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Intellectuals and the Nation

Intellectuals and the Nation
Collective Identity in a German Axial Age


Part of Cambridge Cultural Social Studies

  • Date Published: August 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521639965

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • This book proposes a theory of collective and national identity based on culture and language rather than power and politics. Applying this to what he calls Germany's 'axial age', Bernhard Giesen shows how the codes of nineteenth-century German identity in turn became those of the divided Germany between 1945 and 1989. The identity he describes derives from the ideas of German intellectuals, from the uprooted Romantic poets to the influential German mandarins. Carried by the emerging bourgeoisie, it was constructed on the tensions between power and spirit, money and culture, and the sacred and profane.

    • Presents a cultural theory of national identity in contrast to political theories
    • Compares national identity of nineteenth-century Germany before Bismarck and pre-unification Germany in twentieth century
    • Shows how intellectual ideas carry through into a country's overall culture
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521639965
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 155 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the nation in social science and history
    1. The construction of collective identity
    2. The encounter with Otherness
    3. The nation as invisible public: the patriotic code
    4. The nation as holy grail of the intellectuals: the transcendental code of Romanticism
    5. The people on the barricades: the democratic code
    6. The State-nation up to the founding of Empire: the code of 'Realpolitik'
    7. The national identity of the Germans

  • Author

    Bernhard Giesen, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany


    Nicholas Levis

    Amos Weisz

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