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Carl Schmitt: A Biography
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Translator's Preface

A White Raven: The Strange Life of the German State Theorist Carl Schmitt

Part One
That 'false and arrogant idea "I am"'
Schmitt's Rise in the Wilhelminian Era
1. An 'Obscure Young Man from a Modest Background'
2. The Law of Practice
3. Apotheosis of the Poet, Rant against Literary Figures:
the 'Untimely Poet' and the 'Received Wisdom of the Educated'
4. On the Eve of the Great War:
State, Church and Individual as Points of Reference
5. Dusseldorf: Living in a State of Exception
6. World War and Defeatism: Carl Schmitt in Munich
7. Strasbourg, the State of Siege and a Decision in Favour of Catholicism
8. Political Romanticists 1815/1919

Part 2
Beyond Bourgeois Existence
Schmitt's Life and Work during the Weimar Republic
1. A Permanent Position?
The Handelshochschule in Munich
2. A 'Faithful Gypsy' in Greifswald
3. Arrival in Bonn? Schmitt's Turn towards the Catholic Church
4. Schmitt as a Teacher in Bonn
5. From Status Quo to Democratic 'Myth'
6. The Yield of the Bonn Years:
7. From 'Ice Floe to Ice Floe':
Signals in the Berlin Maelstrom
8. Reconstructing the 'Strong' State
9. Within the Journalistic Circles of Weimar's Last Days
10. Carl Schmitt as an Actor During the Rule by Presidential Decree

Part Three
In The Belly of the Leviathan:
Schmitt's Involvement in National Socialism
1. After 30 January 1933
2. Schmitt's Resistible Rise to the Position of 'Crown Jurist'
3. The 'Year of Construction'?
Beginning and End of the Juridico-Institutional Provision of Meaning
4. Anti-Semitic Provision of Meaning
5. A New Turn with Hobbes? Meaning and Failure of Schmitt's Commitment to National Socialism
6. The Right to Power?
Grossraum Order and Empire Formation
7. The Captain held Hostage?
Carl Schmitt's Farewell to the 'Reich'
8. Last Writings under National Socialism

Part Four
'One man remains'
Schmitt's Slow Retreat after 1945
1. Detention and 'Asylum'
2. From Benito Cereno to Hamlet:
The 'Comeback' of the Intellectual?
3. Private Seminars in Plettenberg:
Schmitt's Renewed Influence on Pupils in the Federal Republic
4. The Partisan in Conversation
5. Past Eighty: A Look Back to Old Questions

Appendix

Afterword

Chronology

Bibliography

Endnotes
Acknowledgments

About the Author

Reinhard Mehring is Professor of Political Science at the Padagogische Hochschule, Heidelberg.

Reviews

"Mehring s study...lay bare the links betweenSchmitt s litigious life and his complicated ideas." Library Journal "Reinhard Mehring offers the English speaking world the firstcomprehensive intellectual biography of the highly controversiallegal and political theorist, Carl Schmitt. Based onextensive archival research and a vast amount of unpublishedmaterial, Mehring identifies the psychological and emotionalmotivations that drove the intellectual endeavors of the notoriousphilosopher of "the political" and "the state of exception." Mehring demonstrates conclusively how Schmitt's struggles with,among other issues, his sexual desire and his obsession with theJews, generated some of the most important, influential anddangerous political writings of the twentieth century." John P. McCormick, University of Chicago "In this fascinating biography, Mehring has used Schmitt sonly recently available diaries and calendar entries to lay barethe obsessions of this brilliant thinker -- often referred to asthe Hobbes of the 20th century. Especially revealing are hisstruggles to shatter the Jew in him, which led him toaspire to become Hitler s pope with all thatthat implied. Politically naive about Nazism, he wasseverely attacked by the SS in 1936 and marginalized for, amongother reasons, his pre-1933 close association with Jews and hisanti-Nazism." George Schwab, President, National Committee on American ForeignPolicy

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