A German Life in the Age of Revolution: Joseph Görres, 1776-1848
Catholic University of Amer Press, 2001 - 408 Seiten
The story of Joseph Gorres's life is in many ways the story of German political culture in the revolutionary epoch. Indeed, his dates, 1776-1848, frame the "Age of Revolution" and, like the age in which he lived, Gorres's life was marked by great upheavals. One of the most prominent German journalists of his age, Gorres pioneered political journalism, or what was called Publizistik in Germany. He was a founder of political Catholicism, and was in no small part responsible for the fact that Germany eventually developed a party based on the Catholic confession. Gorres was also an extraordinarily prolific scholar with an almost dizzying range of interests. His life provides a window into an incredibly prolific era in European history, into the political implications of the Enlightenment, the wide-reaching intellectual movement of German romanticism, the roots of German nationalism, and the origins of German political party formation.Gorres traversed the entire political spectrum of his age: his youth, formed in the shadow of the French Revolution, was characterized by enlightened, cosmopolitan republicanism -- what some have dubbed "German Jacobinism"; his middle years included a romantic phase, in which he helped foster a nascent German cultural nationalism, before he became a fiery nationalist writer and publisher of the Rheinischer Merkur, the most important political newspaper in Germany up to that time. In the sunset of his life he was primarily a Catholic political polemicist.Gorres helped shape the immensely creative and pivotal years in which he lived, years that saw the development of the modern state system and the origin of the political spectrum in Germany, as well as thevery concepts "liberal" and "conservative", which are so much a part of our political discourse today.