Catalogue


Toward the century of words : Johann Cotta and the politics of the public realm in Germany, 1795-1832 /
Daniel Moran.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
description
vii, 304 p.
ISBN
0520066405 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
isbn
0520066405 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
744506
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A valuable contribution to its immediate as well as to its larger subject: the history of publishing and the history of German society on the eve of the Industrial Revolution."--Peter Paret, The Institute for Advanced Study
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-11:
A biographical work that does not focus on the personal life of the famous German publisher Johann Cotta (1764-1832) or on his well-known significance for German literature but rather on his attempts to develop German newspapers that were not mere instruments of the state. Of these the Allgemeine Zeitung, founded in 1798, proved the most important for fostering a politically aware German public. In his account Moran connects skillfully the biographical and structural-analytical aspect of his topic. A careful historian, he avoids writing a case study to prove a preconceived thesis and instead describes fully Cotta's difficulties in opening a public space between state and society, creating a national public in the face of strong regionalisms, and overcoming the limitations of the market place. He also highlights the complexity of Cotta's attempt to combine objectivity and loyalty to the state. The patient reader will learn much about the incipient German "Century of Words," when publicists struggled to link the discussions of public issues to the brilliant creativity of contemporary German culture without adding to the anxieties over revolutionary disturbances of the established order. Good bibliography and index. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -E. A. Breisach, Western Michigan University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1990
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Summaries
Main Description
In the decades between the French Revolution and the first stirrings of liberalism in the 1830s, German political culture defined itself apart from that of its neighbors to the west. Focusing on the career of Johann Cotta, the preeminent publisher of his generation, this book offers a lens through which we can more fully understand these turbulent years. Cotta is a familiar figure in the history of German letters, but his public life has never been studied comprehensively. He financed and directed the Allgemeine Zeitungof Augsburg, which would become one of the great European newspapers of the nineteenth century. He was the first German to convert money and cultural prestige into political power by means of the press. Cotta and his colleagues emerge not as liberals, but as characteristic figures of the Reform era. Their aim was to define and institutionalize a realm of thought and action beyond the control of the state, but short of opposed to it--a "public" realm in which intellectual independence and political loyalty would be equally well served.
Long Description
In the decades between the French Revolution and the first stirrings of liberalism in the 1830s, German political culture defined itself apart from that of its neighbors to the west. Focusing on the career of Johann Cotta, the preeminent publisher of his generation, this book offers a lens through which we can more fully understand these turbulent years. Cotta is a familiar figure in the history of German letters, but his public life has never been studied comprehensively. He financed and directed theAllgemeine Zeitungof Augsburg, which would become one of the great European newspapers of the nineteenth century. He was the first German to convert money and cultural prestige into political power by means of the press. Cotta and his colleagues emerge not as liberals, but as characteristic figures of the Reform era. Their aim was to define and institutionalize a realm of thought and action beyond the control of the state, but short of opposed to it--a "public" realm in which intellectual independence and political loyalty would be equally well served.

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