New Book: The Weimar Century

j10368In his study The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War, Udi Greenberg traces the academic and political careers of Weimar émigrés Carl J. Friedrich, Ernst Fraenkel, Waldemar Gurian, Karl Loewenstein and Hans Morgenthau to show ‘that the foundations of Germany’s reconstruction [after WWII] lay in the country’s first democratic experiment, the Weimar Republic. … Having borne witness to Weimar’s political clashes and violent upheavals, they called on democratic regimes to permanently mobilize their citizens and resources in global struggle against their Communist enemies. In the process, they gained entry to the highest levels of American power, serving as top-level advisors to American occupation authorities in Germany and Korea, consultants for the State Department in Latin America, and leaders in universities and philanthropic foundations across Europe and the United States. Their ideas became integral to American global hegemony.’

The New Republic calls The Weimar Century a ‘first-class intellectual history’ ‘[Greenberg’s] Weimar is not a world of frenetic dissipation but a symbol of democratic continuity. From the Weimar Republic grew the Federal Republic of Germany, Greenberg contends, as well as the transatlantic Cold War alliance: Weimar provided a democratic foundation for later Germanies; this foundation was best preserved, not in Germany itself after 1933, but among those who evaded the direct experience of Nazism.’


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