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Anthem Press
Online publication date:
February 2022
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Organisational Sociology, Sociology

Book description

In the twelve studies collected in this book, the collaborators take their points of departure from the thesis that the initial exchanges of post-war letters between exiles from Nazi Germany and former colleagues and friends who remained in Germany provide unique insights into the aspirations, hopes, and fears of both sets of writers, as well as the costs of both types of experiences, varied as they are. The best-known of such exchanges, subjected to two quite distinct studies in the book, is the public correspondence between Thomas Mann and Walter von Molo, in the course of which Mann sets forth his bitter reasons for failing to return to Germany at the end of the war. Another familiar correspondence examined anew in the book is of a radically different kind, consisting mainly of letters by Hannah Arendt to Martin Heidegger, where the confluence of personal, emotional currents with questions of academic weight define a distinctive, troubling connection, indicative of quite distinct costs of exile. Included in the collection are also fresh studies of figures who may be less well-known but whose distinctive responses to the challenges posed by first letters provide matter for fresh insights into exile and its liquidation. The first essay in the book and the last focus on questions of method and interpretation in studies of this valuable kind of evidence. Apart from the rewarding historiographical findings of these inquiries, they also offer a demanding contrast in methods and theoretical claims.

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