Norman Birnbaum (born July 21, 1926) is an American sociologist. He is an emeritus professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, and a member of the editorial board of The Nation. He was educated in New York City's public schools, at Williams College, and has a doctorate in sociology from Harvard University. He has taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Oxford University, the University of Strasbourg, Amherst College, served on the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research and was Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the University of Bologna.
Birnbaum's pedagogical work includes the introduction of sociology to the undergraduate curricula at Amherst and Oxford. A founding member of the editorial board of New Left Review, he has been active in politics on both sides of the Atlantic He has been an advisor to American trade unions and members of Congress, as well as to a number of social movements and political parties in Europe. He contributes regularly to a number of publications, including openDemocracy, El País in Spain, and the German daily Die Tageszeitung. His memoir was published in 2018.
- The crisis of industrial society, 1969
- (With Gertrud Lenzer), Sociology and Religion, 1969.
- Toward a critical sociology, 1971
- (Edited) Beyond The Crisis, 1976.
- Social Structure and The German Reformation, 1980.
- The Radical Renewal: The Politics Of Ideas In Modern America, 1988.
- Searching For The Light: Essays On Thought And Culture, 1993.
- After Progress: American Social Reform And European Socialism In The Twentieth Century, 2001.
Letters to the editor
- "'Did the Revolution Have to Fail?': An Exchange" The New York Review of Books 54/11 (28 June 2007) : 71, 74