Professor of History
Anson Rabinbach is a specialist in modern European history with an emphasis on intellectual and cultural history. He has published extensively on Nazi Germany, Austria, and European thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 1974 he co-founded the premier journal of German studies in the United States, New German Critique, which he continues to co-edit. In 1979 he published The Crisis of Austrian Socialism: From Red Vienna to Civil War 1927-1934, a study of Austrian culture and politics between the wars. The Human Motor, an investigation of the metaphor of work and energy that provided modern thinkers with a new scientific and cultural framework to understand the human body, appeared in 1991 and has since been translated into several languages. His study of 20th century German intellectuals, In the Shadow of Catastrophe: German Intellectuals between Enlightenment and Apocalypse was published in 1997. The Third Reich Sourcebook (with Sander L. Gilman), a collection of more than 400 documents with critical introductions, appeared in July 2013. His current research is on concepts invented in the 20th century, including “totalitarianism” and genocide. It emphasizes World War II exchanges between European and American intellectuals. He also writes and reviews widely for journals of opinion including The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Dissent, and The Nation. He received the Viktor Adler State Prize in 1987. Professor Rabinbach has also been the recipient of Guggenheim, ACLS, and NEH fellowships.
He teaches courses on 20th Century Europe, History of European Fascism, the Transatlantic Sixties, and graduate courses on European Intellectual History and Interwar Europe. He is a former director of the Program in European Cultural Studies.