Michael Naumann, b. 1941 in Germany, studied philosophy, history and political science in Munich, Marburg and Oxford. His dissertation on the Austrian satirist Karl Kraus was published in 1969. He taught political science at the Ruhr University between 1971 and 1976. His habilitation on „Structural Change of Heroism, from sacred to profane“ was published in 1979. After working as a correspondent and editor for DIE ZEIT and DER SPIEGEL, he became CEO of the German publishing company „Rowohlt“ in 1985. From 1995 on he was CEO of the New York based publisher Henry Holt. He also founded two publishing companies – Rowohlt. Berlin and Metropolitan Books in New York. In 1998 he was appointed commissioner for cultural affairs in the federal government of Germany. Between 2001 and 2010 he was chief-editor, then publisher–editor of the German weekly „Die Zeit“. Since 2012 he is director of the Barenboim-Said Academy. He also taught literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin and published several books and many articles on various political, ecological and cultural aspects.