Looking for an examination copy?
If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing details of the course you are teaching.
This book examines how democracy was rethought in Germany in the wake of National Socialism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. Focusing on a loose network of public intellectuals in the immediate postwar years, Sean Forner traces their attempts to reckon with the experience of Nazism and scour Germany's ambivalent political and cultural traditions for materials with which to build a better future. In doing so, he reveals, they formulated an internally variegated but distinctly participatory vision of democratic renewal - a paradoxical counter-elitism of intellectual elites. Although their projects ran aground on internal tensions and on the Cold War, their commitments fueled critique and dissent in the two postwar Germanys during the 1950s and thereafter. The book uncovers a conception of political participation that went beyond the limited possibilities of the Cold War era and influenced the political struggles of later decades in both East and West.Read more
- Examines how democracy was rethought in Germany in the wake of National Socialism, the Second World War and the Holocaust
- Focuses on a wide array of familiar and lesser-known figures involved in far-ranging intellectual debates
- Links developments from the immediate post-war years to developments in subsequent decades
Reviews & endorsements
"German Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democratic Renewal is fascinating, even revelatory. By bracketing the Cold War that soon supervened after World War II, Sean Forner recaptures how the world looked to contemporaries, and how many possibilities were seen to beckon."
Samuel Moyn, Harvard UniversitySee more reviews
"This book tells a gripping story about political regeneration in the immediate aftermath of Germany’s abject military defeat. In doing so, Sean Forner’s 'engaged democrats' are revealed as intellectuals of lasting significance for Europe as a whole. A major achievement."
A. Dirk Moses, European University Institute, Florence
"Sean Forner paints a brilliant, dynamic picture of intellectuals in East and West Germany, who grasped the Nazi defeat as an opening for a new kind of democratic culture - participatory, argumentative, and public. A brilliant contribution to post-1945 German history."
Peter C. Caldwell, Rice University
"Forner takes us inside the dilemmas of democratic reconstruction after 1945, in which he shows us a series of unlikely convergences on the part of strange bedfellows who made common cause around the reclaiming of democratic values. The vision pursued by these intellectuals emerges as a specifically German answer to broader post-war questions concerning the promises and perils of mass democracy."
Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
"This book is a highly original exploration of a network of antifascist intellectuals who sought to create a participatory democracy in defeated Germany between the front-lines of the Cold War."
Konrad H. Jarausch, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Meticulously researched, elegantly written and forcefully argued, this study analyzes how left-wing intellectuals breathed new life into ideas of equality and cvility in the most unlikely place, occupied postwar Germany, a polity in the shadow of genocide. This is a gem of a book of interest to anyone who cares about the fragile nature of democracy, past, present and future."
Till Van Rahden, Université de Montréal
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: October 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107049574
- length: 396 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.76kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Introduction: democratic renewal and Germany's 'zero hour'
1. Germans, occupiers, and the democratization project
2. Rethinking democracy: freedom, order, participation
3. Renewing culture: the 'unpolitical German' between past and future
4. Subjects of politics: publicness, parties, elites
5. A parliament of spirit? Mobilizing the cultural nation
6. Into East Germany: intelligentsia and the Apparat
7. Into West Germany: nonconformists and the Restoration
8. 1968, 1989, and the legacies of participation
Sorry, this resource is locked
Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email email@example.comRegister Sign in
You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.Continue ×