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David Schoenbaum

David Schoenbaum
Born 1935 (age 79–80)
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.

Contents

  • Life and work 1
  • Selected publications 2
  • Notes 3
  • External links 4

Life and work

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

  • David Schoenbaum at the University of Iowa

External links

  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.

Notes

  • 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.
  • The United States And The State of Israel, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-19-504577-7.
  • Zabern 1913: Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982, ISBN 0-04-943025-4.
  • 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.
  • Another Ovation for Joachim (Who?). The New York Times, 2007-8-12

Selected publications

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.

[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]

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