Jeffrey Herf is an intellectual historian, sociologist, political scientist, and professor of modern European, in particular modern German, history at the University of Maryland.
Herf graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. Herf received his PhD. from Brandeis University in 1980. Before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, he taught at Harvard University, and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has published essays in The New Republic, Die Zeit, Partisan Review and elsewhere.
In his 1984 book, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich, drawing on critical theory, in particular ideology critique, Herf coined the term â€œreactionary modernismâ€ to describe the mixture of robust modernity and an affirmative stance toward progress combined with dreams of the past - a highly technological romanticism - which was a current in the thinking of ideologues of Weimar's "conservative revolution" and of currents in the Nazi Party and Nazi regime.
His subsequent books examine the political culture of West Germany before and during the battle over the euromissiles in the 1980s; memory and politics regarding the Holocaust in East and n West Germany; Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic propaganda; and Nazi Germany's propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East.