Michael J. Neufeld


Dr. Michael J. Neufeld is a historian and author. He chaired the Space History Division at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum from 2007 to 2011, and continues to be a curator there.[1]


Neufeld was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1951.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Calgary and an M.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1976 with a thesis entitled "He who will not work, neither shall he eat: German social democratic attitudes to labor, 1890-1914".[3] He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1984 with a dissertation on "From artisans to workers: the transformation of the skilled metalworkers of Nuremberg, 1835-1905".[4]

Since the 1990s, Neufeld has written several works about Wernher von Braun. His work has been criticized as non-scientific.[5]


Books written

  • The Skilled Metalworkers of Nuremberg: Craft and Class in the Industrial Revolution. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989.
  • The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era. New York: Free Press, 1995. The book won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics's History Manuscript Award, and the Society for the History of Technology's Dexter Prize.[6]
    • Translated into German by Jens Wagner as Die Rakete und das Reich: Wernher von Braun, Peenemünde und der Beginn des Raketenzeitalters. ISBN 9783894881177
    • Review by Kees Gispen, Central European History. 31, no. 4, (1998): 474.
  • Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2007. The book won the Organization of American Historians's Leopold Prize, and the American Astronautical Society's Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature.[6]
    • Translated into German as Wernher von Braun: Visionär des Weltraums, Ingenieur des Krieges.
    • Translated into Danish as Wernher von Braun: krigsingeniør og rumfartsvisionær.
    • Translated into Polish as Von Braun: [inżynier nazistów i Amerykanów].

Books edited

  • with Yves Béon. (eds.) Planet Dora: a memoir of the Holocaust and the birth of the space age. Boulder, Colorado: WestviewPress, 1997.
  • with Michael Berenbaum. (eds.) The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.
  • with Alex M. Spencer. (eds.) Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography. Washington, D.C: National Geographic Society, 2010.
  • Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2013.
  • Milestones of Space: Eleven Iconic Objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in association with Zenith Press, 2014.


  1. ^ Biography at the Smithsonian "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2013-01-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ LC Authority file
  3. ^ WorldCat
  4. ^ WorldCat
  5. ^ "WR1244 Raketenwissenschaftwissenschaft". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  6. ^ a b Official biography at the Smithsonian Archived 2013-04-24 at the Wayback Machine