DOI link for Norbert Elias
Norbert Elias book
Norbert Elias was born in 1897 in Breslau, then the main city of German Silesia but now the Polish city of Wrocaw, into a secular Jewish family. He received an obviously outstanding education at the Johannes-gymnasium in the city, then at the age of 18 entered the German army and saw action in a telegraph company on both the eastern and western fronts in the First World War. Elias came close to being an irretrievable victim of sociological amnesia. The outlines of his story are familiar enough, and up to a point represent a tale of the conquest of sociological amnesia. Belated recognition seemed both to open the floodgates of his publications and to overcome his reticence about himself. The same belatedness explains why the influence of Elias's ideas on the discipline of sociology has been much more recent than his date of birth might lead one to expect.