Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman (September 9, 1911 – August 2, 1972) was a novelist, playwright, poet and psychotherapist, although now best known as a social critic, anarchist philosopher, and public intellectual. Though often thought of as a sociologist, he vehemently denied being one in a presentation in the Experimental College at San Francisco State in 1964, and in fact said he could not read sociology because it was too often lifeless. The author of dozens of books including Growing Up Absurd and The Community of Scholars, Goodman was an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and a frequently cited inspiration to the student movement of that decade. A lay therapist for a number of years, he was a co-founder of Gestalt Therapy in the 1940s and '50s. Goodman was born in New York City to Barnett and Augusta Goodman, both immigrants. He had a Hebrew school education, and graduated first in his class at Townsend Harris High School. His brother Percival Goodman, with whom Paul frequently worked, was an architect especially noted for his many synagogue designs.

Actor

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