Frederick L. Schuman

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Frederick Lewis Schuman (1904–1981), was a historian, an American political scientist and an international relations scholar. He was a professor of history at Williams College for thirty two years after teaching at the University of Chicago, an analyst of international relations, and a social scientist, focusing on the period between World War I and World War II.[1][2]


On the night of December 7, 1941, Schuman told an audience at the Ford Hall Forum, "'The Nazis, Fascists, and Japanese have made one tragic blunder. They allowed themselves to believe that the work of disintegration in America had gone far enough for them to strike. They're wrong.'" He also said that the United States should lead "a new world order and world unity." He urged recognition of the Free French and aid to governments-in-exile in overthrowing quisling regimes, leading toward the overthrow of Hitler. He predicted that Japan could fight for only three or four months.[3] He was attacked by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1943 as having a record of Communist affiliations, and was later assailed by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. He denied the accusations and successfully withstood efforts by the committee to have him removed as a Government analyst of German radio broadcasts, a post he held for several months in 1942 and 1943 while on leave from Williams. Although he was ultimately acquitted, many vocal critics, including several Williams alumni, objected to the professor's outspoken liberalism and suspected communism and continued to call for Schuman's dismissal throughout the rest of his career at the college. The professor undertook several very public political and social battles at Williams, including his much-publicized refusal to attend ceremonies during a visit from Lady Bird Johnson, which he considered a tacit indication of support for President Lyndon Johnson's foreign policies on the part of the college.

The term "geo-strategy" was first used by Frederick L. Schuman in his 1942 article "Let Us Learn Our Geopolitics." It was a translation of the German term "Wehrgeopolitik" as used by German geostrategist Karl Haushofer. Previous translations had been attempted, such as "defense-geopolitics." Robert Strausz-Hupé had coined and popularized "war geopolitics" as another alternate translation.[10]


Schuman's book Soviet Politics at Home and Abroad was criticised by the writer Dwight Macdonald as "a neo-Stalinist survey, that is, its author admits practically everything and justifies it in turgid surges of clotted prose as necessary and even praise-worthy".[4] However, Marshall D. Shulman, the Columbia University professor who was the Carter Administration's leading expert on the Soviet Union, recalled using Dr. Schuman's book, Soviet Politics, at Home and Abroad for a class he taught at City College of New York in the late 1940s.

Schuman's book Russia Since 1917. Four Decades of Soviet Politics also received a negative review from Hilde Macleod in International Socialist Review, claiming the book contained a "vilification of Trotsky and the Left Opposition".[5]



  1. ^ Related Articles. "Frederick Lewis Schuman (American political scientist) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Swans Commentary: History, Patterns, Differences. . . Not Again!, by Milo Clark - mgc074". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  3. ^ "Victory Seen in 3-4 Months", Boston Traveler, Monday, December 8, 1941, p. 21, reprinted in Eric C. Caren (2001), ed., Pearl Harbor Extra: A Newspaper Account of the United States' Entry into World War II, Edison, NJ: Castle, p. 36.
  4. ^ Dwight Macdonald, "USSR: A Layman's Reading List". politics magazine, March 1948, (p. 116).
  5. ^ Hilde Macleod "Dr. Schuman Reconsiders". International Socialist Review, Vol.20 No.1, Winter 1959, pp.29-30.