiting professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, Computing and Applications of the University of Bergamo.[32] He has previously been a visiting lecturer at the University of Rome, University of Bombay, University of Istanbul, and University of Gothenburg.[4]

On December 31, 2013, de Grazia was awarded the highest French distinction, being made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by decree of President François Hollande. [3] From WWII, he also has the Croix de Guerre, the Bronze Star and the EAME Campaign Medal.

Personal life[edit]

Alfred de Grazia was married to Jill Oppenheim (d. 1996) from 1942 to 1971, to Nina Mavridis from 1972 to 1973,[4] and at the time of his death was married to Anne-Marie (Ami) Hueber de Grazia (since 1982),[33][34][35] a French writer. He had seven children with Jill Oppenheim. One of them, Carl, a musician, died in 2000. One of his daughters, Victoria de Grazia, a Professor of Contemporary History at Columbia University, is a member of the American Academy.[36]


  • Michels, Robert, First lectures in political sociology. Translated, with an introduction, by Alfred de Grazia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, [1949]. And Harper & Row, 1965.[37]
  • Public and republic: political representation in America. New York: Knopf, 1951.[38][39][40][41]
  • The elements of political science. Series: Borzoi Books in Political Science. New York: Knopf, 1952. And second revised edition: Politics and government: the elements of political science. Vol 1: the element of political science and Vol. 2: Political organization. [1962]. New York: Collier, 1962– . And new revised edition, New York: Free Press London: Collier Macmillan, 1965.[42][43]
  • The Western Public: 1952 and beyond. [A study of political behaviour in the western United States.]. Stanford: Stanford University Press, [1954.][44]
  • The American way of government. National edition. New York : Wiley, [1957]. There is also a "National, State and Local edition".[45]
  • Foundation for Voluntary Welfare. Grass roots private welfare : winning essays of the 1956 national awards competition of the Foundation for Voluntary Welfare. Alfred de Grazia, editor. New York: New York University Press, 1957.
  • American welfare. New York: New York University Press, 1961 (with Ted Gurr).
  • World politics: a study in international relations. Series: College Outline Series. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1962.
  • Apportionment and representative government. Series: Books that matter. New York : Praeger, c1963
  • Essay on apportionment and representative government. Washington : American Enterprise Institute, 1963[46]
  • Revolution in teaching: new theory, technology, and curricula. With an introduction by Jerome Bruner. New York: Bantam Books, [1964] (Editor, with David A. Sohn).
  • Universal Reference System. Political science, government, and public policy: an annotated and intensively indexed compilation of significant books, pamphlets, and articles, selected and processed by the Universal Reference System. Prepared under the direction of Alfred De Grazia, general editor, Carl E. Martinson, managing editor, and John B. Simeone, consultant. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Research Pub. Co., 1965–69. Plus nine more volumes on the subjects of: International Affairs; Economic Regulation; Public Policy and the Management of Science; Administrative Management; Comparative Government and Cultures; Legislative Process; Bibliography of Bibliographies in Political Science, Government and Public Policy; Current Events and Problems of Modern Society; Public Opinion, Mass Behavior and Political Psychology; Law, Jurisprudence and Judicial Process.
  • Republic in crisis: Congress against the executive force. New York: Federal Legal Publications, [1965]."Republic in Crisis is a significant and important book deserving to be read widely and widely pondered; it ought not to be ignored, lightly dismissed, or put out of hand or sight" in Charles W. Shull, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1966, p;162. [17]
  • Political behavior. Series: Elements of political science; 1. New, revised edition. New York: Free press paperback, 1966.[47]
  • Congress, The First Branch of Government, editor, Doubleday – Anchor Books, 1967[48]
  • Congress and the Presidency: Their Roles in Modern Times, with Arthur M. Schlesinger, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, 1967.
  • Passage of the Year, Poetry, Quiddity Press, Metron publications, Princeton, N.J., 1967. [18]
  • The Behavioral Sciences: Essays in honor of George A. Lundberg, editor, Behavioral Research Council, Great Barrington, Mass;, 1968.
  • Kalos: What is to be Done with Our World?,, New York University Press, 1968.
  • Old Government, New People: Readings for the New politics, et al., Scott, Foresman, Glenview, Ill., 1971.
  • Politics for Better or Worse, Scott, Foresman, Glenview, Ill., 1973.
  • Eight Branches of Government: American Government Today, w. Eric Weise, Collegiate Pub., 1975.
  • Eight Bads – Eight Goods: The American Contradictions, Doubleday – Anchor Books, 1975.
  • Supporting Art and Culture: 1001 Questions on Policy, Lieber-Atherton, New York, 1979.
  • Kalotics: A Revolution of Scientists and Technologists for World Development, Kalos Foundation, Bombay, 1979.
  • A Cloud Over Bhopal: Causes, Consequences, and Constructive Solutions, Kalos Foundation for the India-America Committee for the Bhopal Victims: Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1985.
  • The Babe, Child of Boom and Bust in Old Chicago, umbilicus mundi, Quiddity Press, Metron Publications, Princeton, N.J., 1992.[19]
  • The Student: at Chicago in Hutchin's Hey-day, Quiddity Press, Metron Publications, Princeton N.J., 1991. [20]
  • The Taste of War: Soldiering in World War II, Quiddity Press, Metron Publications, Princeton, N.J., 1992. [21]
  • Twentieth Century Fire-Sale, Poetry, Quiddity Press, Metron Publications, Princeton, N.J., 1996. [22]
  • The American State of Canaan – the peaceful, prosperous juncture of Israel and Palestine as the 51st State of the United States of America, Metron Publications, Princeton, NJ, 2009 LCCN 2008945276. [23]

See also[edit]

About Alfred de Grazia[edit]

  • Quantavolution - Challenges to Conventional Science, Festschrift in honor of Alfred de Grazia's 90th birthday, compiled and edited by Ian Tresman, Knowledge Computing, UK (2010) ASIN B00587G1FI (hardcover) ASIN B00588AGX0 (paperback)


  1. ^ Alfred de Grazia, Paul Deutschmann, Floyd Hunter: “Manual of Elite Target Analysis,”
  2. ^ Alfred de Grazia: “The Personal Archive: On Retrieving Valuable Cultural Resources,”
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c d e "Contemporary Authors Online". Gale. 2009.  Reproduced in "Biography Resource Center". Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. 2009. 
  5. ^ The New York Times, p.6 August 26, 1951, 350w review by W.E. Binkley
  6. ^ American Political Science Review 45:882 S 1951 650w review by M. J. Fisher
  7. ^ Annals of the American Academy, 276:141 Jl 1951, 350w review by Frank Paddock
  8. ^ Canadian History Review 32:170 Je 1951 350w review by R.A. Preston
  9. ^ New York Herald Tribune Book Review p13 March 18, 1951 450w review by August Heckscher: "A sober scholarly volume, authoritative in its field."
  10. ^ William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series 8, 1951, review by Herbert N. Drennon
  11. ^ Booklist 47:232 March 1st, 1951
  12. ^ U.S. Quarterly Book Review7:163 Je 1951, 210w
  13. ^ Library Journal 76:408 March 1st, 1951 130w review by R. W. Henderson.
  14. ^ See 1958 biographical notice for Alfred de Grazia in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: "Dr. de Grazia has taught Political Science at Minnesota, Brown, Columbia and Stanford Universities and has served as Captain engaged in psychological welfare in Africa and Europe during World War II." [1]
  15. ^ "The Proper Gander," Issue 2, Vol.1, Oct. 2014 - magazine of the Psychological Operations Regiment at Fort Bragg, NC
  16. ^ See credits of "The Ritchie Boys," documentary film by Christian Bauer, Tangram Productions, a Germany-Canada co-production, 2004, widely shown and short-listed for the Academy-Awards.
  17. ^ Alfred de Grazia:The Taste of War: Soldiering in World War II, autobiographical, 1992.[2]
  18. ^ Martin Herz, Alfred de Grazia: Combat Propaganda by Leaflet Shell, Psychological Warfare study produced for the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Georgetown University Library, Washington D.C.
  19. ^ "The Proper Gander," Issue 2, Vol. 2, Oct.1st, 2014
  20. ^ "Wartime Love Story to Unfold on the Net" Chicago Sun-Times, February 14, 1997
  21. ^ Quoted in anthologies such as: Tom Spain, Michael Shohl: I'll Be Home for Christmas: The Library of Congress Revisits the Spirit of Christmas in World War II. Delacorte Press, 1999.
  22. ^ Scott Turow cites the letters among the sources for his book "Ordinary Heroes," 2005.
  23. ^ US Army Military History Institute: Psychological Warfare since WWII – A working bibliography [3]
  24. ^ "The Proper Gander," Issue 2, Vol. 2, Oct. 1st 2014
  25. ^ The Fayetteville Observer
  26. ^ Lowen, Rebecca S. (1997). Creating the Cold War university: the transformation of Stanford. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520917903.  In 1955, he [de Grazia] accepted a grant from the Relm Foundation for a study of "the origins and present restrictions on the political activities of workers." In preparing notes for a meeting of Stanford's board of trustees, Fred Glover flagged the grant and de Grazia's name. Two months later, Provost Terman informed de Grazia that he would not be given tenure.
  27. ^ Clifton, Brock (April 1967). "Political science". Library Trends (Illinois Digital Environment for Access for Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), special issue: Bibliography: Current State and Future Trends, Part 2) 15 (4): 628–647. Quote: The leading exponent-and practitioner-in this area, however, has been Alfred de Grazia, professor of government at New York University and founder-editor of the American Behavioral Scientist, originally entitled PROD; Political Research: Organization and Design.(...) Through the early 1960s de Grazia made the American Behavioral Scientist a forum for writings on bibliographic and data problems in the social sciences. By 1963 he had developed a "Topical and Methodological Index," a special social science classification system consisting of some 250 terms emphasizing methodological and theoretical approaches and adaptable to computerization. This classification system was further refined and in 1965 was applied to the first of a projected ten-volume series of bibliographies in "Political Science, Government, and Public Policy. Volume 1 of this Universal Reference System series, on "International Affairs" (New York, 1965),was produced on IBM 1401/1410 computers and contains citations, annotations, and indexed descriptors of over 3,000 books and articles....  Pdf of article.
  28. ^ a b Michael Polanyi, Lecture 4: Myths, ancient and modern, Lecture at University of Chicago Spring 1969. Polanyi archive
  29. ^ Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend and Matteo Motterlini, For and against method: including Lakatos's lectures on scientific method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend correspondence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. ISBN 0-226-46774-0 ISBN 0-226-46775-9
  30. ^ a b c Bauer, Henry H. (1985). "Inside the Velikovsky Affair" (PDF). Skeptical Inquirer 9 (3): 284–288. 
  31. ^ Morgan, Ted (1990). Literary Outlaw. New York: Avon. pp. 453–454. ISBN 0-8050-0901-9. 
  32. ^ staff entry
  33. ^ Publisher's Note
  34. ^ Publisher's Note, Grazian-Archive
  35. ^ De Grazia, Alfred (1984). Cosmic Heretics, Metron. ISBN 0-940268-08-6. Chapter 15: "The Knowledge Industry", p. 329.
  36. ^ [4] American Historical Association: Ten Historians are elected to the American Academy, Nov. 2005
  37. ^ Floyd Hunter in Social Forces Vol. 29, No. 2 (Dec., 1950), pp. 220-221, University of North Carolina Press [5]
  38. ^ Charles E. Merriam, in The University of Chicago Law Review Vol. 18, No. 4 (Summer, 1951), pp. 825-826 [6]
  39. ^ Laurence Stapleton, in The New England Quarterly Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar., 1952), p. 129 [7]
  40. ^ S. H. Brockunier, in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review Vol. 38, No. 1 (Jun., 1951), pp. 92-93, publ. by Organization of American Historians [8]
  41. ^
  42. ^ William Ebenstein, in The Western Political Quarterly Vol. 5, No. 3 (Sep., 1952), pp. 539-540, publ. by University of Utah on behalf of Western Political Science Association [9]
  43. ^ Steven Muller, in American Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring, 1954), pp. 88+90-91, The Johns Hopkins University Press [10]
  44. ^ C.J.C. in International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1944-) Vol. 31, No. 4 (Oct., 1955), p. 552, Blackwell Publishing [11]
  45. ^ Esmond Wright, in International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs: 1944-) Vol. 34, No. 2 (Apr., 1958), pp. 263-264, Blackwell Publishing [12]
  46. ^ Revista Mexicana de Sociologia, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep. - Dec., 1964), pp. 908-910 [13]
  47. ^ "A seminal treatment of the subject of charismatic leadership and political organizations," in Thomas H. Johnson, Chris Mason: "Understanding the Taliban and Insurgency in Afghanistan," 2007 [14]
  48. ^ W. Wayne Shannon, in The Journal of Politics Vol. 29, No. 4 (Nov., 1967), pp. 889-890, Cambridge University Press on behalf of Southern Political Science Association[15]

External links[edit]