In the winter of 1807, while Berlin was occupied by French troops, the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte presented fourteen public lectures that have long been studied as a major statement of modern nationalism. Yet Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation have also been interpreted by many as a vision of a cosmopolitan alternative to nationalism.
This new edition of the Addresses is designed to make Fichte’s arguments more accessible to English-speaking readers. The clear, readable, and reliable translation is accompanied by a chronology of the events surrounding Fichte’s life, suggestions for further reading, and an index. The groundbreaking introductory essay situates Fichte’s theory of the nation state in the history of modern political thought. It provides historians, political theorists, and other students of nationalism with a fresh perspective for considering the interface between cosmopolitanism and republicanism, patriotism and nationalism.