Bronner, Stephen Eric 1949-
Bronner, Stephen Eric 1949-
PERSONAL: Born August 19, 1949, in New York, NY; son of Harry and Edith (Kirchheimer) Bronner. Education: City College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1971; University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1972, Ph.D., 1975.
CAREER: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, assistant professor, 1976–82, associate professor, 1983–89, professor of political science, 1990–. Appointment to the Program of Comparative Literature, 1995. New School for Social Research, visiting professor, 1989. Member of Brussels International War Crimes Tribunal Advisory Board and International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity in Iraq.
MEMBER: American Political Science Association, Academy of Political Science, Caucus for a New Political Science (chair, 1995–).
AWARDS, HONORS: Fulbright fellowship, 1973, for study in Tuebingen, West Germany, 1988, for study in Bonn, West Germany; Michael Harrington Book Award of the Caucus for New Political Science, 1994; Warren I. Susman Teaching Award, American Political Science Association, 1998; Charles E. McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award, American Political Science Association, 2005, for New Political Science.
A Beggar's Tales (novel), Pella Publishing (New York, NY), 1978.
(Editor, translator, and author of introduction) The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, Westview (Boulder, CO), 1978, 2nd revised edition, Humanities Press International (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1993.
Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary for Our Times, Pluto (London, England), 1981, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1987, 3rd edition, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1997.
(Editor, with Douglas Kellner) Passion and Rebellion: The Expressionist Heritage, Bergin & Garvey (South Hadley, MA), 1983, 2nd edition, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1988.
(Editor and author of introduction) Socialism in History: The Political Essays of Henry Pachter, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Leon Blum: A Popular Biography, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1987.
(Editor, with Douglas Kellner) Critical Theory and Society: A Reader, Routledge & Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1989.
Socialism Unbound, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1990, 2nd edition, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2001.
Moments of Decision: Political History and the Crises of Radicalism, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1992.
Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists, Basil Blackwell (London, England), 1994, 2nd edition, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 2002.
Albert Camus: The Thinker, The Artist, The Man, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1996.
Twentieth Century Political Theory: A Reader, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1996, 2nd edition, 2005.
(Editor, with F. Peter Wagner) Vienna: The World of Yesterday, 1889–1914, Humanities Press International (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1997.
A Preface to Political Theory in the Twentieth Century, Routledge & Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1998.
Ideas in Action: Political Tradition in the Twentieth Century, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1999.
Camus: Portrait of a Moralist, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.
A Rumor about the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2000, published with a new introduction as A Rumor about the Jews: Antisemitism, Conspiracy, and the Protocols of Zion, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Imagining the Possible: Radical Politics for Conservative Times, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.
Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(Editor, with Michael J. Thompson) The Logos Reader: Rational Radicalism and the Future of Politics, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2005.
Blood in the Sand: Imperial Fantasies, Right-Wing Ambitions, and the Erosion of American Democracy, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2005.
Planetary Politics: Human Rights, Terror, and Global Society, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2005.
Also contributor of articles to periodicals, including New Politics, Access, Minnesota Review, Politics and Society, The Politics and Society Reader, New German Critique, Colloquia Germanica, Review of Politics, Social Research, Salmagundi, Minnesota Review, and Political Theory. Editorial director of social sciences division, Humanities Press; editor of the Westview Press series, "Interventions: Social Theory and Contemporary Politics." Member of editorial board, New Politics, New Political Science, and Capitalism Nature Socialism.
SIDELIGHTS: Stephen Eric Bronner is a political scientist whose published works include Moments of Decision: Political History and the Crises of Radicalism, A Rumor about the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement. Moments of Decision was an analysis of political radicalism in the twentieth century. After the fall of Communism, the author felt it important to make distinctions between the democratic socialist movement and totalitarianism. He begins with the aftermath of World War I, traces the rise of Nazism, the failure of the Popular Front in France, and the origins of the Cold War. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called this book "a brief but spirited polemic." Moments of Decision also drew praise from Richard Schneirov in American Political Science Review. He noted that the book contained "subtleties of argument that are woven tightly within a dense, analytical narrative."
Bronner considered the implications of one of history's most notorious documents in his book A Rumor about the Jews: Reflections on Anti-Semitism and the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" was a tract, supposedly written by the leaders of Zion, outlining a secret plan to bring the entire world under Jewish domination in a new world order. It was actually written by Russian secret police in 1903, translated into many languages, and widely distributed to promote anti-Semitism. Bronner follows the spread of the forged document and the pogroms and other persecutions that were unleashed because of it, ending with an overview of contemporary anti-Semitism. "There is much good sense, food for thought, and innovative thinking in this little book," stated Richard S. Levy in Shofar, though he added that there is also "much that is perhaps too speculative and perfunctory." Glenn R. Sharfman, reviewing the book for Historian, found it "helpful both in its linking the Protocols to previous antisemitic diatribes and by interpreting why they became so popular."
The autonomy of man, the importance of human rights, and the authority of reason are all cultural legacies from the Enlightenment era. In his book Reclaiming the Enlightenment, Bronner urges readers to rediscover these principles, in a modern age when reason and rational discourse are in decline. The book serves as an "important call," according to Library Journal contributor Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., Bronner also offers thought-provoking material for modern readers in a collection he edited, titled Imagining the Possible: Radical Politics for Conservative Times. In it, Bronner presents essays on political thought and movements that stress "the importance of, and interactions between, the idealistic imagination and the analysis and understanding of the difficulties in the way of reform," according to Duncan S.A. Bell in Theoria. He concluded that this is "an interesting book on a very important topic."
Bronner once told CA: "Whatever the personal and philosophical changes that I have undergone, it is still an aspect of the 1960s which has fundamentally shaped my intellectual and political project. In essence, this involves the recognition that a basic connection between politics and culture exists, and that it must be addressed in a critical fashion.
"It was this insight that influenced my early choice of political aesthetics as the topic of inquiry for my early articles and my first novel, A Beggar's Tales. The novel grew out of the collapse of the old movement as it recognized and sought to discuss the motivations and the need for a new one. In the novel this was done by creating a 'pessimistic superstructure on a utopian base' through a broken-down narrator who cannot act, but rather lives only through the fictional stories that he tells in a shabby cafe. Politically influenced by the works of Sartre, Brecht, Walter Benjamin, and Ernst Bloch, the novel's literary use of the recit form derives from Benjamin Constant, Gide, and Camus.
"My concern with Marxian and critical thought must also be seen as a response to the collapse of the student movement. This concern was spurred on by the noted socialist, historian, and essayist, Henry Pachter, whom I met while a student at the City College of New York. My views also reflect the influence of the great maverick, Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, with whom I studied at the University of Tuebingen.
"My own political position is in sharp contrast to the reformism of Western social democracy and the orthodoxy of Soviet or Chinese Communism. The great socialist, activist, and theorist Rosa Luxemburg also stands apart from both these camps and, in my opinion, her work constitutes a beginning for any revitalization of socialist thought. Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary for Our Times is an attempt to show the relevance of her thought for contemporary socialist politics.
"Thus, reappropriating the socialist tradition for the political demands of the present becomes a dominant theme within my work. This theme is continued in Socialism Unbound, which deals with the failures, consequences, and possibilities of traditional socialist thinkers and movements in the light of contemporary events."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Political Science Review, March, 1994, Richard Schveirov, review of Moments of Decision: Political History and the Crises of Radicalism, p. 211; December, 1999, Jeffrey C. Isaac, review of Camus: Portrait of a Moralist, p. 950.
Booklist, April 1, 2000, George Cohen, review of A Rumor about the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism, Conspiracy, and the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," p. 1416.
Canadian Journal of History, April, 2001, review of Ideas in Action: Political Tradition in the Twentieth Century, p. 218.
Ethics, January, 2001, review of Ideas in Action.
German Politics and Society, spring, 2002, Rachel T. Greenwald, review of A Rumor about the Jews, p. 107.
Historian, winter, 2002, Glenn R. Sharfman, review of A Rumor about the Jews, p. 437.
Library Journal, March 1, 1999, Robert T. Ivey, review of Camus, p. 84; April 1, 2000, John A. Drobnicki, review of A Rumor about the Jews, p. 115; September 1, 2004, Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., review of Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement, p. 166.
Publishers Weekly, October 25, 1991, review of Moments of Decision, p. 57.
Shofar, winter, 2002, Richard S. Levy, review of A Rumor about the Jews, p. 151.
Theoria, April, 2004, Duncan S.A. Bell, review of Imagining the Possible: Radical Politics for Conservative Times, p. 141.
Logos, http://www.logosjournal.com/ (February 28, 2006), biographical information on Stephen Eric Bronner.
Rutgers University Department of Political Science Web site, http://polisci.rutgers.edu/ (February 28, 2006), biographical information on Stephen Eric Bronner.