Goodman, Paul, 1911-1972

Alternative names
Birth 1911-09-09
Death 1972-08-02

Biographical notes:

Paul Goodman was a social critic, essayist, writer of fiction, poet and psychotherapist.

From the description of Paul Goodman papers, 1925-1983 (inclusive), 1929-1972 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612452789

Paul Goodman, a New Yorker, wrote some novels and poetry, but was primarily known for his many non-fiction works on political theory, psychology, city planning, education, and other social issues. He was a literary critic for the Partisan review and television critic for the New republic. His best-known work was Growing up absurd, a study of adolescence published in 1960.

From the description of Paul Goodman letter to Marshall Bean, [1968]. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 60573847

Author, poet, social critic and educator Paul Goodman was born in New York City on September 9, 1911. After graduating from City College in New York, he received his Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. Goodman has taught at the University of Chicago, New York University, Black Mountain College, and Sarah Lawrence, and has lectured widely at various universities throughout the country. He is associated with the New York and Cleveland institutes for Gestalt Therapy and the University Seminar on the Problems of Interpretation at Columbia. He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

Goodman has written for Commentary, Politics, Kenyon Review, Resistance, Liberation, Partisan Review, Dissent, The Quarterly Review of Literature, The New Republic, Moviegoer, and the Village Voice . His fiction includes The Facts of Life, The Break-Up of Our Camp, Parent's Day, The Empire City, Making Do, and a volume of verse, The Lordly Hudson . He has also written two books of criticism, Kafka's Prayer and The Structure of Literature . In the area of social studies, in addition to co-authoring Communitas and Gestalt Therapy, he has written Art and Social Nature, Growing Up Absurd (the book for which he is best known), Utopian Essays and Practical Purposes, Drawing the Line, Community of Scholars, and Compulsory Mis-Education .

Mr. Goodman is married and has three children.

From the guide to the Paul Goodman Papers, 1961-1965, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


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  • American literature--20th century
  • Poets, American
  • Drama--20th century--History and criticism
  • Gestalt psychology
  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Literature--American Poetry
  • Education
  • Authors, American
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Government--Resistance to
  • Literature--History and criticism
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns


  • Authors
  • Poets
  • Poems


  • Italy (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)