Mar 24, 2006    #059
Contact: Michelle Hopkins

Budapest-born Kansas City centenarian Ernest Manheim to be honored for academic/cultural legacy with new book of essays and classical music tribute April 7 at UMKC

Hundreds of University of Missouri-Kansas City students and faculty members walk the halls of Ernest Manheim Hall on the quad of the Volker campus, but may not fully recognize the multifaceted legacy of academic and cultural greatness behind the name. All Kansas City is about to find out when the campus holds a literary and classical music tribute to Manheim (1900-2002) April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in University Center, 51st and Rockhill Rd.

The event will be an occasion to unveil the latest tribute to Manheim by the global academic community – unveiling a new book of essays by Manheim and about him. Titled Authority, Culture and Communications: The Sociology of Ernest Manheim, the collection is being published in Germany, where Manheim completed his doctorate in sociology in 1928. (Manheim founded UMKC’s sociology department in 1938 and led it until 1969. The building that honors him was dedicated in 1999, three years before his death.) The editors of the new book are Frank Baron and David Smith of the University of Kansas (departments of German and sociology, respectively) and Charles Reitz, who teaches philosophy at Kansas City Community College.

A short biography of Manheim, which appears on UMKC's web site (, states: As a scholar, Ernest Manheim became internationally renowned for his pioneering works in the study of public opinion, music and social theory. He received numerous international honors, wrote four books and contributed substantially to academic and professional journals.

But Manheim, who testified in the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education in Topeka desegregation case, left a strong imprint on the Kansas City community and critical social issues as well.

Again, from the University bio on Manheim: He was committed to the practical application of sociological knowledge to resolve social problems in the areas of crime, juvenile delinquency and community responsibility. Civic leaders in Kansas City called on him to assess new social problems of his time: fathers at war, mothers at work and children on the streets.

Manheim was very much a Renaissance man. A lifelong composer and musical performer, he studied piano, violin and recorder. A chamber music group will perform Manheim compositions at the April 7 tribute.

The Kansas City community, all friends of Ernest Manheim, and the academic community (faculty, staff and students) are warmly invited to attend the free event.

To order Authority, Culture and Communications: The Sociology of Ernest Manheim and the accompanying CD, “Compositions by Ernest Manheim,” performed by the Camerata Players of Lawrence for $29.50, please contact Oread Books, University of Kansas, 1301 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence, KS 66045, phone: (785) 864-4431, e-mail:


Bookmark and Share