The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century

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9780060760229: The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century

[ THE GERMAN GENIUS EUROPE'S THIRD RENAISSANCE, THE SECOND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION AND THE TWENTIETH CENTURY BY WATSON, PETER](AUTHOR)HARDBACK

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Review:

'[German] philosophy was more profound - to a fault. So was their music. Their scientists and engineers were clearly the best. Their soldiers were unmatched. It is, of course, the Nazis who have made it hard for us to appreciate what Peter Watson calls "the German genius." Goebbels spoiled the brand when he marketed Hitler as the apotheosis of German culture. Mr Watson, a British journalist and the author of several books of cultural history, would like us to leave the Nazis aside and appreciate that our modern world - at least the world of ideas - is largely a German creation. In effect, with "The German Genius" Mr Watson has given us a kind of Dictionary of German Biography... There were many German geniuses' International Herald Tribune 17/7 'Post-war perceptions of Germany tend to be coloured by an obsession with the Nazis. Nevertheless, German ideas and practices have been fundamental to the development of modern life in the West. For ill, of course, but more often for good than is now recognised, we could not have done without the Germans, and Watson's book is intended to subvert the negative German stereotypes. Though it checks in at just short of 1,000 pages, it is a usefully concise introduction to the principal themes and personalities of German scientific, philosophical, social, literary and artistic culture since 1750' The Times 'This intelligent book presents a breath-taking panorama. Let up hope that it succeeds in its aim and stimulates a deeper and wider engagement with the country of Kant, Beethoven, Einstein and Habermas' Christopher Clark, Sunday Times 12/9 'Peter Watson's colossal encyclopaedia, The German Genius, might have been written for me, but not only for me. A journalist of heroic industry, Watson is frustrated by the British ignorance of Germany, or rather by an expertise devoted exclusively to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Watson wonders not just why the nation of thinkers and poets came to grief between 1933 and 1945 but also how it put itself together again and, in 1989, recreated most of the Wilhelmine state without plunging Europe into war or even breaking sweat. Watson has not simply written a survey of the German intellect from Goethe to Botho Strauss -- nothing so dilettantist. In the course of nearly 1,000 pages, he covers German idealism, porcelain, the symphony, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, telegraphy, homeopathy, strategy, Sanskrit, colour theory, the Nazarenes, universities, Hegel, jurisprudence, the conservation of energy, the Biedermeyer, entropy, fractals, dyestuffs, the PhD, heroin, automobiles, the unconscious, the cannon, the Altar of Pergamon, sociology, militarism, the waltz, anti-semitism, continental drift, quantum theory and serial music.' James Buchan, Guardian 9/10 'The outstanding quality of this book is that it places scientific discoveries at the core of cultural history, linking them with dramatic technical and industrial developments...Watson's account of the 'rise' assembles such a wealth of information, based on an impressive range of sources, that The German Genius will be an essential work of reference for years to come' Independent 15/10 'Like successive German ambassadors to the UK, Peter Watson has noticed that British perceptions of Germany are dominated almost exclusively by the Third Reich, the Second World War and the Holocaust... The era during which Germany led the world in philosophy, music, science, historical research, and, arguably, several branches of literature, was ended abruptly by Hitler, who sent most of Germany's lead minds into exile and thus hugely enriched the intellectual life of the Anglo-American countries... here we have an encyclopaedic survey in which every famous German artist or thinker, and many who should be more famous than they are, finds a place' Ritchie Robertson, TLS 1/10 'The reason Peter Watson gives for writing this long intellectual history of Germany since 1750 is a convincing one; that British obsession with Nazism has blinded many British people to the achievements of German culture... An introduction to other German history is welcome' Alexander Starritt, The Spectator 16/10

From the Back Cover:

From the end of the Baroque era and the death of Bach to the rise of Hitler, Germany was transformed from a poor relation among Western nations into a dominant intellectual and cultural force. By 1933, Germans had won more Nobel Prizes than the British and Americans combined. Yet this remarkable genius was cut down in its prime by Adolf Hitler and his disastrous Third Reich--a brutal legacy that has overshadowed the nation's achievements ever since.

In this absorbing cultural and intellectual history, Peter Watson goes back through time to explore the origins of the German genius, explaining how and why it flourished, how it shaped our lives, and, most important, how it continues to influence our world. Watson's virtuoso sweep through modern German thought and culture will challenge and confound both the stereotypes the world has of Germany and those that Germany has of itself.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2010. Microfilm. Book Condition: New. 231 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The German Genius is a virtuoso cultural history of German ideas and influence, from 1750 to the present day, by acclaimed historian Peter Watson (Making of the Modern Mind, Ideas). From Bach, Goethe, and Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, Freud, and Einstein, from the arts and humanities to science and philosophy, The German Genius is a lively and accessible review of over 250 years of German intellectual history. In the process, it explains the devastating effects of World War II, which transformed a vibrant and brilliantly artistic culture into a vehicle of warfare and destruction, and it shows how the German culture advanced in the war s aftermath. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060760229

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Microfilm. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century, Peter Watson, Peter Watson's virtuoso sweep through modern German thought and culture, from 1750 to the present day, will challenge and confound both the stereotypes the world has of Germany and those that Germany has of itself.From the end of the Baroque era and the death of Bach to the rise of Hitler in 1933, Germany was transformed from a poor relation among Western nations into a dominant intellectual and cultural force--more creative and influential than France, Britain, Italy, Holland, and the United States. In the early decades of the twentieth century, German artists, writers, scholars, philosophers, scientists, and engineers were leading their freshly unified country to new and unimagined heights. By 1933, Germans had won more Nobel Prizes than any other nationals, and more than the British and Americans combined. Yet this remarkable genius was cut down in its prime by Adolf Hitler and his disastrous Third Reich--a brutal legacy that has overshadowed the nation's achievements ever since.How did the Germans transform their country so as to achieve such pre-eminence? In this absorbing cultural and intellectual history, Peter Watson goes back through time to explore the origins of the Germangenius, and he explains how and why it flourished, how it shaped our lives, and, most important, how it continues to influence our world. As he convincingly demonstrates, it was German thinking--from Beethoven and Kant to Diesel and Nietzsche, from Goethe and Wagner to Mendel and Planck, from Hegel and Marx to Freud and Schoenberg--that was paramount in the creation of the modern West. Moreover, despite World War II, figures such as Joseph Beuys, Jurgen Habermas, and Joseph Ratzinger ensure that the German genius still resonates intellectually today. Bookseller Inventory # B9780060760229

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2010. Microfilm. Book Condition: New. 231 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The German Genius is a virtuoso cultural history of German ideas and influence, from 1750 to the present day, by acclaimed historian Peter Watson (Making of the Modern Mind, Ideas). From Bach, Goethe, and Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, Freud, and Einstein, from the arts and humanities to science and philosophy, The German Genius is a lively and accessible review of over 250 years of German intellectual history. In the process, it explains the devastating effects of World War II, which transformed a vibrant and brilliantly artistic culture into a vehicle of warfare and destruction, and it shows how the German culture advanced in the war s aftermath. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060760229

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