Skip to main content Accessibility help




Totalitarianism theory was one of the ratifying principles of the Cold War, and remains an important component of contemporary political discourse. Its origins, however, are little understood. Although widely seen as a secular product of anticommunist socialism, it was originally a theological notion, rooted in the political theory of Catholic personalism. Specifically, totalitarianism theory was forged by Catholic intellectuals in the mid-1930s, responding to Carl Schmitt's turn to the “total state” in 1931. In this essay I explore the notion's formation and circulation through the Catholic public sphere in both France and Austria, where “antitotalitarianism” was born as a new form of the traditional Catholic animus against the nation state project.



Hide All

1 J. Herf, “Killing in the Name,” The New Republic (2010), available at This essay is adapted from the speech.

2 This manifesto, which appeared in French, Dutch, and English versions, is available in the reference section of L'Association Internet pour la promotion des droits de l'homme. See For a dissenting voice see P. Beinart, The Icarus Syndrome (New York, 2010), esp. chap. 18.

3 Godman, P., Hitler and the Vatican (New York, 2004), 199.

4 Many point to a 1929 article in the London Times as the founding moment of true totalitarianism theory, as Bolshevism is mentioned too. In a way, though, it becomes the exception that proves the rule. The article in question was not, as is often implied, written in the paper's editorial voice, but was a report of a lecture by Christopher Dawson, one of Britain's most reactionary Catholics. On this see Huttner, M., Totalitarismus und säkulare Religionen (Bonn, 1999), 30. Most instances of non-Catholic, mature totalitarianism theory before 1936 only mention Bolshevism as totalitarian in passing. Kandel, I.L., The Making of Nazis (New York, 1935), 131–8; Garrison, W.E., Intolerance (New York, 1934), 246; Souvarine, B., “Les journées de fevrier,” Critique sociale 11 (March 1934), 201–5, 204. Souvarine does use it more often in his landmark Staline, aperçu historique du bolchévisme (Paris, 1935). He was essentially alone, however, among the French left. The more mainstream version of Souvarine's anti-Stalinism—André Gide's Retour de l'U.R.S.S. (Paris, 1936), for instance, or the important pamphlet Qu'est-ce que le fascisme? (Paris, 1935)—does not make use of it.

5 See, among others, Rabinbach, A., “Moments of Totalitarianism,” History and Theory 45 (2006), 72100; Kershaw, I., The Nazi Dictatorship, 4th edn (New York, 2000), 23–5; Maier, H., “‘Totalitarismus’ und ‘politische Religionen’: Konzepte des Diktaturvergleichs,” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 43 (1995), 387405; and, more broadly, Schmeitzner, M., ed., Totalitarismuskritik von links: Deutsche Diskurse im 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen, 2007) and Jones, W. D., The Lost Debate: German Socialist Intellectuals and Totalitarianism (Urbana, 1999). Abbott Gleason, while avoiding a univocal origin story, focuses on leftist figures and almost entirely ignores the Catholic narrative, as is belied by his assertion that the concept was “never very important” in 1930s France. Gleason, A., Totalitarianism: The Inner History of the Cold War (New York, 1995), 143. The major documentary collection of totalitarian theories, Traverso's, E.Le Totalitarisme (Paris, 2001), does include some early Christian theorists, but does not provide a strong analytical framework and ignores the pre-1936 Catholic voices discussed in this essay. It is, of course, possible that earlier forms of non-Catholic totalitarian theory exist, undiscovered, but it seems definitive that, even if that were the case, totalitarianism theory did not rise to public prominence in liberal or socialist circles the way that it did in Catholic ones in the mid-1930s.

6 Tillich, P., “The Totalitarian State and the Claims of the Church,” Social Research 1 (1934), 405–33; H. Marcuse, “The Struggle against Liberalism in the Totalitarian View of the State,” in idem, Negations: Essays in Critical Theory (Boston, 1968), 3–42.

7 Schlangen, W., Die Totalitarismustheorie (Stuttgart, 1976), chap. 3. For an example that gives the liberal and left-wing versions together, while still ignoring the Catholics, see Lozek, G. et al. ., Die Totalitarismus-Doktrin im Antikommunismus (Berlin, 1985), chap. 2.

8 Lerner, M., “The Pattern of Dictatorship,” in Stanton, G., ed., Dictatorship in the Modern World (Minneapolis, 1935), 325; H. Kohn, “Communist and Fascist Dictatorship: A Comparative Study,” in ibid., 143–60.

9 For an overview of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century tradition see Corrin, J., Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy (Notre Dame, 2002).

10 The literature on the translation of theological ideas into secular language is, of course, enormous; for two recent versions of the argument that the process of secularization is always incomplete see Asad, T., Formations of the Secular (Stanford, 2003); and Pecora, V., Secularization and Cultural Criticism (Chicago, 2006). For the most canonical opposing view see Blumenberg, H., The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, trans. Wallace, R.M. (Cambridge, MA, 1983).

11 For the spread of totalitarianism theory into America see, in addition to Gleason's Totalitarianism, Ekbladh, D., The Great American Mission (Princeton, 2010), chap. 2; and Maddux, T., “Red Fascism, Brown Bolshevism: The American Image of Totalitarianism in the 1930s,” The Historian XL (1977), 85103.

12 Paul Adams to Erik Peterson, 14 October 1926, quoted in Nichtweiß, B., “Apokalyptische Verfassungslehren: Carl Schmitt im Horizon der Theologie Erik Petersons,” in Wacker, B., ed., Die eigentlich katholische Verschärfung: Konfession, Theologie und Politik im Werk Carl Schmitts (Munich, 1994), 3788, 68.

13 For information on them see Hürten, H., Waldmar Gurian: Ein Zeuge der Krise unserer Welt in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Mainz, 1972); R. Ebneth, Die österreichische Wochenschrift Der Christliche Ständestaat, deutsche Emigration in Österreich 1933–1938 (Mainz, 1976); Barré, J.-L., Jacques and Raïssa Maritain: Beggars for Heaven, trans. Doering, B. (Notre Dame, 2005).

14 Carl Schmitt to Karl Muth, 15 Nov. 1927, Nachlaß Karl Muth, Ana390II.A.Schmitt, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.

15 See, for instance, Gurian, W., “Bloy, Maurras, Maritain: Ein Nachwort,” Orplid 3 (1926–7), 5766.

16 Gurian describes Maritain's efforts in a letter to Schmitt on 22 June 1927, RSW 265 5510, Nachlaß Carl Schmitt, Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen Hauptstaatsarchiv Düsseldorf.

17 On this as the earliest meeting of Hildebrand and Maritain, see 23 July 1928, Franz Xaver Münch to Maritain, Maritain Archives, Archives of the Centre d'études Jacques et Raïssa Maritain, Kolbsheim, France.

18 In addition to its central role in the origins of totalitarianism theory, personalism could also be found at the origins of post-1945 human rights discourse. See Moyn, S., The Last Utopia (Cambridge, 2010), 64–5.

19 See, for instance, Gurian's first work, Die deutsche Jugendbewegung (Habelschwerdt-Franke, 1923) or, in Hildebrand's case, “Max Scheler als Ethiker,” Hochland 21 (1924), 626–37. Schmitt and Scheler, despite both teaching in the Catholic Rhineland in the early 1920s, seem never to have met or corresponded; according to Ludwig Feuchtwanger, Scheler was unimpressed with Schmitt's work. Feuchtwanger to Schmitt, 14 Oct. 1924, RSW 265 3479, Nachlaß Schmitt.

20 Per his matriculation records at Universität Köln, Gurian took courses on Kant, metaphysics, and epistemology with Scheler, and another on the foundations of sociology from Hildebrand. See Waldemar Gurian Papers, Library of Congress, Box 18, Folder 4.

21 See Spader, P., Scheler's Ethical Personalism: Its Logic, Development, and Promise (New York, 2002) for a far more nuanced philosophical account than I can provide here.

22 Scheler, M., Politisch–Pädagogische Schriften (München, 1982), 379, 377, 381, 384, 456. He reiterated similar beliefs in On the Eternal in Man (1921), his last major work before breaking with the Scheler, Church. M., On the Eternal in Man, trans. Noble, B. (Hamden, 1972), 368.

23 Maritain, J., “Luther et l'avènement du moi,” Revue universelle 12 (1923), 2954.

24 Cochin, A., “Les sociétés de pensée et la Révolution: La liberté,” Le correspondant 94 (25 Feb. 1922), 599635, 635; Garrigou-Lagrange, R., Le sens commun, 3rd edn (Paris, 1922), 321–6.

25 Maritain, J., Oeuvres complètes, vol. 3, ed. Jacques, Cercle d'études et Maritain, Raïssa (Fribourg, 1984), 1280.

26 Maritain, J., Three Reformers (Westport, CT, 1970), 21.

27 Ibid., emphasis in original.

28 J. Maritain, “Les idées politiques de Pascal,” in Oeuvres complètes, vol. 3, 181–204.

29 Gurian reports this conversation in a letter to Maritain, 27 Sept. 1927, Maritain Archives, Kolbsheim. For the printed version, see Schmitt, C., Constitutional Theory, trans. Seitzer, J. (Durham, 2008), 459.

30 Schmitt quotes this in Latin; this translation is from Muldoon, J., “Auctoritas, Potestas and World Order,” in Figueira, R.C., ed., Plenitude of Power (Burlington, 2006), 125–40, 125.

31 Schmitt to Maritain, 24 Dec. 1928, Maritain Archives, Kolbsheim.

32 W. Gurian, “Bloy, Maurras, Maritain.”

33 Gurian to Maritain, 18 Sept. 1927, Maritain Archives, Kolbsheim.

34 Schmitt to Maritain, 24 Dec. 1928, Maritain Archives, Kolbsheim. Maritain was not alone here, however; it was the party line for anti-Maurrassian Thomists. See Journet, C., “La pensée thomiste sur le pouvoir indirect,” La vie intellectuelle 2 (1929), 630–82.

35 Maritain, J., Primauté du spirituel (Paris, 1927), 17.

36 Gurian, W., “Die Kirche und die Action française: Eine prinzipielle Darlegung,” Heilige Feuer 14 (1927), 330–45, 330, 345.

37 Gurian, W., “Kirche und Welt,” Abendland 2 (1927), 362–6, 363.

38 Stratmann, F., “Carl Schmitts Begriff des Politischen,” Der Friedenskämpfer 4 (1928), 17, 1.

39 This originally appeared as von Hildebrand, D., “Zur Begrenzung des Staates,” Der Friedenskämpfer 5 (1929), 816. It was reprinted in idem, Zeitliches in Licht der Ewigen (Regensburg, 1932), 187–200.

40 Hildebrand, Zeitliches in Licht der Ewigen, 197–8.

41 As he reported decades later, “the expression ‘total state’” was “not common, in either general consciousness or scholarly literature” before his 1931 invocation. Schmitt to Pierre Faye, 5 Sept. 1960, RSW 265 12957, Nachlaß Schmitt (I am grateful to Daniel Jenkins for this reference). He seems to have been right about this: the first volume with “total state” in the title, H. Ziegler's Autoritärer oder Totaler Staat (Tübingen, 1932), was written in direct response to Schmitt, while the second was written by Ernst Forsthoff, one of Schmitt's pupils and disciples (Der Totale Staat (Hamburg, 1933)). Several articles that appeared between 1932 and 1935 credited Schmitt with introducing the notion of the total into the political vocabulary in his articles for Europäische Revue, while more recent scholars have seconded this verdict. Behrendt, R., “Die Totalität des Politischen,” Der Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 395–7; Fuchs, F., “Der totale Staat und seine Grenze,” Hochland 30 (1932–3), 558–60; Thieme, K., Deutsche evangelische Christen auf dem Wege zur katholischen Kirche (Zürich, 1934), 42; more recently, Gleason, Totalitarianism, 18.

42 Schmitt, C., “Die Wendung zum Totalen Staat,” Europäische Revue 7 (1931), 241–50, 242.

43 As Schmitt turned towards more institutional modes of thought as the 1930s wore on, he began to approach other Catholics more closely. On this, see Bates, D., “Political Theology and the Nazi State: Carl Schmitt's Concept of the Institution,” Modern Intellectual History 3 (2006), 415–42.

44 C. Schmitt, “Die Wendung zum Totalen Staat,” 242, 247.

45 Ibid. 243.

46 See, for instance, C. Schmitt, “The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations,” trans. M. Konzen and J. P. McCormick, in idem, The Concept of the Political (Chicago, 1996), 80–96.

47 Grosche, R., “Theologie des Reiches,” Schönere Zukunft 8 (1933), 1037–8. This also appeared in Kölnische Volkszeitung.

48 Helltorff, O. W., “Die ‘totale Revolution’ in Deutschland und die Katholiken,” Schönere Zukunft 8 (1933), 976–7.

49 Kogon, E., Die Idee des Christlichen Ständestaates: Frühe Schriften, 1921–1940, ed. Kogon, M. (Berlin, 1999), 298.

50 Ritter, E., “Vorwort,” in Katholisch–konservatives Erbgut: Eine Auslese für die Gegenwart, hrsg. von Ritter, E., (Freiburg, 1934), vxi, vii, xi.

51 Eschweiler to Maritain, 20 May 1926, Maritain Archives, Kolbsheim.

52 K. Eschweiler, “Neun Sätze über Katholische Aktion.” This is a typescript, dated May 1933, that Schmitt returned to Eschweiler with his letter of 4 July 1933, RSW 265 12948, Nachlaß Carl Schmitt.

53 For G. Gundlach see “Zur Arbeitsdienstpflicht,” Stimmen der Zeit 124 (1932–3), 56–9.

54 Gurian, W., Bolshevism: Theory and Practice, trans. Watkin, E.I. (New York, 1932), vii. In the original, Gurian hews to Schmitt's totaler Staat in lieu of totalitärer. Gurian, W., Bolschewismus, Einführung in Geschichte und Lehre (Freiburg im Bresgau, 1931), vii.

55 W. Gurian, Bolshevism 249, 104.

56 Gurian, W., “Erwiderung,” Religiöse Besinnung 4 (1931–2), 93–6, 96.

57 Armin Mohler, in his dissertation, proclaimed this to be the first work of any value on the “conservative revolution.” See Mohler, A. and Schmitt, C., Carl Schmitt: Briefwechsel mit einem seiner Schüler, ed. Mohler, A. et al. . (Berlin, 1995), 94 n.

58 W. Gerhart (i.e. W. Gurian), Um des Reiches Zukunft (Freiburg, 1932). Chapter 7 is devoted to Nazism as a “total state,” and Bolshevism is discussed as the other example of totalitarianism (see 119, for instance).

59 Ibid., chap. 9, “Der neue Nationalismus als religiös-metaphysische Bewegung.”

60 Ibid., 169. For Schmitt on “The Visibility of the Church” see his essay by that title, included as an appendix to idem, Roman Catholicism and Political Form, trans. G.L. Ulmen (Westport, 1996), 45–60.

61 W. Gurian, Bolshevism, 237.

62 W. Gurian, Um des Reiches Zukunft, 194–5.

63 Ibid., 201.

64 According to Gurian's collection of clippings, it was reviewed in at least twenty-seven journals and newspapers, of every conceivable political stripe. These can all be found in Gurian Papers, Box 11, Folder 7.

65 Gurian, W., “Bolchévisme rouge et bolchévisme brun,” La vie intellectuelle 40 (1936), 5367; for reader's responses see Maritain to Gurian, 20 Aug. 1935, Box 5, Folder 18; Simon to Gurian, 25 May 1936, Box 7, Folder 22; d'Harcourt to Gurian, 25 Sept. 1935, Box 4, Folder 10, Gurian Papers.

66 La Croix 16,226 (11 Jan, 1936), 5; Figaro 111/13 (13 Jan. 1936), 4.

67 W.R., review of Bolschewismus als Weltgefahr, Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 947–8; Justi, L., “Bolschewismus und Nationalsozialismus,” Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 1063–4; Gurian's clippings for other Austrian reviews do not include page numbers, but they can be found in Gurian Papers, Box 11, Folder 7.

68 For overviews of Catholic responses to the Popular Front in France see Christophe, P., 1936: Les catholiques et le Front populaire (Paris, 1979); for the best account of Austrian Catholics under Dollfuss and Schuschnigg see Seefried, E., Reich und Stände (Düsseldorf, 2006).

69 The original 1934 lectures were published as J. Maritain, Problemas Espirituales y Temporales de una Nueva Cristianidad (Madrid, 1935). It was reprinted again as the first part of Maritain, “Deux essais sur un nouvel humanisme,” Esprit 37 (1935), 88–117. For the final version, including totalitarian language, see Maritain, J., Humanisme intégral: problèmes temporels et spirituels d'une nouvelle chrétienté (Paris, 1939), 44.

70 “Totalitarianism” features in Humanisme intégral in three major places: chap. 2, chap. 4, and chap. 7. Each of these sections was added between the August 1934 lectures, on which the book was based, and the final version's publication in 1936.

71 Ibid., 45–7.

72 See, for instance, ibid., 294.

73 Ibid., 44, 94, 48, 56, 75, emphasis in original. Maritain here clearly points forward to the “political religions” hypothesis of Raymond Aron, Erich Voegelin, and others.

74 Ibid., chap. 1.

75 Ibid., 74, 295, 67.

76 de Rougemont, D., “Changer la vie ou changer l'homme,” in Communisme et les chrétiens (Paris, 1937), 203–32, 228. Emphasis in original.

77 Christianus, , “Totalitaire,” La vie intellectuelle 33 (1935), 354–6, 354. Assuming that Christianus had a stable identity, he identifies himself as a priest in the unnamed article that opens up the first postwar issue of La vie intellectuelle. Christianus, [untitled], La vie intellectuelle 13 (1945), 1–16, 10.

78 Delos, J. T., “Pour un ordre catholique,” La vie intellectuelle 34 (1935), 44–7, 45.

79 Étudiant, Un, “L'Étudiant dans l'état totalitaire,” La vie intellectuelle 36 (1935), 137–40.

80 Journet, C., “L'église et les communautés totalitaires,” Nova et Vetera 10 (1935), 431–9. I am grateful to René Mougel for this reference.

81 J. Maritain, Oeuvres complètes, ed. Cercle d'études Jacques et Raïssa Maritain, vol. 1 (1986), 618, 553, 614.

82 Solages, B., “Personnes et société: leurs rapports,” in Cours et Conférences de la Semaine Sociale de Clermont-Ferrand, La personne humaine en péril (Lyon, 1938), 229–50, here 236.

83 For the classic work on these figures, see del Bayle, J. L. L., Les non-conformistes des années trente (Paris, 1969).

84 Lucius, P., Révolutions du XXème siècle (Paris, 1934), 51.

85 Ibid., 85.

86 Francis, R., Maulnier, T., and Maxence, J.-P., Demain la France (Paris, 1934), 175. Francis and Maxence were outspokenly Catholic, while Maulnier was a Maurrassian atheist. In context, it is clear that Bolshevism is understood as a form of totalitarianism.

87 Loyer, P., “Période de Transition,” Revue du XXème siècle 1 (1934), 44–8, 44, 47. This journal, like others on the Catholic right, had some atheist collaborators; its overall tenor, thanks to Jean de Fabrègues's pious editorship, was nonetheless Catholic.

88 de Broze, J., “Essai sur la notion d'état,” Revue du XXème siècle 2 (1935), 1523, 18–19.

89 Saillenfest, J., “Pour un régime des libertés,” Revue du XXème siècle 2 (1935), 2431, 24; Verdeil, G., “Entre l'individu et l'état: les corps sociaux,” Revue du XXème siècle 2 (1935), 32–8, 37; Loisy, J., “L'homme et l'état,” Revue du XXème siècle 2 (Jan. 1935), 3943, 39, 41.

90 Quoted in Ebneth, Die österreichische Wochenschrift Der Christliche Ständestaat, 67.

91 von Hildebrand, D., “Die korporative Idee und die natürlichen Gemeinschaften,” Der Katholische Gedanke 6 (1933), 4858, 54.

92 Ibid., 56–7. Hildebrand was probably not referring to Mussolini's regime, of which he and his magazine were generally supportive.

93 von Hildebrand, D., “Masse und Gemeinschaft,” Christliche Ständestaat 3 (1936), 31–3, 33.

94 von Hildebrand, D., “Die letzte Maske fällt,” in Memoiren und Aufsätze gegen den Nationalsozialismus, 1933–1938, ed. Wenisch, E. (Mainz, 1994), 236–40, 237–8. Taken from Christliche Ständestaat, July 1934.

95 von Hildebrand, D., “Staat und Ehe,” Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 1002–4, 1004.

96 Aigner, S., “Totalität,” Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 259–61, 259.

97 Zessner-Spitzenberg, H., “Oesterreich, Habsburg und Föderalismus,” Christliche Ständestaat 3 (1936), 57; Bittner, K. G., “Katholizismus gegen Kapitalismus,” Christliche Ständestaat 2 (1935), 541–4; Heinrich, N. (pseudonym for Nikolaus Dohrn), “Politischer Katholizismus und Illegalität,” Christliche Ständestaat 2, 903–6.

98 Quoted in Kugler, M., Die frühe Diagnose des Nationalsozialismus (Bern, 1995), 146.

99 Zahn, L., “Der totalitäre und der universale Deutsche,” Christliche Ständestaat 4 (1937), 1067–8

100 Barion to Schmitt, 20 Nov. 1934, RSW 265 687, Nachlaß Schmitt.

101 R. Behrendt, “Die Totalität des Politischen”. Behrendt had written about Schmitt before, in Politischer Aktivismus (Leipzig, 1932), 129–31, and was clearly familiar with his entire oeuvre.

102 F.B. (probably Blei, Franz), “Der Fall Carl Schmitt,” Christliche Ständestaat 3 (1936), 1217–20, 1219–20.

103 Helsing (i.e. Kolnai, A.), “Othmar Spanns Ganzheitlehre,” Christliche Ständestaat 1 (1934), 48, 4.

104 Helsing (i.e. Kolnai, A.), “Othmar Spanns ‘organische’ Staatslehre,” Christliche Ständestaat 1 (1934), 710, 9.

105 D. von Hildebrand, “Der ‘Sklavenaufstand’ gegen den Geist,” in Memoiren und Aufsätze gegen den Nationalsozialismus, 198–205, 199. This essay taken from Christliche Ständestaat, January 1934.

106 Wolfgang Wippermann, quoted in Gleason, Totalitarianism, 153.

107 Adenauer, K., World Indivisible, trans. Winston, R. and C. (New York, 1955), 11. Interestingly, the first work in this series, called World Perspectives, was Maritain's Approaches to God.

108 Maritain, J., “End of Machiavellianism,” Review of Politics 4 (1942), 133, 33.

109 von Hildebrand, D., “Catholicism vs. Nazism,” Belgium 3 (1942), 1922, 19.

110 The lecture was reprinted later: Gurian, W., “The Totalitarian State,” Review of Politics 40 (1978), 514–27; idem, “The Rise of Totalitarianism in Europe,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1942 (Washington, 1944), 297–304.

111 Y. Simon to Maritain, 6 Nov. 1941, Box 18, Folder 3, Maritain Archives, Jacques Maritain Center, Notre Dame.

112 Gurian to Maritain, 8 Feb. 1942, Box 18, Folder 3, Maritain Archives, Notre Dame.

113 “Manifesto on the War,” Commonweal 26 (1942), 415–20, 416.

114 Ibid., 415, emphasis in original.

115 D. von Hildebrand, “What Is at Stake,” Ana 514, XII.7, Nachlaß Hildebrand Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.

116 W. Gurian, “The Totalitarian State,” 516.

117 Gurian, W., “On Maritain's Political Philosophy,” Thomist 5 (1943), 722, 8.

118 Maritain, J., Christianity and Democracy, trans. Anson, D. (New York, 1944), 21.

119 Ibid., 25.

120 Ibid., 33.

121 Ibid., 72.

122 In addition to their ties with Gurian, they were each also concerned with Carl Schmitt: for Arendt and Schmitt, see Kalyvas, A., Democracy and the Politics of the Extraordinary (New York, 2008), chaps. 7–8; for Friedrich and Schmitt, see U. Greenberg's forthcoming book, Cold War Weimar: German Emigré Intellectuals and the Weimar Origins of the Cold War.

123 The program for the symposium was included in a letter from Maritain to Gurian, 22 July 1938, Box 5, Folder 18, Gurian Papers. Friedrich, C., “The Greek Political Heritage and Totalitarianism,” Review of Politics 2 (1940), 218–25. He had used the term before, but to my knowledge this is his first extended discussion of it.

124 For the obituary, see Arendt, H., Men in Dark Times (New York, 1968), 251–62. Arendt to Gurian, 4 March 1942, Box 1, Folder 10, Gurian Papers. For her interest in, and this quotation about, Maritain, see her 2 May 1942 letter to Gurian, Box 1, Folder 10, Gurian Papers.

* I would like to thank the three anonymous readers, the editorial staff of Modern Intellectual History, and others who have provided insightful feedback; above all, Udi Greenberg, Daniel Jenkins, Samuel Moyn, and Simon Taylor. Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the German Studies Association, the Council for European Studies, and Cambridge University's Political Theory and Intellectual History Workshop; audience questions at each occasion were instrumental in shaping my argument. Research support was provided by the Social Science Research Council.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed