«A great triumph, 'Adolf Douai' captures a German Forty-Eighter’s lifelong insurrection that yielded both enormous achievements and dismal failures, as teacher, writer, politician, and revolutionary. From Saxe-Altenburg to East Prussia and Livonia [today Estonia] and on to the New World, the reader is haunted by this human--nay tragic--personality. Arriving with his nobility-status wife and family, Douai first braves the wilds of Texas as an abolitionist, then tangles with the capitalist rigors of the North, where he becomes mired in all the German-American turmoil of his day. Acquiring for American Germans both the highest respect, and by fights with the likes of co-patriot Karl Heinzen, the greatest contempt, Douai typifies the brilliant clan of Forty-Eighter German immigrants. Throughout his life he stuck to his colors, proclaiming in 1883 that Marx had produced ‘the greatest scientific work written in the German language.’ Only when we get fifty more books like this one will scholars begin to grasp the colossal impact German Forty-Eighters made on America.» (La Vern J. Rippley, Chairman, Department of German, St. Olaf College; Editor, Society for German-American Studies Newsletter)
«Randers-Pehrson’s study of Douai, an 1848er who ‘experienced the revolution and its aftermath’ in the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg, ‘one of Germany’s smallest states,’ is a model of historical research. Based on solid research in the personal papers of Douai and making use of the wide range of literature on the 1848 revolution published on both sides of the Atlantic, she has carefully crafted a sympathetic picture of this complex educator, newspaper editor, radical free-thinker and atheist, uncompromising abolitionist, and Marxist revolutionary.
Randers-Pehrson deserves praise for resurrecting this long-forgotten German-American who arrived in New Braunfels in 1852 with a piano on his wagon and a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Königsberg. Her book forms a valuable addition to the growing list of biographies of 48ers who have all too long stood in the shadow of Carl Schurz.» (Dr. Robert A. Selig, Historian and Contributing Editor to 'German Life')
About the Author
The Author: Justine Randers-Pehrson is a freelance historian. She received her basic training in European languages and culture at Hood College, the Université de Nancy, and the Sorbonne. At Radcliffe College, where she received her M.A., the Universität Heidelberg, and in Berlin, she concentrated on philosophy. At Howard University, her chief interest was sociology. Her publications include Germans and the Revolution of 1848-1849
(Peter Lang, 1999), Barbarians and Romans, and The Surgeon’s Glove.