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Intellectuals & the German Nation: Collective Identity in an Axial Ageby Bernhard Giesen
Synopses & Reviews
This book proposes a theory of collective and national identity based on culture and language rather than power and politics. Applying this to what he calls Germany's "axial age," Bernhard Giesen shows how the codes of nineteenth-century German identity in turn became those of the divided Germany between 1945 and 1989. The identity he describes derives from the ideas of German intellectuals, from the uprooted romantic poets to the influential German mandarins, and was borne by the newly emerging bourgeoisie.
Cultural theory of national identity, and study of nineteenth-century and post-war German identity formation.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the nation in social science and history; 1. The construction of collective identity; 2. The encounter with Otherness; 3. The nation as invisible public: the patriotic code; 4. The nation as holy grail of the intellectuals: the transcendental code of Romanticism; 5. The people on the barricades: the democratic code; 6. The State-nation up to the founding of Empire: the code of 'Realpolitik'; 7. The national identity of the Germans; Epilogue.
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