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Between Natives and Foreigners

Selected Writings of Karl/Charles Follen (1796–1840)


Frank Mehring

Karl/Charles Follen has not only been described as a dangerous revolutionary, but he has also been praised as the emblematic representative of German philosophical idealism and theological liberalism. This edition introduces, for the first time, a broad selection of Follen’s controversial writings, emphasizing the multilingual dimension of his oeuvre in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. His essays, lectures, sermons, speeches, and poems concern the challenges of democracy in the socio-political climate of the political Vormärz in Germany and the Jacksonian era in the United States. Follen’s writings emerge as a unique storehouse of ideas on topics such as resistance against an aristocratic government, intellectual self-culture, German-American cultural transfer, challenges of American democracy, the reception of German literature, and philosophy during the crucial years of the American Renaissance.