Crowds and democracy : the idea and image of the masses from revolution to fascism


Crowds and democracy : the idea and image of the masses from revolution to fascism

Stefan Jonsson

(Columbia themes in philosophy, social criticism, and the arts)

Columbia University Press, c2013

  • : cloth

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Between 1918 and 1933, the masses became a decisive preoccupation of European culture, fueling modernist movements in art, literature, architecture, theater, and cinema, as well as the rise of communism and fascism and experiments in radical democracy. Spanning aesthetics, cultural studies, intellectual history, and political theory, this volume unpacks the significance of the shadow agent known as "the mass" during a critical period in European history. It follows its evolution into the preferred conceptual tool for social scientists, the ideal slogan for politicians, and the chosen image for artists and writers trying to capture a society in flux and a people in upheaval. This volume is the second installment in Stefan Jonsson's epic study of the crowd and the mass in modern Europe, building on his work in A Brief History of the Masses, which focused on monumental artworks produced in 1789, 1889, and 1989.


List of Illustrations Preface 1. Introducing the Masses: Vienna 2. Authority Versus Anarchy: Allegories of the Mass in Sociology and Literature 3. The Revolving Nature of the Social: Primal Hordes and Crowds Without Qualities 4. Collective Vision: A Matrix for New Art and Politics 5. Coda: Remnants of Weimar Notes Index

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