Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in German Quarterly 64 (1991), 252-253. Published by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG); 112 Haddontowne Ct. #104, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-3668 USA
Copyright © 1991 American Association of Teachers of German. Used by permission.


In the last twenty years a number of scholars have discovered growing evidence for revolutionary sympathy and activity among German intellectuals living during the French Revolution. Axel Kuhn, historian at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, has contributed to this body of research with his study of the Hohe Carlsschule, the military academy founded in Stuttgart by Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg, famous for its oppressively strict discipline and its exceptionally talented students, including Friedrich Schiller. As Kuhn says, the book is written in the form of a detective novel, and relates how he went about uncovering and piecing together the story of revolutionary enthusiasm at the Carlsschule. To this end he designed a seminar, enlisting the help of students in sifting through archival materials and—one cannot help but notice—at the same time awakening in them a vicarious enthusiasm as they identified with these newly discovered historical models.