Carl Schmitt: A Biography
Carl Schmitt: A Biography
Nov 2014, Polity
A White Raven: The Strange Life of the German State Theorist Carl Schmitt
That ‘false and arrogant idea “I am”’
Schmitt’s Rise in the Wilhelminian Era
1. An ‘Obscure Young Man from a Modest Background’
2. The Law of Practice
3. Apotheosis of the Poet, Rant against Literary Figures:
the ‘Untimely Poet’ and the ‘Received Wisdom of the Educated’
4. On the Eve of the Great War:
State, Church and Individual as Points of Reference
5. Düsseldorf: Living in a State of Exception
6. World War and Defeatism: Carl Schmitt in Munich
7. Strasbourg, the State of Siege and a Decision in Favour of Catholicism
8. Political Romanticists 1815/1919
Beyond Bourgeois Existence
Schmitt’s Life and Work during the Weimar Republic
1. A Permanent Position?
The Handelshochschule in Munich
2. A ‘Faithful Gypsy’ in Greifswald
3. Arrival in Bonn? Schmitt’s Turn towards the Catholic Church
4. Schmitt as a Teacher in Bonn
5. From Status Quo to Democratic ‘Myth’
6. The Yield of the Bonn Years:
7. From ‘Ice Floe to Ice Floe’:
Signals in the Berlin Maelstrom
8. Reconstructing the ‘Strong’ State
9. Within the Journalistic Circles of Weimar’s Last Days
10. Carl Schmitt as an Actor During the Rule by Presidential Decree
In The Belly of the Leviathan:
Schmitt’s Involvement in National Socialism
1. After 30 January 1933
2. Schmitt’s Resistible Rise to the Position of ‘Crown Jurist’
3. The ‘Year of Construction’?
Beginning and End of the Juridico-Institutional Provision of Meaning
4. Anti-Semitic Provision of Meaning
5. A New Turn with Hobbes? Meaning and Failure of Schmitt’s Commitment to National Socialism
6. The Right to Power?
Großraum Order and Empire Formation
7. The Captain held Hostage?
Carl Schmitt’s Farewell to the ‘Reich’
8. Last Writings under National Socialism
‘One man remains’
Schmitt’s Slow Retreat after 1945
1. Detention and ‘Asylum’
2. From Benito Cereno to Hamlet:
The ‘Comeback’ of the Intellectual?
3. Private Seminars in Plettenberg:
Schmitt’s Renewed Influence on Pupils in the Federal Republic
4. The Partisan in Conversation
5. Past Eighty: A Look Back to Old Questions
"Mehring’s study...lay bare the links between Schmitt’s litigious life and his complicated ideas."
"Reinhard Mehring offers the English speaking world the first comprehensive intellectual biography of the highly controversial legal and political theorist, Carl Schmitt. Based on extensive archival research and a vast amount of unpublished material, Mehring identifies the psychological and emotional motivations that drove the intellectual endeavors of the notorious philosopher of "the political" and "the state of exception." Mehring demonstrates conclusively how Schmitt's struggles with, among other issues, his sexual desire and his obsession with the Jews, generated some of the most important, influential and dangerous political writings of the twentieth century."
John P. McCormick, University of Chicago
"In this fascinating biography, Mehring has used Schmitt’s only recently available diaries and calendar entries to lay bare the obsessions of this brilliant thinker -- often referred to as the Hobbes of the 20th century. Especially revealing are his struggles to shatter “the Jew in him,” which led him to aspire to become Hitler’s “pope” with all that that implied. Politically naïve about Nazism, he was severely attacked by the SS in 1936 and marginalized for, among other reasons, his pre-1933 close association with Jews and his anti-Nazism."
George Schwab, President, National Committee on American Foreign Policy