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Modern Intellectual History 11 (2014), 03

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Modern Intellectual History 11 (2014), 03
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Herausgeber
Charles Capper, Boston University, USA; Duncan Kelly, University of Cambridge, UK; Samuel Moyn, Columbia University, USA; Sophia Rosenfeld, University of Virginia, USA
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3 Issues per year

 

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Institution
Modern Intellectual History
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United Kingdom
Von
Mielbrandt, Björn

Inhaltsverzeichnis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Articles

THE BIRTH OF UKRAINIAN “ACTIVE NATIONALISM”: DMYTRO DONTSOV AND HETERODOX MARXISM BEFORE WORLD WAR I, 1883–1914
TREVOR ERLACHER
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 519 – 548
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000171 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
During the 1920s, Ukrainian publicist Dmytro Dontsov (1883–1973) created “active nationalism,” a political doctrine that later became the ideology of the radical right-wing Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Yet, before World War I, Dontsov was a fervently internationalist social democrat. Much of his shift rightward occurred during the internecine fighting that beset Ukraine from 1914 to 1922, but he had already adumbrated key components of his mature, “integral nationalist” world view prior to this time, from a vantage point well within the mainstream of the day's social-democratic discourse. His incendiary brand of Ukrainian realpolitik used the language of an early twentieth-century Marxism that had become riddled with various “heterodoxies.” Anticipating a world conflict that would favor the Germans and dismantle the Russian Empire, Dontsov advocated a pro-“Western,” anti-“Muscovite” orientation for Ukrainians, and in 1913 spearheaded a controversial program for Ukraine's separation from Russia and integration into “Europe.”

WHY DID RAYMOND ARON WRITE THAT CARL SCHMITT WAS NOT A NAZI? AN ALTERNATIVE GENEALOGY OF FRENCH LIBERALISM
DANIEL STEINMETZ-JENKINS
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 549 – 574
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000183 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
In his Mémoires, published in the year of his death in 1983, Raymond Aron—the French sociologist and Cold War champion of liberalism—astonishingly remarked that as a man of high culture Carl Schmitt could have never been a Nazi. Aron's defenders have typically downplayed his mature views on Schmitt: for how else could the main defender of the liberal faith in France devote himself to salvaging the reputation of the greatest antiliberal of the age? This essay argues, however, that Aron's bizarre statements about Schmitt actually provide a crucial aperture into the nature of Aron's liberalism. I will begin by placing Aron's comments about Schmitt within his Clausewitz project of the 1970s. Aron took Schmitt as a guiding inspiration even as he sought to overcome Schmitt's existential interpretation of Clausewitz. By doing so, Aron hoped to establish a rational foundation for political action. Yet Aron's attempt to contain Clausewitz would not only lead to a renewal of interest in Schmitt's thought; it would also revive Aron and Schmitt's correspondence that had lain dormant since the early 1960s. As the 1970s advanced, this would have implications for how Aron viewed Schmitt, especially in light of the critical German reception of Penser la guerre, Clausewitz. This essay concludes by looking at the intellectual legacy of Aron's Schmittian inspirations—at just the time he became the avatar of contemporary French liberalism

REWORDING THE PAST: THE POSTWAR PUBLICATION OF A 1938 LECTURE BY MARTIN HEIDEGGER
SIDONIE KELLERER
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 575 – 602
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000195 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
In 1950 Martin Heidegger published his 1938 lecture “Die Zeit des Weltbildes” in the essay collection Holzwege. He did so in order to document his “inner resistance” after the mid-1930s against the Nazi regime. This text has since been seen as evidence for Heidegger's early rejection of National Socialism and his refusal of a modern ideology that culminated in the totalitarian system. In spite of its influence, the published text has never been compared to the original lecture delivered in 1938. The assessment has now been made, and the differences between the two documents are a striking testimony to the artful falsifications that Heidegger used to re-establish his reputation and philosophical standing after the collapse of the Nazi system.

Forum: Closeness And Distance In The Age Of Enlightenment

FORUM: CLOSENESS AND DISTANCE IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT INTRODUCTION
JOHN BREWER, SILVIA SEBASTIANI
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 603 – 609
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000201 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
According to Michel de Certeau, distance is the indispensable prerequisite for historical knowledge and the very characteristic of modern historiography. The historian speaks, in the present, about the absent, the dead, as Certeau labels the past, thus emphasizing the performative dimension of historical writing: “the function of language is to introduce through saying what can no longer be done.” As a consequence, the heterogeneity of two non-communicating temporalities becomes the challenge to be faced: the present of the historian, as a moment du savoir, is radically separated from the past, which exists only as an objet de savoir, the meaning of which can be restored by an operation of distantiation and contextualization. In Evidence de l’histoire: Ce que voient les historiens, François Hartog takes up the question of history writing and what is visible, or more precisely the modalities historians have employed to narrate the past, opening up the way to a reflection on the boundaries between the visible and the invisible: the mechanisms that have contributed to establish these boundaries over time, and the questions that have legitimized the survey of what has been seen or not seen. But, as Mark Phillips points out, it is the very ubiquity of the trope of distance in historical writings that has paradoxically rendered it almost invisible to historians, so that “it has become difficult to distinguish between the concept of historical distance and the idea of history itself.”

HISTORY PAINTING REDISTANCED: FROM BENJAMIN WEST TO DAVID WILKIE
MARK SALBER PHILLIPS
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 611 – 629
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000213 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
This essay extends my previous investigations of distance to a genre of art that took distance (or elevation) as its essential signature. In a landmark article Edgar Wind argued that Benjamin West created a “revolution in history painting” by substituting distance in time for distance in space. I argue that a wider and more plastic understanding of distance can help to guide our studies of historical representation, visual as well as verbal. Temporal distance, I suggest, is mediated by at least four basic modes of distance, which I identify as formal, affective, ideological, and conceptual. Understood in these terms, a heuristic of distance and redistancing provides grounds for analyzing the various schools and genres that make up the field of historical representation—neoclassical and nineteenth- century history painting among them.

DISCRIMINATING EVIDENCE: CLOSENESS AND DISTANCE IN NATURAL AND CIVIL HISTORIES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Miles Ogborn
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 631 – 653
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000225 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
Enlightenment ideas of the “the Great Map of Mankind” established relationships between historical and geographical distance which provided the problematic for eighteenth-century natural and civil histories. This raised issues of evidence for writing such histories that were particularly acute in the Caribbean, where natural history was—via the movement and transplantation of plants, animals and peoples—always a matter of “civil” history; and where the question of what (or who) was “civil” (or civilized) was addressed via discussions of the boundary between humanity and nature. It is shown that how these questions were asked provoked the use of an array of evidence that varied in its management of the relationships of proximity and distance: including travellers’ tales, eyewitness observations, classical authors and philosophical speculation. The epistemological disjunctures that this evidence brought with it meant that the questions that were opened up could not be closed down.

BETWEEN DISTANCE AND SYMPATHY: DR JOHN MOORE'S PHILOSOPHICAL TRAVEL WRITING
JOHN BREWER
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 655 – 675
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000237 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
Dr John Moore's four-volume account of his Grand Tour in the company of the Duke of Hamilton was one of the most successful European travel books of the late eighteenth century. Moore's text, I argue, is a philosophical travel narrative, an examination of manners, customs and characters, analogous to the philosophical histories of the Scottish Enlightenment. Intended as a critique of the superficial observations of much travel literature, it argues for a greater degree of closeness between the traveler and the native, one based on sympathetic conversation rather than observation, but accompanied by a more distanced analysis, based on conjectural history, of the hidden processes that explain manners and character. Difference should be understood through a combination of sympathy and analysis that makes travel and its accounting valuable.

WHAT CONSTITUTED HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF THE NEW WORLD? CLOSENESS AND DISTANCE IN WILLIAM ROBERTSON AND FRANCISCO JAVIER CLAVIJERO
SILVIA SEBASTIANI
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 677 – 695
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000249 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
According to Gerbi's classical study, the “dispute of the New World” entered a new phase in the 1780s, one marked by voices coming from the Americas. New questions were then raised about the writing of history, its method, scope and proofs. This essay pursues a dual-track enquiry, confronting the History of America (1777) by the Presbyterian minister William Robertson, a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, with the Storia antica del Messico (1780–81) by the Mexican exiled Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero. The two works, one written from the centre of the world's commercial expansion, the other from the Pontifical States, were engaged in a sophisticated dialogue, which yields two alternative, competing conceptions of history and of humankind. To Robertson's philosophical history, which developed from a long-distance perspective, characteristic of Enlightenment, Clavijero responded by reassessing the Jesuit and antiquarian tradition, based on closeness, local expertise and direct observation.

SCALES OF TIME AND THE ANTICIPATION OF THE FUTURE: GIBBON, SMITH, PLAYFAIR
JONATHAN SACHS
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 697 – 718
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000250 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
This essay shows how Adam Smith addressed concerns about economic decline not only by proposing quantifiable categories through which relative decline could be measured, but also by characterizing the century as the proper timescale in which such quantities could be observed. What sometimes appears up close to be a process of decline and fall, Smith suggested, could, with a shift to a more distant long view, be explained instead as part of a normal business cycle. William Playfair then used Smith's emphasis on quantification to develop elaborate graphic techniques—what we now call the time-series line graph and the pie chart—to visualize more easily the patterns Smith sought to identify. Collectively, the reordering of temporal scale by Smith and Playfair helps us to rethink not only discourses of decline, but also our understanding of the temporalities of political economy as a problem of historical distance that needs to be thought about beyond temporal terms.

Review Essays

IN NOSTRIS EXTREMIS (TERROR AND FANATICISM IN THE WESTERN MIND)
JULIAN BOURG
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 719 – 733
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000262 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
The abolitionist John Brown. Freedom fighter? Terrorist? The choice is unsatisfying for any number of reasons, least of all for the anachronistic nomenclature and the moral obviousness of his cause. Of course Brown was right, we can easily say, to take up the fight against that “peculiar institution” of barbarous slavery. Insofar as the federal government stood in the way of historical progress, perhaps he also was justified in striking the arsenal at Harper's Ferry in 1859 as the first salvo of the American Civil War, demonstrating by his pitiful action that the Union would have to choose sides and fight. Yet no less clear today is the sheer difficulty of justifying such antistate violence. Since the 1970s and especially since September 11, 2001, with comparable moral obviousness, insurgent and terroristic violence have generally been condemned as threats to social stability and political coherence. The very liberal-democratic traditions that might otherwise superficially heroize someone like John Brown recoil at the disorder he personified. The truth of Brown's adventurism is clearly more complicated than the postcard version, and his crazed biblical prophetism, nasty 1856 murder spree in Kansas, and patronizing wish to play Moses to southern blacks must be read alongside successful efforts by the government and pro-slavery camp to brand him an incorrigible fanatic—a label that Brown himself and other abolitionists embraced as their own. What Brown represents, however, is an access point to the deep history of ideas about fanaticism and terrorism in the modern West, a history filled with paradoxes and ambiguities that nonetheless revolve around the basic fact—avoided with ease by contemporary pundits and prognosticators—that for the past several centuries we have met the enemy, and he is us.

A MAINLINE MOMENT: THE AMERICAN PROTESTANT ESTABLISHMENT REVISITED
DAVID SEHAT
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 735 – 747
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000274 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
William R. Hutchison had a complaint. Though he was a dean of American religious history and a gatekeeper of the field at Harvard, Hutchison could not shake the feeling that the discipline was going in the wrong direction. In 1989, when he wrote an introduction to his edited volume, Between the Times, his fellow religion scholars were busy examining trans-denominational movements like revivalism, smaller religious practices like voodoo in New York, and “dissenters and other outsiders” to the mainstream. But their efforts had ignored what Hutchison considered the most important subject of all, the Protestant denominations that had guided American life since the American Revolution.

MARCEL MAUSS AND THE FRENCH “UNCONSCIOUS”
JEFFREY MEHLMAN
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 749 – 759
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000286 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
In 2008, just prior to his hundredth birthday, an immortality of sorts was conferred on the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss when his Oeuvres were published—leather-bound, gold-embossed, on Bible paper—in Gallimard's Pléiade collection. He died the following year and we are now beginning to see, for the first time, assessments of his achievement—including the two volumes under review—in a world without Lévi-Strauss. Patrick Wilcken's stylishly written biography is considerably shorter than Denis Bertholet's French biography of 2003, but is nonetheless the first in a position to take in the entire arc of the anthropologist's career—from his nineteenth-century-style expeditions to the Brazilian interior in the 1930s, via his wartime exile in New York, where the twin influences of the linguist Roman Jakobson and assorted surrealists led to the writing of a groundbreaking thesis, to the vanguard structuralist project, the international celebrity, the eventual disillusionment with modernism, the unexpected late references to Gobineau (from an antiracist ideologue), and the final years, when he claimed to feel like a “shattered hologram” and received the visit of a notoriously philistine president of France on his hundredth birthday. Wilcken steers his biography skillfully between the pitfalls of reverence and dismissiveness. It is useful, for instance, to be reminded by a skeptical John Updike that “with such a hunting license granted, parallels and homologies are easy to bag—child's play for a brain as agile as M. Lévi-Strauss” (quoted at 299). But it is equally good to learn of the frequency with which what Wilcken calls Lévi-Strauss's “hit-and-run tactics” would pay off, generating fresh perspectives (75).

THEN AS NOW, WHY NIEBUHR?
K. HEALAN GASTON
Modern Intellectual History , Volume 11 , Issue 03 , November 2014, pp 761 – 771
doi: 10.1017/S1479244314000298 – Published Online on 10th October 2014
The literature on the life and legacy of the American Protestant thinker Reinhold Niebuhr has long been driven by questions about Niebuhr's continued relevance. Like other contributions to the recent “Niebuhr revival,” each of the three books under consideration here raises this question—John Patrick Diggins's Why Niebuhr Now? (2011) by offering a series of “sympathetic reflections” on Niebuhr's central claim that human beings are both creatures and creators of history (ix); Daniel F. Rice's edited volume Reinhold Niebuhr Revisited (2009) by inviting a cadre of top Niebuhr scholars to make the case for Niebuhr's relevance to a new generation; and Rice's own Reinhold Niebuhr and His Circle of Influence (2013) by contending that close attention to Niebuhr's formative relationships sheds light on his ongoing relevance.

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