By Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann
An bold, unique paintings, The Politics of Sociability is Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann's exploration of the social and political importance of Freemasonry in German historical past. Drawing on de Tocqueville's concept that with no civic advantage there isn't any civil society, and that civic advantage unfolds purely throughout the social interplay among voters, Hoffmann examines the severe hyperlink among Freemasonry and the evolution of German civil society within the overdue 19th century. The perform of Masonic sociability mirrored an enlightened trust within the political value of ethical advantage for civil society, certainly, for humanity. Freemasons' self-image as civilizing brokers, performing in solid religion and with the unimpeachable concept of common brotherhood, used to be contradicted not just by way of their heightened feel of exclusivity; Freemasons by accident exacerbated nineteenth-century political conflicts---for instance, among liberals and Catholics, or Germans and French---by utilizing a universalist language.
Using a wealth of archival assets formerly unavailable, Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann indicates how Freemasonry grew to become a social shelter for increased and liberal-minded bourgeois males who felt drawn to its mystery rituals and ethical teachings. German Freemasons sought to reform self and society yet, Hoffmann argues, eventually did not stability sleek politics with a worldly ethos. Hoffmann illuminates a capacious heritage of the political results of Enlightenment strategies and practices in a century marked by means of nationalism, social discord, and non secular conflict.
Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann is Assistant Professor of contemporary heritage at Ruhr-University Bochum. The German version of this publication, Die Politik der Geselligkeit: Freimaurerlogen in der deutschen Bürgergesellschaft, 1840-1918 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000), gained the organization of German Historians' 2002 Hedwig Hintze Prize for top First Book.
Tom Lampert used to be born in Boston in 1962 and grew up in northern California. He got a BA in political technological know-how from Stanford collage (1986) and a PhD in executive from Cornell (1998). His e-book, Ein einziges Leben (Hanser Verlag 2001) was once released as One Life through Harcourt in 2004, which he translated himself. Lampert has labored as a contract translator due to the fact 1998. He presently lives in undesirable Kreuznach, Germany.
Cover snapshot: Monument of the conflict of the countries in Leipzig, erected among 1898 and 1913 by way of German Freemasons, Barbarossa-Head via Christian Behrens, situated subsequent to the steps resulting in the monument. The German legendary determine of the Kaiser Barbarossa is depicted as a sphinx, which in Masonic symbolism protects the Masonic mystery from profanation. Courtesy of the Deutsche Bücherei, Leipzig.
"This is an exemplary learn of the function of Freemasonry within the German Bürgergesellschaft (civil society) of the 19th and early 20th centuries, concise, accomplished, and good written. It combines social profiling with a cautious exam of up to date ideas in a long term diachronic learn, in keeping with a magnificent volume of fundamental fabric. . . . Hoffmann's empirically and methodologically convincing learn isn't just an incredible contribution to our realizing of Freemasonry within the German Bürgergesellschaft. It additionally displays the advanced social and political transformation of German society within the 19th century and the problems contemporaries confronted in responding to it."
"Hoffmann's arguments are theoretically expert, supported by means of a wealth of archival assets. . . . certainly, in lots of methods this is often the easiest mixture of painstaking social historical past and well-argued Begriffsgeschichte (conceptual history). . . . one of many nice virtues of this ebook is that Hoffmann doesn't draw back from the contradictions within the Freemasons' rhetoric and activities. Such contradictions, actually, are key to the Mason's significance, simply because they strength us to reconsider a few of our assumptions approximately Imperial Germany. . . . this can be an enormous e-book that encourages us to reconsider lots of our characterizations of the German Kaiserreich and our assumptions approximately civil society."
---Central ecu History
"Based on a wealthy number of resources. . . . Hoffmann explores the evolving courting among Freemasonry and the monarchy, nation, and church, and he additionally scrutinizes the inner practices and discourse of those notoriously secretive and cosmopolitan societies. . . . Hoffmann engages fruitfully with a large historiography masking topics comparable to masculinity and racism, he dissects the complicated angle of Freemasonry to Jews and Catholics, and he scrutinizes the assaults of its conservative, clerical, and antisemitic critics."
---Journal of recent History