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Reactionary modernism : technology, culture, and politics in Weimar and the Third Reich

Author: Jeffrey Herf
Publisher: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In a unique application of critical theory to the study of the role of ideology in politics, Jeffrey Herf explores the paradox inherent in the German fascists' rejection of the rationalism of the Enlightenment while fully embracing modern technology. He documents evidence of a cultural tradition he calls 'reactionary modernism' found in the writings of German engineers and of the major intellectuals of the. Weimar  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Werner Sombart; Ernst Jünger; Oswald Spengler
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jeffrey Herf
ISBN: 0521265665 9780521265669 0521338336 9780521338332
OCLC Number: 10456828
Notes: Revision of the author's thesis (Brandeis University).
Description: xii, 251 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: The paradox of reactionary modernism --
The conservative revolution in Weimar --
Oswald Spengler: bourgeois antinomies, reactionary reconciliations --
Ernst Junger's magical realism --
Technology and three mandarin thinkers --
Werner Sombart: technology and the Jewish question --
Engineers as ideologues --
Reactionary modernism in the Third Reich.
Responsibility: Jeffrey Herf.
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Abstract:

In a unique application of critical theory to the study of the role of ideology in politics, Jeffrey Herf explores the paradox inherent in the German fascists' rejection of the rationalism of the Enlightenment while fully embracing modern technology. He documents evidence of a cultural tradition he calls 'reactionary modernism' found in the writings of German engineers and of the major intellectuals of the. Weimar right: Ernst Juenger, Oswald Spengler, Werner Sombart, Hans Freyer, Carl Schmitt, and Martin Heidegger. The book shows how German nationalism and later National Socialism created what Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, called the 'steel-like romanticism of the twentieth century'. By associating technology with the Germans, rather than the Jews, with beautiful form rather than the formlessness of the market, and with a strong state rather than a predominance of economic values and institutions, these right-wing intellectuals reconciled Germany's strength with its romantic soul and national identity.

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'Jeffrey Herf, in his most interesting and original study ... has drawn attention to a strain in German social thought which made it possible to link the ideas of the new technology of the twentieth Read more...

 
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