From Berlin to Berkeley is an intellectual portrait of one of America's leading social scientists, Reinhard Bendix, and his father, Ludwig Bendix. It is a story of cultural identity and assimilation, of survivors from a course of events that destroyed millions of lives.
Reinhard Bendix offers a profound and moving account of his father's life as a lawyer and critic of the German judicial system, his break with Judaism and identification with German culture, and his emigration to Palestine during Hitler's regime. Bendix then examines the relationship with his father and details his youth in Germany, his emigration to America, and his early career as a scholar.
Covering the period from 1877 to the present, Bendix shows how the two lives were touched by the culture of Imperial Germany, the German legal profession, World War I, the revolution of November 1918 in Germany and subsequent inflation, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the crisis of the Weimar Republic, the Hitler regime, emigration to Palestine and the United States, World War II, the division of Germany, and the world-political role of the United States. The book is a significant measure of one family and one civilization that has shaped our experiences throughout this tragic century.