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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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The Loyal American Subject

The Loyal American Subject

(p.201) Chapter 6 The Loyal American Subject
Thomas Mann's War

Tobias Boes

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how Thomas Mann was reintroduced into postwar Germany—where his works had been previously banned—through American distribution of his literature. Many Germans were glad to be given new reading matter after years of censorship, paper shortages, and aerial bombardments that destroyed a large number of civilian presses. For these Germans, both the U.S. Army and the Bermann-Fischer Verlag, which continued to publish from abroad until 1949, became valuable avenues through which they could reimagine their own broken literary heritage. Thomas Mann, that most German of modern authors, was now indisputably also a part of American (and through it of global) literary culture. His commercial success and his literary reputation were partly, if not predominantly, determined by factors that had nothing to do with the responses of German readers at all.

Keywords:   postwar Germany, American book distribution, U.S. Army, Bermann-Fischer Verlag, German readers, books, Armed Services Editions, Thomas Mann

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