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Thomas Mann's WarLiterature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters$
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Tobias Boes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501744990

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501744990.001.0001

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Hitler’s Most Intimate Enemy

Hitler’s Most Intimate Enemy

(p.122) Chapter 4 Hitler’s Most Intimate Enemy
Thomas Mann's War

Tobias Boes

Cornell University Press

This chapter illustrates how Thomas Mann created a novel role for the artist: fully engaged with the political events of the day through a variety of twentieth-century media and yet fiercely protective of an independent stance. The 1930s was a decade in which governments of various stripes throughout the world discovered the value of employing artists to drum up support within a populist base. And Mann was a patriotic resident of the United States who throughout the war years carefully refrained from criticizing his adoptive country. But his voice and his aims were always unmistakably his own, and he agitated for the United States because he equated the American cause with that of liberal democracy, not because of any government commission. The chapter further explains that Mann's relocation to California can serve as a symbolic marker of this transition. Indeed, it was during his residency in Pacific Palisades as well that he reached the apogee of his trajectory as an anti-Nazi celebrity in the eyes of the American public.

Keywords:   California, World War II, liberal democracy, anti-Nazism, wartime lectures, conservatism, City of Man, cultural warfare, Thomas Mann

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