A Berlin Republic: Writings on Germany

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A Berlin Republic (Die Normalität einer Berliner Republik) brings together writings on the new, united Germany by one of that country’s most original and trenchant commentators, Jürgen Habermas. Among other topics, Habermas addresses the consequences of German history, the challenges and perils of the post-Wall era, and Germany’s place in contemporary Europe.
 
Here, as in his earlier Past as Future, Habermas emerges as an inspired ...
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Overview


A Berlin Republic (Die Normalität einer Berliner Republik) brings together writings on the new, united Germany by one of that country’s most original and trenchant commentators, Jürgen Habermas. Among other topics, Habermas addresses the consequences of German history, the challenges and perils of the post-Wall era, and Germany’s place in contemporary Europe.
 
Here, as in his earlier Past as Future, Habermas emerges as an inspired analyst of contemporary German political and intellectual life. He repeatedly criticizes recent efforts by historians and political commentators to “normalize” and, in part, to understate the horrors of modern German history. He insists that 1945—not 1989—was the crucial turning point in German history, since it was then that West Germany decisively repudiated certain aspects of its cultural and political past (nationalism and anti-Semitism in particular) and turned toward Western traditions of democracy, free and open discussion, and respect for the civil rights of all individuals. Similarly, Habermas deplores the renewal of nationalist sentiment in Germany and throughout Europe. Drawing upon his vast historical knowledge and contemporary insight, Habermas argues for heightened emphasis on trans-European and global democratic institutions—institutions far better suited to meet the challenges (and dangers) of the next century.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
"How refreshing to find that Habermas, whose "discourse theory" of rational deliberation in an open public sphere can be awesomely abstract, is also a subtle, wise, and effective public intellectual."—Foreign Affairs
From the Publisher

"This book is very worthwhile reading. As a brief introduction to Habermas's political thought and as an introduction to where he is now this book cannot be surpassed." Journal of Political Studies

Jürgen Habermas has been awarded the prestigious 'Friedenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels' prize for 2001

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803273061
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Series: Modern German Culture and Literature
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 4.92 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author


Jürgen Habermas is one of the best-known and most influential philosophers in Europe today. Steven Rendall is a professor in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon. He is the author of Distinguo: Reading Montaigne Differently and the translator of Marlis Steinert’s Hitler.
 
Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Cornell University, is the author of Building a National Literature: The Case of Germany, 1830–1870 and the editor of A History of German Literary Criticism, 1730–1980 (Nebraska 1988).
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Preface 1
1 Can We Learn from History? 3
2 A Double Past
What Does 'Working Off the Past' Mean Today? 17
Replies to Questions from a Bundestag Investigative Commission 41
3 German Uncertainties
French Views, French Anxieties: An Interview with Le Monde 59
The Germans' 'Sense of Being Special' Is Regenerating Hour by Hour: An Interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau 69
The Adenauer Restoration's Debts: An Interview with the Kolner Stadtanzeiger 83
4 The Need for German Continuities
A Letter to Christa Wolf 95
Carl Schmitt in the Political Intellectual History of the Federal Republic 107
Das Falsche im Eigenen: On Benjamin and Adorno 119
5 Between Facts and Norms
A Conversation about Questions of Political Theory 131
6 Which History Can We Learn From?
1989 in the Shadow of 1945: On the Normality of a Future Berlin Republic 161
Index 183
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