By Kevin McAleer,

Book cover of Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siècle Germany

Book description

The question of what it takes "to be a man" comes under scrutiny in this sharp, often playful, cultural critique of the German duel--the deadliest type of one-on-one combat in fin-de-siecle Europe. At a time when dueling was generally restricted to swords or had been abolished altogether in other nations,…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Dueling as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I was hesitant to include this title because I’m not fully convinced by McAleer’s argument that the persistence into the 20th Century of violent pistol dueling in Germany signals a uniquely German mentality, an intensely caste-conscious and militaristic cult of violence “divergent from that of other Western nations” and “innately antithetical to classical liberalism,” or in other words, the exact opposite of what Steven Hughes describes for Italy. But the book is a brilliantly compelling read, and people have a right to make up their own minds.

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