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Germany’s Prophet: Paul de Lagarde and the Origins of Modern Antisemitism [Hardcover]

Ulrich Sieg , Eugene R. Sheppard , Linda Ann Marianiello

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Book Description

June 11 2013 Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry
Recognized in his own time and also today as a leading scholar of the origins and development of the Septuagint and its sources, Paul de Lagarde (1827–1891) was a vituperative German nationalist and an antisemite whose writings inspired the National Socialist (Nazi) ideology. An influential and controversial public thinker, he invoked an authentic Germanness that encompassed religion and a national ethos to counter the threat posed by the Jews and liberalism. His appeals to a “secret Germany” eventually resonated with modern conservative revolutionaries and notable antisemites from Julius Langbehn and Houston Stewart Chamberlain to Alfred Rosenberg and Adolf Hitler himself.

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Product Description


“Drawing on a vast array of sources and informed by a deep knowledge of nineteenth-century theology, philology, and political history, Ulrich Sieg shows us a Lagarde driven by religious and political apocalypticism as well as by a fanatical dedication to positivist scholarship and an insatiable need for love. Sieg’s authoritative biography throws light on not only the contradictory character of the man himself but also on the many different readers who found inspiration in Lagarde’s violent denunciations of Judaism, liberalism, and the spiritually desiccated modern world.” (Suzanne L. Marchand, professor of history, Louisiana State University, and author of German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race and Scholarship)

About the Author

ULRICH SIEG is professor of philosophy at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Author Has An Ideological Agenda and Doesn't Like His Subject Even Before He Begins March 27 2014
By G. Charles Steiner - Published on Amazon.com
This review is for: Germany's Prophet: Paul de Lagarde and the Origins of Modern Antisemitism

The author makes it clear in the Forward that he is very proud of having finished a biography about a whom he holds his nose and for whom the author pats himself on the back for even stomaching the required reading of Paul de Lagarde's writing.

If you didn't know anything about Walt Whitman and wanted to, would you want to read a book that sets out to prove that Whitman was nothing but a flaming queen who loved Socialism? Only if you already knew the subject and had similar prejudices

Clearly no maverick or independent thinker, the author wants it to be unmistakably clear that he's an apologist for the Jewish viewpoint and clearly sets out to make clear to the reader he's no anti-Semite, far from it. No Germans for Germany for him! No, that would be obscene and indecent and not politically correct. Mr. Ulrigh Sieg is worrisomely concerned with being perceived as politically correct.

Given the author's stance, how objective and fair can the author be about a man and a set of pro-German ideas he actually loathes?

Read Chapter 12, "The Talmud on Trial," for a good taste of how the author weaves his vituperative judgments about the man and his ideas into a seemingly objective narration of events set in the 1800s. Historically, the trial was a huge flop and nothing got resolved on the side of either Jewish or German interests but the story is told in such a manner as to ensure that Paul de Lagarde is understood as a pure, arrogant buffoon.

Paul de Lagarde may have been a buffoon, but in order to be sure of the fact, it takes someone who can be impartial to say so and prove it. Needless to say for those who know something of who Paul de Lagarde is, by the very fact that Hitler read the writings of Paul de Lagarde only proves, in the author's mind and is intended to be proof for his readers, that Hitler's political aspirations were merely guided by non-rational "prejudice."

The professor put in all this hard work just to expose himself as a posturing propagandist for other, like-minded court historians concerned to please the powers-that-be for fear of something. . . .

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