Germany's Prophet: Paul de Lagarde and the Origins of Modern Antisemitism

Overview

Recognized in his own time and also today as a leading scholar of the origins and development of the Septuagint and its sources, Paul de Lagarde (1827–1891) was a vituperative German nationalist and an antisemite whose writings inspired the National Socialist (Nazi) ideology. An influential and controversial public thinker, he invoked an authentic Germanness that encompassed religion and a national ethos to counter the threat posed by the Jews and liberalism. His appeals to a “secret Germany” eventually resonated...
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Overview

Recognized in his own time and also today as a leading scholar of the origins and development of the Septuagint and its sources, Paul de Lagarde (1827–1891) was a vituperative German nationalist and an antisemite whose writings inspired the National Socialist (Nazi) ideology. An influential and controversial public thinker, he invoked an authentic Germanness that encompassed religion and a national ethos to counter the threat posed by the Jews and liberalism. His appeals to a “secret Germany” eventually resonated with modern conservative revolutionaries and notable antisemites from Julius Langbehn and Houston Stewart Chamberlain to Alfred Rosenberg and Adolf Hitler himself.
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What People Are Saying

Sue Marchand
"Drawing on a vast array of sources and informed by a deep knowledge of nineteenth-century theology, philology, and political history, Ulrich Sieg shows us a Lagarde driven by religious and political apocalypticism as well as by a fanatical dedication to positivist scholarship and an insatiable need for love. Sieg's authoritative biography throws light on not only the contradictory character of the man himself but also on the many different readers who found inspiration in Lagarde's violent denunciations of Judaism, liberalism, and the spiritually desiccated modern world."
Suzanne L. Marchand
“Drawing on a vast array of sources and informed by a deep knowledge of nineteenth-century theology, philology, and political history, Ulrich Sieg shows us a Lagarde driven by religious and political apocalypticism as well as by a fanatical dedication to positivist scholarship and an insatiable need for love. Sieg’s authoritative biography throws light on not only the contradictory character of the man himself but also on the many different readers who found inspiration in Lagarde’s violent denunciations of Judaism, liberalism, and the spiritually desiccated modern world.”
Thomas Meyer
“Germany’s Prophet easily outdistances earlier Lagarde studies and will serve as a benchmark for scholarship. For anyone interested in the of history of ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and especially in the rise and fall of cultural pessimism, this is now the place to start.”
Sander L. Gilman
“In Germany’s Prophet the academic roots of modern racial and political antisemitism are clearly outlined. Lagarde was both a respected academic as well as a notorious antisemite, whose academic status provided cover for his politics. Well researched and well written, Sieg’s study is a major biographical addition to the literature on the history of antisemitism and perhaps a litmus test for ‘real’ academic antisemitism.”
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ULRICH SIEG is professor of philosophy at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Author’s Acknowledgments: Special Thanks
Translator’s Comments • A Man of Contradictions
Dismal Childhood
With Scholarship into the World
A Double Life
Finally a Professor
A House Like a Fortress
An Established Outsider
Future Conspirators
Liberalism: Image of the Enemy
The Camel Sparrow
The Talmud on Trial
Scholarly Failure
Prophet of German Culture
Guiding Intellectual Force of National Socialism • Epilogue
Notes
Index
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