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The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology
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The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
This is a study in the pathology of cultural criticism. By analyzing the thought and influence of three leading critics of modern Germany, this study will demonstrate the dangers and dilemmas of a particular type of cultural despair. Lagarde, Langbein, and Moeller van den Bruck-their active lives spanning the years from the middle of the past century to the threshold of Hi ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published October 7th 1974 by University of California Press (first published 1965)
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John David
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
A culture produces its most ardent, strident critics at times of extreme tumult and change. In “The Politics of Cultural Despair,” Fritz Stern details precisely one of those extended periods, from around the middle of the nineteenth century in Germany through the Weimar Republic. He looks at the lives and work of three people who have been largely forgotten today – Paul Lagarde, Julius Langbehn, and Moeller van den Bruck – whose modes of cultural criticism eschewed liberal, parliamentary politic ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Germany and Russia share something in common with the East: they are latecomers to modernity. As such, both countries produced voluminous literature about the anguish and alienation entailed in watching their traditional world die and a new one, mechanistic, liberal and of foreign origin, come into existence in its place. This book is an excellent intellectual history of three late-19th century German thinkers, Moeller van den Bruck, Stephen Lagarde and Julius Langbehn, who articulated an ideolo ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fascism
"Two contrary feelings, therefore, grow up in the academy -- the sense of superior knowledge and the sense of ultimate powerlessness, a combination that makes for resentment. And resentment, according to Scheler and Camus, leads to intellectual asphyxiation, the constant rebreathing of one's own thoughts in a closed room." (Garry Wills)

Intellectual asphyxiation... and the politics of cultural resentment...

Ahhh, yes....

Some, I know, will understand.... and will grasp its contemporary relevance.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Stern’s disdain for his subjects drips from every word and hampers a serious study of the thought of these men and the times that produced it. He puts too much emphasis on their eccentric personalities, attributing their desire for a German nation to their personal alienation, giving short shrift to the warm reception of these writers in turn of the century Germany.
Etha Williams
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very insightful and wonderfully written analysis of three formative figures in the "conservative revolution" -- a bit overly prone to psychologizing towards the end (for my tastes, anyway), but overall an extremely worthwhile read.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mr. James Stevenson
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
A hostile treatment of the Conservative Revolution, but informative nevertheless.
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Fritz Richard Stern was born in Breslau, Silesia, to prominent parents: his father, Rudolf Stern, a physician and medical researcher, and his mother, Käthe Brieger Stern, a noted theorist and reformer in the education of young children. After converting from Judaism to Lutheran Protestantism in the 1890s, his family emigrated to the United States in 1938, forced to leave by the virulently anti-Jew ...more
More about Fritz Stern...