Dictatorship in history and theory : Bonapartism, Caesarism, and totalitarianism

Document Type

Edited book

Publication Date



German Historical Institute and Cambridge University Press


This book is unusual in bringing together the work of historians and political theorists under one cover to consider the subject of nineteenth- and twentieth-century dictatorships. A distinguished group of authors examine the complex relationship among nineteenth-century democracy, nationalism, and authoritarianism, paying special attention to the careers of Napoleon I and III and of Bismarck. An important contribution of the book is consideration not only of the momentous episodes of coup d’état, revolution, and imperial foundation that the Napoleonic era heralded, ´ but also the contested political language with which these events were described and assessed. Political thinkers were faced with a battery of new terms – “Bonapartism,” “Caesarism,” and “Imperialism” among them – with which to make sense of their era.

In addition to documenting the political history of a revolutionary age, the book examines a series of thinkers – Tocqueville, Marx, Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt – who articulated and helped to reshape our sense of the political.



Publisher Statement

Copyright © German Historical Institute 2004



Recommended Citation

Baehr, P., & Richter, M. (Eds.) (2004). Dictatorship in history and theory: Bonapartism, Caesarism, and totalitarianism. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute and Cambridge University Press.

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