Thomas Boes on Thomas Mann's War

55 Voices for Democracy: Thomas Boes

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12/2/21

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12/16/21

Dec 2, 2021

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55 Voices of Democracy - Thomas Boes on Thomas Mann's War

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How did Thomas Mann use the then still young medium of radio for his fight against fascism? How did he channel repressed energies into political activism? Literary scholar Tobias Boes, author of the book Thomas Mann’s War: Literature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters (Cornell University Press, 2019), discusses Thomas Mann’s role as a political figure in the United States and how he addressed political issues through the eyes of a novelist. In his book, Boes traces how the acclaimed and bestselling author became one of America’s most prominent anti-fascists. In this episode, we learn more about Mann’s speeches, how he used radio as a political medium and what we can learn from Thomas Mann’s political engagement today. Tobias Boes is a Professor and department chair in German and Russian Languages and Literature at the University of Notre Dame.

The series 55 Voices for Democracy is modeled after the BBC radio speeches, through which Thomas Mann, from his home in California, turned to listeners in Germany, Switzerland and occupied Netherlands and Czechia during the war. From 1940 until 1945, Thomas Mann pleaded to thousands of listeners to resist the Nazi regime and thus became the most important German voice in exile. His conviction that the “social renewal of democracy” is condition and warrant for its victory seems more relevant than ever. In this podcast series, intellectuals, artists, and activists will engage in conversations about how to renew democracy today.

In collaboration with Los Angeles Review of Books, Goethe-Institut Boston, Goethe Pop Ups in Seattle, Houston, and Kansas City and Wunderbar Together. With friendly support of Dublab.

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