Waldemar Gurian (February 13, 1902 – May 26, 1954) was a Russian-born German-American political scientist, author, and professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is regarded particularly as a theorist of totalitarianism.[1] He wrote widely on political Catholicism.[2]

Waldemar Gurian
Born(1902-02-13)February 13, 1902
DiedMay 26, 1954(1954-05-26) (aged 52)
South Haven, Michigan, United States
EmployerUniversity of Notre Dame

Gurian was born into a Jewish family in 1902 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was brought to Germany in 1911 by his mother, who had him christened in 1914 as a Catholic. He studied with political philosopher Carl Schmitt at the University of Bonn but disagreed on issues of political theology.[3] In 1939 after escaping Nazi Germany Gurian took a professorship at Notre Dame, where Gurian founded The Review of Politics. The quarterly scholarly journal was modeled after German Catholic journals. It quickly emerged as part of an international Catholic intellectual revival, offering an alternative vision to positivist philosophy. For 44 years, the Review was edited by Gurian, Matthew Fitzsimons, Frederick Crosson, and Thomas Stritch. Intellectual leaders included Gurian, Jacques Maritain, Frank O'Malley, Leo Richard Ward, F. A. Hermens, and John U. Nef. It became a major forum for political ideas and modern political concerns, especially from a Catholic and scholastic tradition.[4]

Selected bibliographyEdit

For a complete list, see B. Szczesniak, "Select Bibliography of Waldemar Gurian." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 80-81.

  • The political and social ideas of French Catholicism, 1789-1914, 1929.
  • The integral nationalism in France: Charles Maurras and the Action Française, 1931.
  • Bolshevism: Theory and Practice, New York, Macmillan, 1932.
  • Hitler and the Christians. Studies in Fascism: Ideology and Practice, AMS Press, 1936, 175 p.
  • The Future of Bolshevism, Sheed & Ward, 1936, 125 p.
  • The Rise and Decline of Marxism, Oates & Washbourne, 1938, 184 p.
  • Russia and the Peace, 1945.
  • Soviet Russia: A University of Notre Dame Symposium, University of Notre Dame, 1950.
  • "The Development of the Soviet Regime: From Lenin to Stalin", The Soviet Union: Background, Ideology, Reality, University of Notre Dame Press, 1951.
  • Bolshevism: An Introduction to Soviet Communism, University of Notre Dame Press, 1952.
  • Soviet Imperialism: Its Origins and Tactics, a Symposium, (ed.), University of Notre Dame Press, 1953.
  • The Catholic Church in World Affairs (with M.A. Fitzsimons), University of Notre Dame Press, 1954, 420 p.
  • "Totalitarianism as Political Religion", Totalitarianism, New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1964.


  1. ^ Hürten, 2004.
  2. ^ Hans Kohn, "Waldemar Gurian: Witness of the Twentieth Century." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 73-79.
  3. ^ Theresa Cooney, “Merely Political: Waldemar Gurian and Carl Schmitt's Early Political-Theological Divide,” in C. Allen Speight and Michael Zank, eds. (2017). Politics, Religion and Political Theology. Springer. pp. 177–93.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Thomas Stritch, "After Forty Years: Notre Dame and the Review of Politics" Review Of Politics 1978 40: 437–446. in JSTOR

Further readingEdit

  • Arendt, Hannah. "The Personality of Waldemar Gurian." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 33-42. in JSTOR
  • Hürten, Heinz. "Waldemar Gurian and the Development of the Concept of Totalitarianism." Totalitarianism and Political Religions 1 (2004): 42-52.
  • Kohn, Hans. "Waldemar Gurian: Witness of the Twentieth Century." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 73-79. in JSTOR
  • Mosely, Philip E. "Waldemar Gurian and Russian Studies in America." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 44-46. in JSTOR
  • O'Malley, Frank. "Waldemar Gurian at Notre Dame." The Review of Politics 17.01 (1955): 19-23. in JSTOR
  • Schneck, Stephen F. "Waldemar Gurian: Rediscovered," The Review of Politics 74#4 (2012), pp. 685–689. in JSTOR
  • Thümmler, Ellen. "Totalitarian Ideology and Power Conflicts—Waldemar Gurian as International Relations Analyst after the Second World War." in Felix Roesch, ed., Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of International Relations (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014) pp. 132–153.