Stockton Donald - The Oswald Spengler collection Biographical essay

Author : Stockton Donald
Title : The Oswald Spengler collection Biographical essay; Extracts from The decline of the West; The hour of decision
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Oswald Spengler's Uneven Legacy by Donald L. Stockton. Shortly before the end of the First World War, in the summer of 1918, a sizable volume appeared in bookstores throughout Germany. Bearing the title Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West), and written by an unknown former schoolmaster, the work in a short period of time found a wide audience. The initial printing was completely sold out in a period of six months, and a second and third printing followed. Though primarily read in the nation of Germany, the ominous title and original scholarship that the book presented caused it to spread gradually throughout the Western world. Within the course of two years, the name of Oswald Spengler was on the lips of many, both intellectual and unlearned. Although both the Decline and its author are little-known today, for nearly two decades after its publishing the historical thought contained within the pages of Spengler's first work was included in most discussions of historical thinking, as well as discussions of possible future events. What, then, was the unique nature of The Decline of the West, and why has interest in the work so faded in the intervening time ? Further, who was this unknown Oswald Spengler, and how did he originate the highly inventive ideas that made this work so greatly debated ? These are the questions that I will attempt to illumine in this essay, in conjunction with some brief discussions of Spengler's more minor works. I will also attempt to define Spengler's influence on later historical thinkers, something I think is important for a true understanding of the author's legacy. ...

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