It is with deep regret that we learned recently of the death in Chicago of Max Weismann, who served on the Board of Counselors for the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), allegedly of an undiagnosed kidney ailment. Max, an American philosopher and a long-time friend and associate of Mortimer J. Adler (co-author with Louis O. Kelso of The Capitalist Manifesto, 1958, and The New Capitalists, 1961), co-founded the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago with Adler in 1990.
Max was director and president of the Center, and devoted his life to promoting Adler’s ideas, especially as found in the study of the “Great Books.” He also compiled, edited, and published How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization (2000), a 600-page collection of previously unpublished pieces derived from Alder’s television series, The Great Ideas. Max was also chairman of the Great Books Academy, with more than three thousand students, and was a Fellow at the Adler-Aquinas Institute.
Prior to his association with Adler, which focused on philosophy and education, Max was a consultant in the fields of architecture, construction management, and exhibit design and fabrication. He worked on famous projects like the Century 21 Exposition, 1964 New York World's Fair and Expo 67, with such notables as Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, Walt Disney, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Mies van der Rohe, Louis I. Kahn, Paul Rudolph, Marcel Breur, José Luis Sert, Edward Durell Stone, Minoru Yamasaki, Harry Weese, Moshe Safdie, Jacques Yves Cousteau, Alexander Calder, and Edward Larrabee Barnes. Max also oversaw the development and construction of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Max also invented a revolutionary color imaging system, that was used worldwide in the fields of color proofing and printing, graphic design, television and advertising.
Max’s interest in education was highlighted by his interest in the “Justice University” concept developed by CESJ.