The papers of Franz Schurmann, American historian and sociologist and expert on China during the Cold War.
Franz Schurmann, born in 1926 in Astoria, Queens, was an American sociologist and historian (though he referred to himself
as an explorer-journalist). An expert on China during the Cold War, Schurmann taught in both the Departments of History and
Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley for thirty-eight years. He also served for some time as the head of the
Center for Chinese Studies. Schurmann was fluent in as many as twelve languages (partly the product of the fact that his father
spoke five). He served in World War II, during which he met Stephen Brecht, the son of Bertolt Brecht. The two would remain
friends and Schurmann was known to spend granduate school summers at Brecht's house in Southern California. Schurmann received
his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from Harvard University after the war. One of his first major projects was to spend two years in
Afghanistan during the late 1950s documenting a tribe thought to be descended from the invasions of Ghengis Kahn. He published
his findings in a book entitled The Mongols of Afghanistan (1962). Schurmann's major work was his book Ideology and Organization
in Communist China, which was first published in 1966 at the start of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Schurmann was an opponent
of the Vietnam War and founded the Berkeley Faculty Peace Committee in 1964. He toured parts of Vietnam in 1968 with fellow
activist Mary McCarthy. Schurmann also was instrumental in starting the Pacific News Service in 1970 in order to bring more
journalism about Asia to the United States.
Number of containers: 6 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 cardfile box
(linear feet: 8.25)
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