Walther Rathenau's Life: Text and Context
Audio recording of the talk by Shulamit Volkov
How does a biographer reconstruct the context which best explains the texts of the protagonist? In the case of Walther Rathenau, who mixed in the most varied circles and was active on many fronts, this is a particularly difficult task.
Should his specific Jewish or his general German social milieu receive the main focus? Should his professional or his intellectual activities be emphasized? How can his politics be explained? Was he a unique individual or a paragon of his era?
15 October 2009