Hitler As Philosophe: Remnants Of The Enlightenment In National Socialism

Hitler As Philosophe: Remnants Of The Enlightenment In National Socialism
by Lawrence Birken / / / PDF


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Birken challenges the conventional wisdom that Hitlerism was a revolt against Western values. Utilizing Adolph Hitler's major writings, speeches, and recorded conversations, this path-breaking study in intellectual history delineates the relationship of Nazism to other European ideologies, both past and present. National Socialism, Birken maintains, was nothing less than an attempt to create a metaphysical foundation for the German nation-state after both the Frankfurt Assembly and the Bismarckian pseudo-Reich had failed to do so. In this context, Hitler can be seen as the last great exponent of the Enlightenment tradition that glorified fraternity. However, by grounding German nationalism in race, Hitler sent his country on a path toward destruction in the Second World War. Birken closes with the warning that our current failure to provide a post-modern substitute for nationalism invites the reassertion of the Enlightenment obsessions of nation and race. Speculative and far-reaching, this book will stimulate the current debate over nationalism and will be of interest to students of politics and the social sciences as well as German history buffsBirken challenges the conventional wisdom that Hitlerism was a revolt against Western values. Utilizing Adolph Hitler's major writings, speeches, and recorded conversations, this path-breaking study in intellectual history delineates the relationship of Nazism to other European ideologies, both past and present. National Socialism, Birken maintains, was nothing less than an attempt to create a metaphysical foundation for the German nation-state after both the Frankfurt Assembly and the Bismarckian pseudo-Reich had failed to do so. In this context, Hitler can be seen as the last great exponent of the Enlightenment tradition that glorified fraternity. However, by grounding German nationalism in race, Hitler sent his country on a path toward destruction in the Second World War. Birken closes with the warning that our current failure to provide a post-modern substitute for nationalism invites the reassertion of the Enlightenment obsessions of nation and race. Speculative and far-reaching, this book will stimulate the current debate over nationalism and will be of t to students of politics and the social sciences as well as German history buffs.

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