*Magnificent Rebels*

The author is the excellent Andrea Wulf and the subtitle is The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self.  The focus is on the German group of thinkers who worked together in or near Jena, including the Schlegels, Novalis, Schiller, Goethe and Schelling, with a later cameo from Hegel.  This is one of my favorite books of the year, but note it focuses mostly on their personal stories and not so much on their ideas.  Perfect for me, but not the ideal introduction for every reader.  And their ideas are hard to explain!  Their emphasis on imagination and subjectivity has been so absorbed into the modern world it can be hard to grasp their revolutionary nature at the time.  Context is that which is scarce.  Recommended nonetheless.

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