Spend a lunch time with us for a brown bag with Norman Birnbaum in conversation with IPS Fellow Phyllis Bennis about his new book, From the Bronx to Oxford and Not Quite Back, a contribution to the history of the Cold War and a study of the role of ideas in politics, and of the adventures and misadventures of three generations of public intellectuals in Europe and the US.
Norman Birnbaum, now the senior member of the Editorial Board of The Nation, was a founding editor of New Left Review, a member of the Editorial Board of Partisan Review, and a contributor to Trans-Atlantic debate. He is particularly proud of having been barred from the German Democratic Republic in 1986 for assisting some of the dissidents who eventually ended the regime. Dr. Birnbaum’s direct experience of public affairs includes an appointment as Consultant, National Security Council, and advisory roles with the United Auto Workers and Senator Edward Kennedy. He has also been an advisor to the German Trade Union Federation and the Green and Social Democratic Parties, to the French Socialist Party and Spanish Socialist Party, and to the Secretariat for Non-Believers of the Holy See. He knew Marcus Raskin and Dick Barnet before they founded IPS, his Washington house was a stopping point for the German peace movement, and his writings were widely translated.
Norman’s book, From the Bronx to Oxford and Not Quite Back, has been praised as ““An astonishing memoir. Here is the political and intellectual life of American and Europe over more than sixty years, a kaleidoscope of connections, comrades and correspondence, all linked by the Ariadne’s thread of Norman’s life.” —James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin.