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Overview

During the Allied bombing of Germany, Hitler was more distressed by the loss of cultural treasures than by the leveling of homes. Remarkably, his propagandists broadcast this fact, convinced that it would reveal not his callousness but his sensitivity: the destruction had failed to crush his artist's spirit. It is impossible to begin to make sense of this thinking without understanding what Wolf Lepenies calls The Seduction of Culture in German History.

This fascinating and unusual book tells the story of an arguably catastrophic German habit—that of valuing cultural achievement above all else and envisioning it as a noble substitute for politics. Lepenies examines how this tendency has affected German history from the late eighteenth century to today. He argues that the German preference for art over politics is essential to understanding the peculiar nature of Nazism, including its aesthetic appeal to many Germans (and others) and the fact that Hitler and many in his circle were failed artists and intellectuals who seem to have practiced their politics as a substitute form of art.

In a series of historical, intellectual, literary, and artistic vignettes told in an essayistic style full of compelling aphorisms, this wide-ranging book pays special attention to Goethe and Thomas Mann, and also contains brilliant discussions of such diverse figures as Novalis, Walt Whitman, Leo Strauss, and Allan Bloom. The Seduction of Culture in German History is concerned not only with Germany, but with how the German obsession with culture, sense of cultural superiority, and scorn of politics have affected its relations with other countries, France and the United States in particular.

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Editorial Reviews

European Legacy
It is . . . one of Lepenies' achievements to be able to combine irony and engagement. . . . [T]here is a refreshing combination of restrained detachment with an unambiguous commitment to the ideal of a free society.
— Beatrice Puja
The Nation - Andreas Huyssen
Lepenies's reflections on French-German and American-German culture wars suggest that cultural interpretation is as much a part of the social world as any social or political fact. . . . [H]is history of an idea . . . contains important political lessons for both Europe and the United States. The substitution of culture for politics is a dangerous road to travel.
National Post - Robert Fulford
At times German cultural pride has become so obsessive that it's distorted the development of society. In an audacious new book, The Seduction of Culture in German History, . . . Wolf Lepenies blames the catastrophes of 20th-century German politics on a tendency to overrate culture at the expense of politics.
The Australian - Peter Rose
The Seduction of Culture in German History, by Wolf Lepenies, offers fresh insights into the causes of the Nazi lunacy. Erudite and richly detailed, it traces the pathology of nationalist and cultural fixations, with implications for our own nervous and jingoistic age.
First Things - Victorino Matus
[Lepenies] gives a thorough treatment of the culture wars between France and Germany, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, the role culture played behind the Iron Curtain, and how the intellectuals triumphed over the communists throughout much of Eastern Europe but not in the German Democratic Republic . . .. Lepenies excels . . . in his examination of German society and its embrace of culture while shunning politics.
H-Net Review - Anna B. Manchin
Wolf Lepenies, one of Germany's foremost public intellectuals, has written a fascinating and chilling essay on the seemingly unshakable German attitude of valuing culture over politics. . . . [T]he role or cultural trends as powerful agents still needs to be seriously addressed. Lepenies's book does just this.
Historian - Diethelm Prowe
[T]he eleven chapters/essays read most like a sophisticated and stimulating after-dinner conversation with much wit and many a dazzling insight and bon mot.
European Legacy - Beatrice Puja
It is . . . one of Lepenies' achievements to be able to combine irony and engagement. . . . [T]here is a refreshing combination of restrained detachment with an unambiguous commitment to the ideal of a free society.
National Post
At times German cultural pride has become so obsessive that it's distorted the development of society. In an audacious new book, The Seduction of Culture in German History, . . . Wolf Lepenies blames the catastrophes of 20th-century German politics on a tendency to overrate culture at the expense of politics.
— Robert Fulford
Choice
A highly thought-provoking, if not contentious, series of 'history of ideas' vignettes. Lepenies traces the evolution of the Kulturnation, a nation united by culture rather than by political institutions, from the 18th century, when it emerged in the absence of a central German state, until German reunification in 1990. . . . Lepenies concludes with a cautiously optimistic view of Germans' reconciliation of culture and politics. . . . Highly recommended.
First Things
[Lepenies] gives a thorough treatment of the culture wars between France and Germany, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, the role culture played behind the Iron Curtain, and how the intellectuals triumphed over the communists throughout much of Eastern Europe but not in the German Democratic Republic . . .. Lepenies excels . . . in his examination of German society and its embrace of culture while shunning politics.
— Victorino Matus
H-Net Review
Wolf Lepenies, one of Germany's foremost public intellectuals, has written a fascinating and chilling essay on the seemingly unshakable German attitude of valuing culture over politics. . . . [T]he role or cultural trends as powerful agents still needs to be seriously addressed. Lepenies's book does just this.
— Anna B. Manchin
Historian
[T]he eleven chapters/essays read most like a sophisticated and stimulating after-dinner conversation with much wit and many a dazzling insight and bon mot.
— Diethelm Prowe
The Nation
Lepenies's reflections on French-German and American-German culture wars suggest that cultural interpretation is as much a part of the social world as any social or political fact. . . . [H]is history of an idea . . . contains important political lessons for both Europe and the United States. The substitution of culture for politics is a dangerous road to travel.
— Andreas Huyssen
The Australian
The Seduction of Culture in German History, by Wolf Lepenies, offers fresh insights into the causes of the Nazi lunacy. Erudite and richly detailed, it traces the pathology of nationalist and cultural fixations, with implications for our own nervous and jingoistic age.
— Peter Rose
Publishers Weekly
The German obsession with high culture has no parallel elsewhere: Berlin alone has three opera houses, and Hitler was more distraught by the Allied bombing of Nazi-approved cultural monuments than the destruction of his cities. Lepenies, a leading German intellectual and journalist, examines this pride, a phenomenon he says is at odds with the status of culture in France, Britain and America. In the latter countries, the concept of "culture" includes everything from politics to sports, morality to social issues. Only in Germany does Kultur solely represent the exalted life of the mind; it opposes, "with mandarin-like scorn," everyday politics and economics, and carries a concomitant belief in the superiority of the German nation over other nations concerned with such matters. Lepenies brilliantly argues that this notion of Kultur has profoundly influenced Germany's domestic and foreign policy for centuries. According to Lepenies, the German indifference to politics partly caused the downfall of the Weimar Republic (too few could be bothered to defend it from its enemies), contributed to the rise of Nazi ideology and continues to shape Germany's sometimes troubled relations with its European neighbors and America. Lepenies's concise insights make for a fascinating read. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Lepenies's reflections on French-German and American-German culture wars suggest that cultural interpretation is as much a part of the social world as any social or political fact. . . . [H]is history of an idea . . . contains important political lessons for both Europe and the United States. The substitution of culture for politics is a dangerous road to travel."—Andreas Huyssen, The Nation

"At times German cultural pride has become so obsessive that it's distorted the development of society. In an audacious new book, The Seduction of Culture in German History, . . . Wolf Lepenies blames the catastrophes of 20th-century German politics on a tendency to overrate culture at the expense of politics."—Robert Fulford, National Post

"The Seduction of Culture in German History, by Wolf Lepenies, offers fresh insights into the causes of the Nazi lunacy. Erudite and richly detailed, it traces the pathology of nationalist and cultural fixations, with implications for our own nervous and jingoistic age."—Peter Rose, The Australian

"A highly thought-provoking . . . series of 'history of ideas' vignettes. Lepenies traces the evolution of the Kulturnation, a nation united by culture rather than by political institutions, from the 18th century, when it emerged in the absence of a central German reunification in 1990. . . . Lepenies concludes with a cautiously optimistic view of Germans' reconciliation of culture and politics. . . . Highly recommended."Choice

"[Lepenies] gives a thorough treatment of the culture wars between France and Germany, émile Durkheim and Max Weber, the role culture played behind the Iron Curtain, and how the intellectuals triumphed over the communists throughout much of Eastern Europe but not in the German Democratic Republic . . .. Lepenies excels . . . in his examination of German society and its embrace of culture while shunning politics."—Victorino Matus, First Things

"A highly thought-provoking, if not contentious, series of 'history of ideas' vignettes. Lepenies traces the evolution of the Kulturnation, a nation united by culture rather than by political institutions, from the 18th century, when it emerged in the absence of a central German state, until German reunification in 1990. . . . Lepenies concludes with a cautiously optimistic view of Germans' reconciliation of culture and politics. . . . Highly recommended."Choice

"Wolf Lepenies, one of Germany's foremost public intellectuals, has written a fascinating and chilling essay on the seemingly unshakable German attitude of valuing culture over politics. . . . [T]he role or cultural trends as powerful agents still needs to be seriously addressed. Lepenies's book does just this."—Anna B. Manchin, H-Net Review

"[T]he eleven chapters/essays read most like a sophisticated and stimulating after-dinner conversation with much wit and many a dazzling insight and bon mot."—Diethelm Prowe, Historian

"It is . . . one of Lepenies' achievements to be able to combine irony and engagement. . . . [T]here is a refreshing combination of restrained detachment with an unambiguous commitment to the ideal of a free society."—Beatrice Puja, European Legacy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691121314
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2006
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wolf Lepenies is one of Germany's foremost intellectuals. He served as Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg, the German Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (1986-2001), where he is now a Permanent Fellow. Lepenies is also Professor of Sociology at the Free University in Berlin, and he spent several years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of numerous books and writes regularly for the German national newspaper "Die Welt".

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Read an Excerpt

The Seduction of Culture in German History


By Wolf Lepenies

Princeton University Press

Copyright © 2006 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-691-12131-1


Introduction

BOMBS OVER DRESDEN AND THE ROSENKAVALIER IN THE SKIES

On February 13, 1945, a young mother, with a baby in her arms, and her sister, holding a small boy by the hand, missed the overcrowded train to Dresden. Instead they had to spend the night in a nearby village. The farm where they found shelter was on elevated ground, and among the images the boy could later recall from his childhood was a stroll in the open on the night that Dresden burned. Quietly but with a definite feeling of triumph, he occasionally spoke of this night-as if there were personal merit in having survived the disaster. When the refugees returned to their quarters, the grownups stayed up for a long time. The boy was put to bed, but the door was left open a crack, letting in light. So he could see above him a lamp with strings of glass beads that softly clinked back and forth. Could any German artillery or flak have remained to shake the ground and make the lamp move? Sleep came swiftly.

The boy could not have known that, at the same time, his father was only two kilometers away-two thousand meters up in the sky above Dresden, to be exact-as one of the few German fighter pilots who had scrambled to attack the Allied bomber fleet. That night, mostof the pilots had rushed from flash to flash and had finally had to land without ever making contact with the enemy. German air defenses were having increasing difficulty figuring out the course and destination of the English and American bomber squadrons. Often the fighter pilots had to use incidental clues from the ground to guess where they should fly.

When the boy's father took off with his squadron on the evening of February 13, the men initially flew toward Strasbourg in a waiting pattern, circling there to receive destination orders from the ground. The orders, however, never came. The crew included a pilot, an observer, a gunner, and a radio man. When the ground spotting station suddenly rebroadcast a radio program with Richard Strauss's waltz sequences from his opera Der Rosenkavalier, the educated men on board-two crew members had doctorates-thought they knew where they should fly: Vienna. So they headed toward the city that provides the setting for the Rosenkavalier. Yet the longer they flew, the more they doubted that Vienna was really the target of the Allied attack. Then the gunner remembered the city where the opera had had its world premiere on January 26, 1911, and so they turned back toward Dresden to prevent what could no longer be prevented.

All this is hard to believe, but this is the story my father told much later, when he felt able to talk about what he had done and what had happened to him during the war. The music of Richard Strauss remained, in a curious way, a basso continuo to the ongoing work of the destruction of German cities, "an absolutely devastating exterminating attack by very heavy bombers," as Churchill described it to Lord Beaverbrook. Among the reminiscences the writer W. G. Sebald has assembled about the air raids on Germany is the narrative of a man who listened, as he said, "on the radio to some songs from the sensuous Rococo world of Strauss's magical music" immediately before the devastating raid on Darmstadt. Shortly after the First World War, Walter Hasenclever had written a poem directed against the bellicose German military, which ended with the refrain "The murderers sit in the Rosenkavalier."

Bombs over Dresden and the Rosenkavalier in the skies create a disturbing image that suggests itself to me as a symbol of the close connection that war and culture, education and destruction, politics and poetry, and spirit and violence had entered into in Germany. When the news that Dresden had been destroyed reached the Nazi leadership, Robert Ley, head of the German Labor Front, reacted as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders: "We [can] almost heave a sigh of relief. It is over. Now we will no longer be distracted by the monuments of German culture!" Three years earlier, Goebbels had reacted in a similar manner after a British bomber attack on the city of Rostock. He did not mention human casualties at all, but spoke only of the necessity to answer terror with terror and to flatten English "centers of culture" after German centers had been destroyed by the Royal Air Force. It was well known in Nazi Germany that the loss of great works of art hit Hitler much harder than the destruction of large residential districts. German propagandists allowed this to be known, convinced that Hitler's reaction would be seen as a sign not of his brutal disregard for human suffering but of his artistic sensibility that the war had not been able to destroy.

But not only Hitler and his consorts saw the Allied bomber attacks as above all an attempt to destroy German culture. In May 1942, German-Jewish émigrés in the United States planned a large fund-raising campaign that would enable them to donate a bomber, to be called "Loyalty," to the U.S. Air Force. They tried to enlist Thomas Mann to chair their campaign's West Coast committee. Mann was furious. He would have agreed to collect money for the Red Cross or to buy war bonds, but he found it impossible to support the air raids that were, though by necessity, destroying German cities: "I do not want, after my death, that Germans who read my books-or don't read them-think of myself as chairman of a committee responsible for the destruction of German monuments of culture." Mann was probably right in anticipating the German mind-set: people knew about the thirty thousand casualties the air raid on Dresden cost, but the city also became a symbol, maybe even more well known, of the destruction of cultural treasures, above all the Frauenkirche now rebuilt.

When Ian Buruma reviewed works by the historian Jörg Friedrich on Germany's suffering during the bombing war, he pointed out that Friedrich's book Der Brand ended "with a long lament for the destruction of German books kept in libraries and archives. The lament is justified, but its placement at the end of a 592-page book is curious, as though the loss of books, in the end, is even worse than the loss of people-which, from a particular long-term perspective, may actually be true; but that does not make it morally attractive ... The real calamity, as it is presented in Friedrich's book, is the destruction of beautiful old cities, of ancient churches, rococo palaces, baroque town halls, and medieval streets." Buruma is certainly right in interpreting Der Brand (The fire) as an attempt to correct a "collective turning away from German history and culture," but I am not sure that Friedrich's diagnosis is correct. Writers and historians, perhaps, have not paid enough attention to cultural losses. In the collective memory of the Germans, however, names like Dresden are reminders as much of the loss of monuments of culture as of human life. The attitude of my father, who could not speak of the burning of Dresden without mentioning the Rosenkavalier, was, among his generation, more the rule than the exception.

As Norbert Elias wrote in his book The Germans, "embedded in the meaning of the German term 'culture' was a non-political and perhaps even an anti-political bias symptomatic of the recurrent feeling among the German middle-class elites that politics and the affairs of the state represented the area of their humiliation and lack of freedom, while culture represented the sphere of their freedom and their pride. During the eighteenth and part of the nineteenth centuries, the anti-political bias of the middle-class concept of 'culture' was directed against the politics of autocratic princes ... At a later stage, this anti-political bias was turned against the parliamentary politics of a democratic state." Elias here describes the role of culture in German "domestic policy"; its role in "foreign policy" was characterized, says Elias in The Civilizing Process, by the German obsession with distinguishing between civilization and culture: "In German usage, Zivilisation means something which is indeed useful, but nevertheless only a value of the second rank, comprising only the outer appearance of human beings, the surface of human existence. The word through which Germans interpret themselves, which more than any other expresses their pride in their own achievement and their own being, is Kultur." Whereas the French as well as the English concept of culture can also refer to politics and to economics, to technology and to sports, to moral and to social facts, "the German concept of Kultur refers essentially to intellectual, artistic, and religious facts, and has a tendency to draw a sharp dividing line between facts of this sort, on the one side, and political, economic, and social facts, on the other."

Ultimately not only the German middle classes but Germany as a whole has distinguished itself by its cultural achievements and aspirations. The domestic appeal of culture, accompanied by a mandarin-like scorn for everyday politics, has been based on the assertion of the deeply apolitical nature of the "German soul"-an assertion that eventually nurtured Germany's claim, as a Kulturnation, to superiority vis-à-vis the merely "civilized" West. This peculiar role of culture in German domestic as well as foreign policy is the theme of this book. I deal with the "German seduction," the tendency to see in culture a noble substitute for politics, if not a better politics altogether.

Describing the antipolitical bias in the German notion of "culture," Elias found it astonishing "to see the persistence with which specific patterns of thinking, acting and feeling recur, with characteristic adaptations to new developments, in one and the same society over many generations. It is almost certain that the meaning of certain key-words and particularly the emotional undertones embedded in them, which are handed on from one generation to another unexamined and often unchanged, plays a part in the flexible continuity of what one otherwise conceptualizes as 'national character.'" Analyzing the German usage of "culture" as an antipolitical key word, I, however, prefer to speak not of a national character but of a national attitude. A national character resembles a body's skin, which may be stretched-"flexible continuity"-but which the body cannot get rid of. An attitude, in contrast, is characterized by a certain looseness; it resembles a favorite item of clothing that one can put on and off and that one can change when one's own mood or fad and fashion require it. "National character" is a serious term, whereas "attitude" has a touch of irony in it-as in the term "Anglo-Saxon attitudes," whose ironic undertone was apparent when Lewis Carroll coined it in Through the Looking Glass in 1871 and became even more visible when Angus Wilson used it as the title of his 1956 novel. Irony was a counterweight against the confidence with which the British believed in their own civilization and wanted it to be acknowledged as superior by the rest of the world. The triumphant tone with which the Germans speak of "culture," which only they possess, while the rest must make do with "civilization," needs an equally, if not stronger, ironic distance.

This book examines the German attitude of regarding culture as a substitute for politics and of vilifying politics, understood above all as parliamentary politics, as nothing but an arena of narrow-minded, interest-group bargaining and compromise. But this work is not a debate on the Sonderweg (special path) in disguise, asserting that the aversion to politics and the idealist and romantic veneration of culture were the main reason why Germany departed from the "normal" Western course of development and steered into the disaster of Nazism. I do not describe an attitude that is a uniquely German phenomenon. Still, I argue that an overestimation of cultural achievements and a "strange indifference to politics" (G.P. Gooch) nowhere played a greater role than in Germany and have nowhere else survived to the same degree. Seeing culture as a substitute for politics has remained a prevailing attitude throughout German history-from the glorious days of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Weimar through, though now in considerably weaker form, the reunification of the two Germanys after the fall of communism. Peter Gay, Georg Mosse, Fritz Ringer, Fritz Stern, Peter Viereck, and others have explored this specific German attitude toward culture and politics. I am revisiting their arguments and try to offer new insights into an old problem.

In the area of "domestic policy," I follow a roughly chronological pattern, beginning with the view of culture as a "noble" substitute for politics that originated in the heyday of Weimar classicism. This distance toward parliamentary politics in the name of culture was one reason why the Weimar Republic did not secure the broad-based acceptance and emotional support of its citizens that could have prevented it from falling prey to the Nazis. I regard the aesthetic appeal first of fascism and then of National Socialism not as a superficial phenomenon of the most sinister period in German history, but as an important element in the attempt to explain the attractiveness of Nazi ideology for a large segment of the German bourgeoisie and many German writers, artists, and intellectuals. And even for members of the intelligentsia in exile, the attitude of playing off culture against politics remained. After the Second World War, staying aloof from parliamentary politics on cultural grounds made less and less sense with the integration of the Federal Republic and eventually of a reunited Germany into the mainstream of Western democracies. Still, the tension between old cultural aspirations and new political realities helps to explain developments first in both German states and then, finally, in a country that no longer had to resign itself, as a consequence of a self-inflicted political catastrophe, to remaining solely a cultural nation, but found itself bestowed with the gift of a political reunion.

In the area of "foreign policy," I have concentrated on two case studies-along with a brief glance at Central Europe, where the various revolutions that did away with communism were hailed, at least for a while, as a victory of culture over politics. The first case study deals with the "culture wars"-a term, as far as I can tell, invented in France-that have been so important, throughout history, in shaping French-German relations. The second case study addresses the interplay between German cultural legacies and American political traditions. The chapter on European and American cultural patriotism is a coda to the German-American case study, an example of how loudly the debate over the relationship between culture and politics reverberates down to the European-American rift witnessed in the recent past.

My account does not seek to compete with the well-established approaches of political and social history, and I have not tried to tell a continuous narrative in which the different periods of German history are neatly interwoven with one another. I am aware of the limitations of my history-of-ideas approach. The wish to secure Germany's dominance on the European continent led Bismarck to found the Reich after Prussia's victory over France in 1871; the transformation of the cultural nation into a cultural state was a welcome consequence, but not the primary intention, of Bismarck's strategy. The skepticism of Germany's poet-seers toward parliamentary politics was one factor that led to the demise of the Weimar Republic, but it was not the decisive one, compared with the specter of Versailles, the shock of inflation, huge unemployment, and the revival of nationalist and racist ideologies. The Nazis were brought to power not so much by the aesthetic appeal of their rituals as by their pledge to restore German pride, their promise to limit the power of big corporations and to create jobs, and their appeal to widespread anti-Semitic feelings, among other reasons. After the war, the inner developments in the German Democratic Republic were also characterized by the cultural policy of its elites, but this policy depended on the continuous strategic interest of the Soviet Union in profiting from East Germany as a political and military glacis against the capitalist West. Political apathy and cultural excitement prevailed in postwar West Germany, at least for most intellectual observers, yet the country's quick political and economic recovery was fueled by pragmatically oriented political leaders, who knew how to run a trade union, organize a party, and administer a pension fund.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Seduction of Culture in German History by Wolf Lepenies Copyright © 2006 by Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Bombs over Dresden and the Rosenkavalier in the Skies 1

Chapter 1: Culture: A Noble Substitute 9
Lessons in Diminished Particularity 9
A Strange Indifference to Politics 11
The German Spirit and the German Reich 16

Chapter 2: From the Republic into Exile 27
Reflections of a Political Thomas Mann 27
The Aesthetic Appeal of Fascism 36
Art and Morality 45
The Blurring of Exile and Emigration 48

Chapter 3: Novalis and Walt Whitman: German Romanticism and American Democracy 56
A Country without an Opera 56
Joseph in America 60
German Democratic Vistas 63
Emerson's Sponsors: Beethoven & Bettina 70

Chapter 4: German Culture Abroad: Victorious in Defeat 76
The Closing of the American Mind 76
The German Mind in Jeopardy 85
A Calm Good-Bye to Europe 88

Chapter 5: French-German Culture Wars 93
Two Revolutions 93
Goethe in Exile 98
"Culture Wars" and Their Origin 100
A Puzzle in the History of Sociology 105
A Mediator: Maurice Halbwachs 107
An Expulsion from Berlin 110
The Murder of Maurice Halbwachs 112
Strange Defeat 114
Intellectual Resistance 116
Limits of the German Revolution 122

Chapter 6: German Culture at Home: A Moral Failure Turned to Intellectual Advantage 128
The German Catastrophe 128
The Resurrection of Culture 134
Inner Emigration and Its Discontents 138
German and Jewish Diaspora 145

Chapter 7: The Survival of the Typical German: Faust versus Mephistopheles 154
Goethe in the Polls 154
Goethe after 1945 159

Chapter 8: German Reunification: The Failure of the Interpreting Class 165
Cultural Guardians 165
Intellectual Disaster in the East 167
Intellectual Tragicomedy 170

Chapter 9: Culture as Camouflage: The End of Central Europe 176
Europe: Dream and Bureaucracy 176
A Victory of Culture over Power 178

Chapter 10: Irony and Politics: Cultural Patriotism in Europe and the United States 186
An American Patriot from Europe 186
Hamlet and Fortinbras 190
European Pygmies and the American Giant 195
The Irony of American History 196

Chapter 11: Germany after Reunification: In Search of a Moral Masterpiece 200
Culture and Realpolitik 200
Solving Political Problems in the Field of Culture 203

Notes 211
Bibliography 237
Acknowledgments 249
Index 251

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