Introduction: What was the Conservative Revolution?

  • Roger Woods


The Conservative Revolution has often been described as part of the great counter-movement to the French Revolution.1 By this definition it extends back beyond the twentieth century as a tradition of militaristic, authoritarian nationalism which rejected liberalism, socialism, democracy and internationalism. The following study concentrates on the Weimar period of German history, however, a period in which the Conservative Revolutionaries assumed the role of ‘intellectual vanguard of the right’.2 Embracing some of the best-known writers, academics, journalists, politicians, and philosophers of the interwar years, the Conservative Revolutionary movement produced a flood of radical nationalist writings in the form of war diaries and works of fiction, political journalism, manifestos, and theoretical tracts outlining the development and destiny of political life in Germany and the West.


Political Programme Weimar Republic German People German History Intellectual Movement 
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  1. 13.
    See Wolfram Wette, ‘Ideologien, Propaganda und Innenpolitik als Voraussetzungen der Kriegspolitik des Dritten Reiches’, in W. Deist et al. (eds), Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 1 ( Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1979 ), pp. 94–9.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, culture and politics in Weimar and the Third Reich ( Cambridge, London: Cambridge University Press, 1984 ), p. 22.Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    J. G. A. Pocock, Politics, Language and Time: Essays on Political Thought and History ( New York: Atheneum, 1971 ), p. 37.Google Scholar
  4. 26.
    Dominick LaCapra, Rethinking Intellectual History ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983 ), p. 14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger Woods 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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