Masses and Man
Nationalist and Fascist Perceptions of Reality
The Collected Works of George L. Mosse
“Stimulating and well written.”
Exploring Mosse’s groundbreaking insights into “secular religions”
In fourteen essays that speak to the full breadth of George L. Mosse’s intellectual horizons and scholarly legacy, Masses and Man explores radical nationalism, fascism, and Jewish modernity in twentieth-century Europe. Breaking from the conventions of historical analysis, Mosse shows that “secular religions” like fascism cannot be understood only as the products of socioeconomic or intellectual histories but rather must be approached first and foremost as cultural phenomena.
Masses and Man comprises three parts. The first lays out a cultural history of nationalism, essentially the first of its kind, emphasizing the importance of sacred expressions like myths, symbols, and rituals as appropriated in a political context. The second zeroes in on fascism’s most dramatic irruptions in European history in the rise of Italian Fascism and the Nazi Party in Germany, elucidating these as not just political movements but also cultural and even aesthetic ones. The third part considers nationalism and fascism from the particular standpoint of German Jews.
Taken in full, the volume offers an eloquent summation of Mosse’s groundbreaking insights into European nationalism, fascism, and Jewish history in the twentieth century. A new critical introduction by Enzo Traverso helpfully situates Mosse’s work in context and exposes the many ways in which Masses and Man, first published in 1980, remains relevant today.
Table of Contents
A Critical Introduction by Enzo Traverso
Introduction: Nationalism and Human Perceptions
1. Literature and Society in Germany
2. What Germans Really Read
3. Death, Time, and History: Völkisch Utopia and Its Transcendence
4. The Poet and the Exercise of Political Power: Gabriele D’Annunzio
5. Caesarism, Circuses, and Monuments
6. The French Right and the Working Classes: Les Jaunes
7. The Heritage of Socialist Humanism
8. Toward a General Theory of Fascism
9. The Occult Origins of National Socialism
10. Nazi Polemical Theater: The Kampfbühne
11. Fascism and the Avant-Garde
12. The Secularization of Jewish Theology
13. The Jews and the German War Experience, 1914–1918
14. German Socialists and the Jewish Question in the Weimar Republic
Also by George L. Mosse
382 pp. 6 x 9
1 b/w illus.