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Time of the Magicians

The Great Decade of Philosophy, 1919-1929

Wolfram Eilenberger



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03 June 2022
'Weaves together the biographies and the developing thought of the four philosophers with great bravura and wit' (Sunday Telegraph)
The year is 1919. Walter Benjamin flees his overbearing father to scrape a living as a critic. Ludwig Wittgenstein signs away his inheritance, seeking spiritual clarity. Martin Heidegger renounces his faith and align his fortunes with Husserl's phenomenological school. Ernst Cassirer sketches a new schema of human culture on a cramped Berlin tram. The stage is set for a great intellectual drama. Over the next decade, the lives and thought of this quartet will converge and intertwine as each gains world-historical significance, between them remaking philosophy.

Time of the Magicians brings to life this unparalleled burst of intellectual creativity and with it an entire era, from post-war exuberance to economic crisis and the emergence of National Socialism. It becomes an intellectual adventure story, a captivating journey through the greatest revolution in Western thought told through its four protagonists, each with their own penetrating gaze and answer to the question which has animated philosophy from the very beginning- What are we?
 Time of the Magicians: The Great Decade of Philosophy, 1919-1929

Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   338g
ISBN:   9780141988580
ISBN 10:   0141988584
Pages:   432
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Wolfram Eilenberger was the founder and for many years Editor-in-Chief of Philosophie Magazin. He has taught philosophy at the University of Toronto, Indiana University, the Berlin University of the Arts and ETH Z rich. This book, his ninth, was a bestseller on publication in Germany, where it won the prestigious Bayerischer Buchpreis, as well as Spain and Italy, and it has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Reviews for Time of the Magicians: The Great Decade of Philosophy, 1919-1929

A tremendous feat of scholarship but also a technical masterpiece, knitting together the four men's love lives, money troubles, ontological anxieties and the wider ferment of the Weimar republic with uncommon dexterity -- Oliver Moody * The Times * Splendid, highly entertaining, attentive -- Jonathan Derbyshire * Financial Times * Magnificent, elegantly composed and beautifully narrated -- David Motadel * The Times Literary Supplement * Eilenberger's survey of high thoughts and low politics among German-language philosophers of the 1920s is a salutary tale for today, not just a gripping panorama of century-old dreams and feuds * Economist * Accessible and deeply human ... He draws these four intellectual magi out of the shadows of their writings -- John Kaag * The New York Times * Like any great story, Eilenberger's is not made up, but retrieved. Events have a way of narrating themselves when they encounter a gifted storyteller -- Costica Bradatan * Los Angeles Review of Books * A book of riches - full of stories as well as ideas, all brought together with a fine light touch -- Sarah Bakewell

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