Morris Berman

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Morris Berman
Born (1944-08-03) August 3, 1944 (age 71)
Rochester, New York, USA
Occupation Educator, Scholar, Writer
Language English, Spanish
Nationality USA
Citizenship USA (born), Mexico (currently lives)
Alma mater Cornell University (B.A., Mathematics, 1966)
Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., History of Science, 1972)
Period 1972 – present
Notable works The Reenchantment of the World, The Twilight of American Culture
Notable awards

Rollo May Center Grant (1992)

Neil Postman Award (2013)
Dark Ages America

Morris Berman (born 1944), is an American historian and social critic. He was born in Rochester, New York, going on to earn his BA in mathematics at Cornell University in 1966 and his Ph.D. in the history of science at The Johns Hopkins University in 1972. As an academic humanist cultural critic, Berman specializes in Western cultural and intellectual history.

Life and work[edit]

Berman has served on the faculties of a number of universities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and recently taught as a visiting scholar in the sociology department at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.. Berman emigrated from the U.S. to Mexico in 2006, where he was a visiting professor at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico City from 2008 to 2009. Also during this time he continued writing for various publications including Parteaguas, a quarterly magazine.[1]

Despite his status as an academic, Berman has written several books for a general audience.[2] They deal with the state of Western civilization and with an ethical, historically responsible, or enlightened approach to living within it. His work emphasizes the legacies of the European Enlightenment and the historical place of present-day American culture.

As book reviewer George Scialabba points out, Berman's work is generally discussed in terms of the two trilogies he produced over a thirty year span (between 1981 and 2011):

"Most historians would be content to have written one deeply researched and interpretively wide-ranging trilogy on a large and important subject. Berman has written two: one on alternative forms of consciousness and spirituality (The Re-enchantment of the World, Coming to Our Senses, Wandering God) and one on the decline of American civilization (The Twilight of American Culture, Dark Ages America, Why America Failed). The second trilogy, a grimly fascinating inventory of the pathologies of contemporary America and an unsparing portrait of American history and national character, is a masterpiece."[3]


In 1990, Morris Berman received the Governor’s Writers Award (Washington State) for his book Coming to Our Senses.[4] In 1992, he was the recipient of the first annual Rollo May Center Grant for Humanistic Studies. In 2000, Berman's book The Twilight of American Culture was named one of the ten most recommended books of the year by the Christian Science Monitor[5] and was named a “Notable Book” by The New York Times Book Review.[6] In 2013 he received the "Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity" from the Media Ecology Association.[7] As of 2014 Berman continues to live in Mexico.[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • Social Change & Scientific Organization: The Royal Institution 1799 – 1844. 1978.  – nonfiction
  • The Reenchantment of The World. 1981.  – nonfiction
  • Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West. 1989.  – nonfiction
  • Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality. 2000.  – nonfiction
  • The Twilight of American Culture. 2000.  – nonfiction
  • Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire. 2006.  – nonfiction
  • A Question of Values. 2010.  – essay collection - nonfiction
  • Destiny. 2010.  – novel - fiction
  • Counting Blessings. 2011.  – poetry
  • Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline. 2011.  – nonfiction
  • Spinning Straw Into Gold: Straight Talk for Troubled Times. 2013.  – a philosophical memoir - nonfiction
  • Neurotic Beauty: An Outsider Looks At Japan. 2015.  – nonfiction [3]


  1. ^ "Blogger: User Profile: Morris Berman". 
  2. ^ "Nomi Prins: America the Material - (Book Review) - Truthdig". Truthdig. Nomi Prins reviews Berman's 2010 collection of essays A Question of Values
  3. ^ a b "Fuse Book Review: “Neurotic Beauty”—Japanese Therapeutics". 
  4. ^ "Washington State Book Award Winners". 
  5. ^ The Christian Science Monitor. "Recommended Books". The Christian Science Monitor.  November 16, 2000
  6. ^ "Notable Books" - New York Times December 3, 2000
  7. ^ "Past MEA Award Recipients". Media Ecology Association. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Love and Survival". 

External links[edit]