Alfred de Grazia
A Biographical Sketch
The personal history of Alfred de Grazia conveyed him as
participant and close observer among varied and significant scenarios
of the passing generation. He was born on December 29, 1919 and raised
on the Near North Side of Chicago during the "Roaring Twenties."
Named for his father, a musician and band conductor, he studied at
Franklin Grammar School, and at Waller and Lake View High Schools.
At fifteen he entered the University of Chicago, studied there
from 1935 to 1940, 1947 (A.B., Ph.D. 1948),
and at Columbia University's Law School in 1940-1.
At college, he was enveloped by the controversies over the
"Chicago Plan" curriculum, by philosophical debates between
pragmatism and thomism, between the sciences and the humanities;
it was the great age of the University, also the period of
the Great Depression around the world.
Teachers of the highest standing raged over what ideas and books were
to be foisted upon their students,
who were caught up, enthusiastically so, in the continual imbroglio.
His book, The Student, gives a first-hand account
of the University of Chicago
in the hey-day of Robert Maynard Hutchins.
He was economically self-sufficient at sixteen,
earning his educational expenses and livelihood at a variety of jobs.
He played solo trumpet and was Manager of the University Band.
He worked as well with the Orchestra.
He starred on the University championship water polo team,
which won national honors.
He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa honorary scholastic society.
In 1938 and 1939 his jazz combo played during the summer
aboard British and Dutch Atlantic Ocean steamships.
In World War II he served in the ranks from Private to Captain,
in artillery, intelligence, and psychological warfare,
and was decorated several times during the six campaigns
in which he participated, venturing from North Africa to Germany.
He worked with a small group of men
who were innovating tactics and techniques of war-front
and occupation propaganda;
he was involved in fateful decisions
regarding the Abbey of Monte Cassino,
in the liberation of Rome and its new government,
in the introduction of Italian troops into the Allied line,
in the development of the First French Army,
in the liberation of Southern France and Alsace,
and in the conquest and control of Germany.
At war's end he commanded psychological operations
of the American Seventh Army in Southern Germany.
He had previously served in the British Eighth
and American Fifth Armies.
He recounts these war years in
The Taste of War.
After the war, he did a brief stint in publishing,
and finished his work for the doctorate, which later under the title of
Public and Republic:
A History of American Ideas of Representation
was one of the few books in political science
to be selected for the initial White House Library collection.
A graduate of the "Chicago School" of Political Science,
he pioneered, following Charles Merriam, Harold Lasswell and H.F. Gosnell,
the Political Behavior movement that ultimately captured political science,
providing to it especially
a general theory of representation and apportionment,
and redefining the scope of political science
with the founding and editing, for ten years,
of the American Behavioral Scientist,
a journal which, when acquired by Sage Publications,
became the centerpiece for the largest set
of social sciences journal publications in the world.
The Universal Reference System,
the first computerized social science bibliographic service,
was his invention,
and he designed other systems for use in welfare tracking
and inventorying governmental functions.
He supplied much of the theory for the Federalism Task Force
of the Hoover Commission
on Organization of the Federal Government in 1947-48.
He helped in salient stages of their careers
candidates of the Independent Voters of Illinois,
the repeatedly press-voted Best U.S.Senator, Paul Douglas,
the candidates of the Democratic Clubs
and Senator Alan Cranston of California,
Robert E. Merriam of Illinois, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and others.
Some of his students became leaders later on ranging
from a Mayor of San Francisco
to a Connecticut Congressman and Rhode Island Governor,
from a foreign minister of Algeria
to a famous Indian environmentalist.
He taught for the first time at the University of Chicago,
briefly, at the age of twenty,
a graduate course in comparative political parties
and elections; he spent the latter part of his teaching career (1959-1977)
at New York University as Professor of Social Theory.
In between he taught at Minnesota, Brown, and Stanford Universities,
and lectured at various other schools in America and abroad,
including Gothenburg, Istanbul and Lethbridge.
(In one year, 1951-2, he held appointment
to the faculties of three universities, Brown, Harvard and Columbia.)
His usual courses were entitled
Social Invention, Political Behavior and Leadership,
Methodology, Psychological Factors in International Politics,
and Propaganda, Communications, and Public Opinion.
He helped conceive reorganization plans
at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (with Frank Keppel)
and Stanford University (in connection with a Ford Foundation program).
He directed a Center for
Applied Social Research at New York University in 1959-61.
He designed a fully innovative college
and led an experiment in higher education
1970 -1972 at Valais, Switzerland,
called the University of the New World.
Its several radical innovations included personal-study plans
and evaluations for every student,
rule by an assembly chosen by lot from the school community,
and the "Studio" as a continuous all-levels club-like substitute
for conventional departments.
To found it, he formed a team composed almost entirely of students,
teachers, and adventurers from different places,
notably Kevan Cleary, Richard Kramer, Peter Tobia, Philip and Elizabeth Jacob,
Robert Cheasty, St. Clair Drake and Elizabeth Johns.
Also involved was Nina Mavridis, who later became his second wife and,
after divorce, set up a foundation on Naxos and moved with her husband,
Peter Bockelmann, a prominent musicologist, to Berlin.
The Swiss experiment ended in failure, for total lack of funding
and from an internecine struggle for survival among the leaders;
in retrospect, nevertheless, through the minds of its hundreds of
participants, it appeared to have been a short-lived success.
Alfred de Grazia's books, beginning with
Public and Republic (on political representation)
in 1950, are to be found in most substantial libraries.
His total published production runs to some two-score volumes.
At first he wrote largely in political theory and method.
Several major earlier works in the field are
Elements of Political Science (1952),
The Western Public (1954),
The American Way of Government (1957),
Science and Values in Administration (1961),
Political Behavior and Organization, 2 vol. (1962),
Apportionment and Representative Government (1963),
and Republic in Crisis: Congress Against the Executive Force (1965).
Besides, he edited
Grass Roots Private Welfare (1958), and wrote
American Welfare (1960, co-authored by Fred Gurr).
As indicated earlier, he undertook responsible roles in Chicago,
New York, and California local politics and in national politics,
in the Republican, Democratic and Independent movements.
He directed a group of experts
in a sweeping study of the functions and reform
of the United States Congress, under the auspices
of the American Enterprise Institute.
Some of the many proposals of the report,
entitled Congress: First Branch of Government (1966-7),
ultimately achieved adoption.
He supplied much salient doctrine to the "New Conservatism"
before the term was used,
including voluntary welfare theory, anti-bureaucratic systems designs,
and the strengthening of the independence
and competence of the legislative branch of government.
Much of this work was done through the William Volker Fund,
the American Enterprise Institute,
the Relm and Earhart Foundations,
and New York University.
He then moved toward a more radical merger of right and left ideas,
especially represented in the book called
Kalos: What is to be Done with Our World? (1968 ff.)
There followed Politics for Better or Worse (1973),
Eight Bads, Eight Goods: The American Contradictions(1975),and
Art and Culture: 1001 Questions on Policy
(1979, prepared for the National Endowment for the Arts).
He prepared and advanced proposals for new cities
and a plan for the rational transition
of a traditional rural area of the island of Naxos, Greece,
into urbanism and tourism (which failed).
He built a house there in 1968
and has continued developmental work ever since.
He was an advisor with various national foundations,
government agencies, and corporations,
and was a senior consultant to the State Department,
acting once as a delegate to the UNESCO General Conference,
and organized and investigated psychological operations
for the Defense Department in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
His reports on psychological operations,
now largely declassified, include an early technical manual
of the American Fifth Army published in the field (Cassino, 1944),
Target Analysis and Media in Propaganda to Audiences Abroad (1952),
Elites Analysis (1955), and
Psychological Operations in Vietnam (1968).
Beginning in the 1960's his interests turned increasingly
toward the problems of neo-catastrophism,
following the publication of a widely praised
but controversial book upon scientific censorship,
The Velikovsky Affair: Scientism against Science.
He termed the re-conceived field "quantavolution."
Putting classwork aside, from 1977 onwards
he devoted full time to research and writing,
culminating in the publication by 1985
of ten volumes of the Quantavolution Series;
they deal with subjects as diverse as the Odyssey of Homer
(The Disastrous Love Affair of Moon and Mars)
and the history of the Solar System
seen as a binary electro-magnetic transaction
Two volumes deal with the evolution of mankind
(Homo Schizo I)
and human nature today
(Homo Schizo II.);
in these he proposes a short-time instinct delay theory
of humanization, and cultural hologenesis.
Also in this series are The Lately Tortured Earth,
which is a proposed revision of the conventional earth sciences;
God's Fire: Moses and the Management of Exodus
which interprets the Exodus in the light of modern science and psychiatry;
The Divine Succession,
which offers a new theology and new considerations
on the existence of gods; and
Chaos and Creation,
which presents the general theory of Quantavolution.
He came to call the new field "quantavolution,"
to denote the theory of sudden, leaping,
large-scale changes as the major factor in natural history,
evolution, and human development.
His Quantavolution Theory is the most general expression
of the movement away from
newtonism, darwinism and lyallism in physics,
biology and geology,
and includes a thoroughly integrated
electromagnetic short-time history of the
solar system as a binary system;
other novel elements of the Q theory affect drastically
the issues surrounding the development of human nature,
biological evolution, geomorphology, and theology.
Thus, his "Homo Schizo" theory
has a hologenetic physical-cultural quantavolution
from hominid to homo sapiens,
bought on by sharp environmental crisis,
as with a marked electro-magnetic atmospheric shift,
bringing on a micro-delay in instinctual response,
hence, multiple personality,
hence fear of self and drive for self-control.
His Solaria Binaria Theory
originates the solar system from a nova of the Sun and a stretched,
lessening electric arc to a binary,
now practically disappeared,
around which the planets evolved.
His theory of Lunagenesis derives the Moon from the Earth
in recent times in response to a passing binary fragment
("Uranus Minor"), and explains continental drifting,
not by tectonic plate theory, but as a rafting
of the remaining Pangea toward the great vacated basin,
along the fracture lines of the globe occasioned at the moment of passage.
He essayed a new theory of mythology and linguistics as well,
and offered two novel proofs for the existence of gods.
All the while he worked in these areas,
he continued to afford time and energy
to his proposed movement for world government,
begun in 1969 with the book,
and pursued as a guiding theme of the Swiss college.
Kalotics I and Kalotics II
containing manifestoes and extensions
of the theory of world government.
A number of his former students,
Dr. Stephanie Neuman, Dr. Rashmi Mayur, Dr. Nina Mavridis,
and Dr. Ibne Hassan, to name four,
were actively engaged.
In 1985 he set up a World Headquarters for the Kalos movement
at Bombay, with Arun Gandhi, Rashmi Mayur, and others,
which collapsed upon his departure.
Too, his present wife and novelist, Anne-Marie Hueber de Grazia
(inter alia, Pigeon d'argile,
Sur ce promontoire, Les dents de scie)
has worked in the movement.
In his study of the Bhopal disaster,
A Cloud over Bhopal (1985),
which she helped prepare,
he urged that multi-national corporations
be brought into a world order of responsibility.
The full story of his experiences in the Quantavolution Movement
is related in his book,
The Cosmic Heretics,
which became the first of several planned autobiographical volumes
to appear in print.
Published in early 1992 were the first three volumes,
those dealing with the child
(The Babe: Child of Boom and Bust in Old Chicago, Umbilicus Mundi)
(The Student: At Chicago in Hutchins' Hey-day)
and soldiering in World War II
(The Taste of War).
To follow are volumes on philosophy, academia and politics,
on the Swiss university experiment,
on the island and culture of Naxos,
and on the family.
A first volume of his poetry was published in 1967 as
Passage of the Year and the second in 1997;
in manuscript for some years are three novels plus a play
written in 1998 (published on the Web).
A personal account of a Swiss espionage case
involving an acquaintance, which also forms part
of the autobiographical series, is titled
The Fall of Spydom;
it was written at his home in the Vaucluse, France,
during the period 1988-9, and was published in 1992.
The De Grazia's have been extensively involved
in American intellectual circles and public affairs.
Two of his brothers are professors of law and philosophy,
and authors of important works
(Sebastian was awarded in 1990 the Pulitzer Prize in History for
Machiavelli in Hell).
Edward was a founding member of the faculty
of the Benjamin Cardozo Law School
and has written extensively on freedom of the press.
A third brother, Victor, a political campaign manager
and onetime Deputy to the Governor of the State of Illinois,
heads a consulting firm that specializes in the judicial process.
Alfred and his first wife, Jill Oppenheim, had seven children.
(Their correspondence of a million words during World War II
may be the world's largest of this genre,
and in 1999 became available on cd-rom.)
Two of his daughters are professors, Catherine in archaeology
(American School of Classical Studies)
and Victoria in social history
(Columbia University; author of
How Fascism Ruled Women);
a third, Jessica, first assistant and chief of administration
of the office of the District Attorney of Manhattan,
now a consultant on security matters for international concerns,
has written on the the international drug traffic
and efforts to combat it.
His sons are craftsmen and musicians,
working in New Jersey and Seattle.
His wife, Anne-Marie, besides her writing,
collaborates with him on other projects.
Numerous other relatives by lineage and marriage
are also professors and writers,
constituting in all one of the largest literary family in America.
In sum, he is author of 4500+ published pages
on numerous aspects of American government and history
(published by Alfred A. Knopf, John Wiley, Scott Foresman, Doubleday,
Sidgwick and Taylor, American Enterprise Institute,
Metron Publications,et al),
3000+ pages on general political theory and world affairs,
many pieces appearing in his role as founder and editor of
The American Behavioral Scientist for a decade,
3000+ pages on quantavolution and ancient catastrophes,
1500+ pages of autobiography,
2 volumes of poetry,
and several thousand pages being prepared for publication on cd-rom.
Despite this extensive intellectual dedication,
his varied experiences and activities brought many friends and acquaintances.
Among the friends would be named his parents
(lest they be forgot as friends),
his wives, the brothers and their wives
(particularly Anna Maria D'Annunzio de Grazia, Miriam Carlson de Grazia,
and Lucia Heffelfinger de Grazia),
and some of their children, and thereafter, in no special order,
Bill Steinbrecher, Bob Merriam, Hank Danenberg, Tom Crowell, Livio Stecchini,
Dick Cornuelle, Stephanie Neuman, Savvas Camvissis, Martin Herz,
Bill Colman, Paul H. Douglas, Hans Wallenberg, Harold Lasswell,
Bill Evers, Carl Stover, Norm Pearson, Bob King, Allen Greenman,
Elberton Smith, Johnny Anspacher, J.F.Brown, Gert Roesler,Ken Olson,
Mike Nalbandian, Jay Gordon Hall, George de Huszar, Paul Oppenheim,
Ann Whittington Oppenheim, Earl S. Johnson, Donald Sproat, Derwin Elliott,
Joe Farina, Howard Blencoe, Clara Zeutschel, Eugene Vanderpool,
Simone Thomas, Ian Greenlees, Suzanne Farkas, Ian Robertson,
Mike Fraser, Marge Goldman, Tom Frelinghuysen, Rosalyn Frelinghuysen,
Susan Weyerheuser, Livio Stecchini, Stephanie Neuman,
Christine Cahill, Ken Templeton, Kevan Cleary, Laura Bergquist,
Donna Wilensky, Dick Kramer, Mike Fraser, Jean-Yves Biegbeder, Earl Milton,
F.W. Meyer-Rudolphi, Bill Mullen, George English.
It would be of little use to label them,
except impermissibly to distinguish the famed from the obscure;
moreover, each person would constitute matter
for a poetic and sociological volume.
Actually affection and friendship varied with duration and intensity,
in a kind of scatter-diagram. A rough calculation over the years
would accord him about four thousand acquaintances,
and a rather larger number of "nodding acquaintances."
Of these 1500 or so would have been his students;
he would have had about 250 close friends,
five in grammar school, eight in high school, twenty-five in college
and university, thirty at war, fifteen in politics, fifteen in business,
ten in neighborhoods, twenty as colleagues,
eleven in immediate family members
(except children and wives),
and the rest variously occupied and purely social.
Alfred de Grazia lives in Princeton, New Jersey,
where he continues his writing program and pursues various interests.
He is writing and circulating proposals for world union.
He is designing and developing a prototype computerized
on-line disk and print-bind publication system for small presses.
He is preparing a special encyclopedia
of quantavolution and natural catastrophe,
aided by an international network of scholars,
including especially Professor Earl Milton and Christoph Marx,
and is promoting an archives utilization program.
He has completed and published most recently (1999)
Reconstructing American History from 1400-2000A.D.
(Metron Publications, cd-rom).