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Enlightened War


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Enlightened War investigates the multiple and complex interactions between warfare and Enlightenment thought. Although the Enlightenment is traditionally identified with the ideals of progress, eternal peace, reason, and self-determination, Enlightenment discourse unfolded during a period of prolonged European warfare from the Seven Years' War to the Napoleonic conquest of Europe. The essays in this volume explore the palpable influence of war on eighteenth-century thought and argue for an ideological affinity among war, Enlightenment thought, and its legacy.
The essays are interdisciplinary, engaging with history, art history, philosophy, military theory, gender studies, and literature and with historical events and cultural contexts from the early Enlightenment through German Classicism and Romanticism. The volume enriches our understanding of warfare in the eighteenth century and shows how theories and practices of war impacted concepts of subjectivity, national identity, gender, and art. It also sheds light on the contemporary discussion of the legitimacy of violence by juxtaposing theories of war, concepts of revolution, and human rights discourses.

Contributors: Johannes Birgfeld, David Colclasure, Sara Eigen Figal, Ute Frevert, Wolf Kittler, Elisabeth Krimmer, Waltraud Maierhofer, Arndt Niebisch, Felix Saure, Galili Shahar, Patricia Anne Simpson, Inge Stephan.

Elisabeth Krimmer is Professor of German at the University of California, Davis, and Patricia Anne Simpson is Associate Professor of German Studies at Montana State University.


The contributions transmit, based on the example of a great variety of mostly literary texts from the German-language regions, a lively impression of the extent to which the experience and imagery of war and the culture of war put their stamp on contemporary discourse . . . . In doing so, they reflect the great pride of place of the military and war in society between the end of the eighteenth century and the end of the Napoleonic Age. . . . [T]his collection delivers important insights about the form, content, and breadth of the societal discourse about war and peace [during this period]. ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR HISTORISCHE FORSCHUNG

[O]ffers a wide variety of topics, stimulating questions, and thought-provoking insights, and opens up a rich field for further research on the culture of war from the Enlightenment to the present day. EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FICTION>BR>
Adding an important perspective to existing monographs on eighteenth-century military history as well as our understanding of the Enlightenment, Enlightened War is original in its conception and stimulating in its variety. It should lead to further . . . discussion of the subjects it addresses, especially those related to contemporary considerations of human rights and the legitimate use of violence. MONATSHEFTE

Comprehensive and welcome . . . . The strength of this well-rounded anthology rests in its interdisciplinary approach and ability to engage readers from a variety of fields. . . . Such a work is indispensable to scholars [in] history, philosophy, and literary and cultural studies, as well as women's and gender studies. [It is also] an important addition to any graduate-seminar reading list on German culture around 1800 . . . . [A] significant and necessary addition to 18th- and 19th-century scholarship . . . . GERMAN QUARTERLY

Interesting essays that consider ways war and culture interact with and transform each other. CHOICE

Will make [readers] confront how Germany's founding intellects embraced the unavoidability of war. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW


First Published: 01 Mar 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571134950
Pages: 360
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Camden House
BIC Class: DSB

Details updated on 26 Feb 2016


  • 1  Introduction: Enlightened Warfare in Eighteenth-Century Germany
  • 2  The Point of Recognition: Enemy, Neighbor, and Next of Kin in the Era of Frederick the Great
  • 3  Writing War and the Aesthetics of Political Literature in the 1790s: Daniel Jenisch's (Un)timely Seven Years' War Epic Borussias
  • 4  Agamemnon on the Battlefield of Leipzig: Wilhelm von Humboldt on Ancient Warriors, Modern Heroes, and Bildung through War
  • 5  War, Anecdotes, and the Backsides of Reason: Kleist with Kant
  • 6  "Schon wieder Krieg! Der Kluge hörts nicht gern": Goethe, Warfare, and Faust II
  • 7  Recoding the Ethics of War in Grimms' Fairy Tales
  • 8  On Gender Wars and Amazons: Therese Huber on Terror and Revolution
  • 9  Angelica Kauffmann's War Heroes: (Not) Painting War in a Culture of Sensibility
  • 10  Citizen-Soldiers: General Conscription in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  • 11  Just War and Perpetual Peace: Kant on the Legitimate Use of Political Violence
  • 12  Military Intelligence: On Carl von Clausewitz's Hermeneutics of Disturbance and Probability
  • 13  Host Nations: Carl von Clausewitz and the New U.S. Army/Marine Corps Field Manual, FM 3-24, MCWP 3-33.5, Counterinsurgency
  • 14  Bibliography
  • 15  Notes on the Contributors
  • 16  Index

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