Herbert Marcuse Biography

July, 19th 1898 born in Berlin

1918 participated in the German revolution, elected to the soldiers' council of Berlin-Reinickendorf

1919-1922: Marcuse studies German, philosophy and economics at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg

1922 Ph.D. University of Freiburg in 1922, dissertation: "Der deutsche Künstlerroman" (University of Freiburg)

1922-1928 job as a bookseller (Berlin)

1924 he marries Sophie Wertheim, son: Peter Marcuse (born 1935)

1928 Marcuse goes to Freiburg because he is deeply impressed by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger; becomes an assistant of Heidegger; Marcuse wants to combine Marxism and Heidegger's phenomenology in order to overcome the neglection of the individual in various structuralist-marxist positions, his first article "Beiträge zu einer Phänomenologie des Historischen Materialismus" (Philosophische Hefte 1, 1928, pp 45-68) shows the influences of Heidegger's thinking on Marcuse

1932 Habilitation-thesis "Hegel's Ontology and Theory of Historicity" (Hegels Ontologie und die Theorie der Geschichtlichkeit, University of Freiburg), Marcuse turns away from Heidegger and criticizes him for his involvement in National-Socialism; the "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844" from Marx are published, Marcuse sees that it is possible to make use of these works in order to stress aspects of individual actions in Marxism, results in the publication of "Neue Quellen zur Grundlegung des historischen Materialismus"

1933 Marcuse becomes a member of the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt (headed by Max Horkheimer), publishes articles in the journal of the Institute (Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 1932-38, Studies in philosophy and social science, 1939-41, Ed. Max Horkheimer)

1933 Marcuse flees from Germany, first to Geneva, then to Paris, finally to New York

1934 emigration to the USA, member of the Institut für Sozialforschung at Columbia University

1936 the Institute publishes its most famous study: "Studien über Autorität und Familie" ("Studies about Authority and Family"), Marcuse contributes "Studie über Autorität und Familie"

1940 Marcuse becomes a US-citizen

1941 "Reason and Revolution": first major work in English, an introduction to the dialectical thinking of Hegel and Marx

1942: job as an analyst of German fascism at the Office of War Information è report "Presentation of the Enemy"

1943 job at the Office of Secret Services (OSS), analysis of Nazi-Germany

1945-1951 job at US State Department

1952-53 Russian Institute at Columbia University in NY

1954-55 Russian Research Center at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

1955 after the death of his first wife, Herbert Marcuse marries Inge Neumann

1955 Eros and Civilization published: argues that desires are influenced by social structures and that therefore thantanos and aggressions dominate over eros in Capitalism, synthesized Marx and Freud

1958 Soviet Marxism published: critique of the Soviet system

1958-65: Professor of Political Science at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachussetts

1964 One Dimensional Man published: Marcuse's main work, argues that the ideology of advanced industrial society produces false needs, false consciousness and one-dimensional mass consciousness; outlines categories such as liberation, technology, culture and democracy as dialectical ones, dialectic of liberation: liberation from the existing, false society could be achieved because the material conditions have reached a level where an immediate jump into the realm of freedom would be possible, but ideological manipulations forestall radical social change

1965 essay "Repressive Tolerance": capitalism and its democracy are portrayed as totalitarian and repressive systems

1965-76 Professor at the University of California in San Diego

1967 Marcuse teaches as a visiting professor at the Free University (FU) Berlin

1969 "An Essay on Liberation": Marcuse is deeply impressed by the Student's movement and the new radicals

1972 "Counterrevolution and Revolt": Marcuse outlines aspects of liberation in politics, culture and nature and how liberation is forestalled

1976 after the death of his second wife Inge, Herbert Marcuse marries Erica Sherover

1978 "The Aesthetic Dimension" published; Marcuse's last work, discusses liberating aspects of art, argues against Marxist Aesthetics that aspects can not be found in the contents of art, but only in the aesthetic dimension because art is necessarily alienated from real life

July 29th, 1979 Herbert Marcuse dies at the age of 81 during a visit to Starnberg, Germany