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A Berlin Republic: Writings on Germany (Modern German Culture and Literature) Paperback – October 28, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern German Culture and Literature
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (October 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803273061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803273061
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,927,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"How refreshing to find that Habermas, whose "discourse theory" of rational deliberation in an open public sphere can be awesomely abstract, is also a subtle, wise, and effective public intellectual."—Foreign Affairs
(Foreign Affairs)

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
For those interested in a major philosopher's take on some major social and political issues this would appear to be a good book to start with. Drawing from essays, interviews and letters written in 1993 and 1994, Habermas presents his views about current hot topics in Germany. He touches upon quotas, immigration and the role of both the GDR and the Third Reich in current German national identity; he also continues to critize the way in which Germany was unified in 1990. The interviews - originally in Le Monde, Die Zeit and others - are easy to read, especially in comparison to Habermas's other writings. Furthermore, his belief in a radical democracy formed through a public sphere in opposition to the state is a truly great and courageous idea.
However, in many ways Habermas is idealistic and even naive when it comes to his views on national identity. On one hand he recognizes the importance of nationhood and its components of 'a common origin, language and history'; he nevertheless puts too much emphasis on his concept of 'constitutional patriotism', or the patriotic feelings towards the members of a republic no matter their racial/cultural/religious membership. He seems to think that the U.S. is a great example of constitutional patriotism in action, claiming that 'there, everyone can live with two identities, simultaneously belonging to the country and being a foreigner in it'. What he bases this statement on is unknown to me: not only does this statement show how ignorant Habermas is of the U.S. but also how idealistic constitutional patriotism really is. He does not really attempt to delve into the serious question of how a political community just based on patriotism and not nationalism would hang together.
In the end I guess I would only really recommend this book to diehard Habermas fans.
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