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A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency – Article by Thomas Meaney, 2017 Hunt Fellow

One weekend last June, in an auditorium in the German city of Karlsruhe, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk celebrated his seventieth birthday by listening to twenty lectures about himself. A cluster of Europe’s leading intellectuals, academics, and artists, along with a smattering of billionaires, were paying tribute to Germany’s most controversial thinker, in the town where he was born and where he recently concluded a two-decade tenure as the rector of the State Academy for Design. There were lectures on Sloterdijk’s thoughts on Europe, democracy, religion, love, war, anger, the family, and space. There were lectures on his commentaries on Shakespeare and Clausewitz, and on his witty diaries, and slides of buildings inspired by his insights. Between sessions, Sloterdijk, who has long, straw-colored hair and a...

Getting to Know the New Chairman, John B. Emerson

Ambassador John B. Emerson was elected as Chairman of the American Council on Germany on January 17, 2018.  Q: What first made you become interested in Germany? A: My grandmother was born in the U.S. to German immigrants. German was her first language, and she often spoke it with my dad. I mentioned in my confirmation hearing that I studied German starting in seventh grade because I wanted to know what they were talking about. Actually, it was also because I was interested in science, and my parents and grandmother were clear that German was the language of scientific research. As I got older, I also was fascinated, and troubled, by how such a civilized and educated society could have permitted the rise of National Socialism—and the atrocities that brought about. This, I know, is a question many Germans...
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