Book Review: The Weimar Century: German Emigres and the Ideological Foundations of the Cola War by Udi Greeinberg.

Author:Sorensen, Ben
Position:Book review
 
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Greenberg, Udi. The Weimar Century: German Emigres and the Ideological Foundations Of The Cold War. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. xii + 276 pages. Hardcover, $35.00.

Philosophy, sociology, education, politics, and international relations are all fields that benefit from the study of the historical phenomenon of the Cold War. Every nation wrestles with narratives to describe their experiences; each narrative demonstrates the national worldview of the country that participated or the nation that the Cold War affected. The German historian Olivia Greise skillfully examined the cultural politics in West and East Germany in Auswartige Kulturpolitik Und Kalter Krieg; however, in The Weimar Century: German Emigres and the Ideological Foundations Of The Cold War Udi Greenberg attempts to bring a new perspective into the realms of both German and American Cold War experiences. Greenberg, an Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College, demonstrates how American educational and political philosophies modified German political realities while allowing German scholars and political philosophers to transform the American approach to the Cold War.

In his discussion of this American-German interchange, Greenberg focuses on five people: the Weber School Protestant political scientist Carl J. Friedrich, the Socialist theorist Ernst Fraenkel, a Catholic publicist Waldemar Gurian, the exceedingly liberal lawyer Karl Loewenstein, and the international relations scholar and theorist Hans Morgenthau. These five intellectuals' legacies are all but forgotten, but Dr. Greenberg not only reminds modern scholars of their contributions, but puts their accomplishments into a new historical narrative that touches on philosophy, education, and political theory while highlighting their influences on American Cold War policies.

Dr. Greenberg begins this seminal work by documenting the basis for Carl Friedrich's political and social philosophies, hearkening back to the Late-Renaissance Calvinist philosopher Johannes Althusius' writings to demonstrate that democracy is in fact a very German concept--at least in Friedrich's eyes. Greenburg provides an account of Friedrich's struggle to fit the concept of the 'Responsible Elites' into democratic structures. He shows how Friedrich did not believe that the egalitarian ideas of democracy and the stratified German concepts of ideal social structures were mutually exclusive; instead, Friedrich stipulated that...

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