Wagner's Hitler

Wagner's Hitler : The Prophet and His Disciple

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Wagner's Hitler is an important and controversial contribution to the literature on Hitler's Germany.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 159 x 229 x 21mm | 560g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0745627102
  • 9780745627106
  • 1,310,795

Back cover copy

Wagner's Hitler is an important and controversialcontribution to the literature on Hitler's Germany. Köhlerpowerfully argues that Wagner's influence played a vital role inshaping the cultural context in which Nazism developed.

Köhler traces the legacy of the German romantic traditionand the irrational, egocentric, nationalistic and intolerantlyutopian features which were shared by Wagner and Hitler. Heexplores how Hitler discovered characters he could identify with inWagner's work, as well as concepts he could apply to his politicalcareer, up to the point when Wagner's anti-Semitic tracts wereturned into violent reality by the politician he had inspired. In acompelling study, Köhler traces Wagner's influence on Hitlerfrom the young Austrian scraping together the price of an operaticket, to the dictator enacting his megalomaniac Wagnerian visionsof a Germany that would rule the world. He also shows how Wagner'sfamily in Bayreuth supported Hitler from the beginning of hispolitical career, and aided his introduction into highlyinfluential circles.

Considerable controversy surrounded this book upon publicationin Germany and the English-language edition of Wagner'sHitler is bound to provoke similar heated discussion among allwho are interested in the debates about Hitler and his context, Wagner's political influence, and the social and cultural factorswhich shaped the rise of Nazism in Germany.
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Table of contents

Introduction by Ronald Taylor. 1. Ein Heldenleben. 2. The Last of the Tribunes. 3. Dresden Burns. 4. Studies in the Ring. 5. Dragon-Slayer by Profession. 6. The Future as Art. 7. A Royal Failure. 8. The Witch's Kitchen. 9. A Lethal Subject. 10. Pioneers. 11. An Official Blessing. 12. The Saviour Betrayed. 13. Wagnerian Hero: A Self-Portrait. 14. Blood Brotherhood. 15. Life under the Mastersingers. 16. Barbarossa Returns: Ahasversus Perishes. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
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Review quote

"Fascinating and very well written ... clearly the best documented of the attempts to link Wagner and Hitler." Harold James, Princeton University "Chilling and exhaustively researched ... [it offers a] persuasive case for its thesis that Hitler based his entire philosophy and the whole Nazi apparatus on ideas explicitly drawn from Wagner's writings and operas." The New York Times 'Time and again Wagner called for the annihilation of the Jewish race, an alien body in an Aryan German state. Hitler took him at his word.' Ronald Taylor, in his Introduction
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About Joachim Kohler

Joachim Kohler is a scholar of philosophy and German literature, and is the author of Zarathustra's Secret and Nietzsche and Wagner.
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.1 out of 5 stars
5 20% (2)
4 20% (2)
3 30% (3)
2 10% (1)
1 20% (2)
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