An element of continuity in all this is my interest in media history, particularly the history of the inter-war press.
Anyway, I'm pleased to announce that one of my first publications as part of this new direction will soon be seeing the light of day: a study of the reception of Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West in the inter-war British press.
It will be part of a forthcoming collection of essays edited by a couple of my colleagues that will consider Spengler's reception in various countries.
A pre-press version of my essay, '"German foolishness" and the "Prophet of doom": Oswald Spengler and the Inter-war British Press' is now available on academia.edu.
A brief passage, from a section on Spengler and 'Germanness':
Although Spengler's work was highly controversial in his homeland, British commentators tended to depict it representing something typically German. On this basis, in a radio broadcast titled »Spengler–A Philosopher of World History« (reprinted in the Listener in 1929), popular philosopher C.E.M. Joad sought to explain national differences related to Spengler's reception: »The Germans have an appetite for ideas which rivals, if it does not exceed, the English appetite for emotions«*. Referring to then-popular authors of romance novels and histories, he observed: »While the Englishman is enjoying a feast of passion at the luscious boards of Miss Dell or Miss Hull, the German refreshes himself with draughts of pure thought from the fountain-head of some abstruse philosopher«**. Spengler's sentences, he continued, »seem to be the necessary accompaniments of German philosophy in the grand manner: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, all wrote them and worse; they sound the authentic German note«. [166-67]Note: If I've been successful in achieving the aim I set out with, you don't even have to know a lot about Spengler to enjoy the article.
Though that might be a big if.
I will, in any case, provide another update when the collection is released.
* Listener, 27 February 1929, p. 250.
** »Spengler, the most abstruse German now writing, is also the most popular. He belongs, it is clear, to the grand tradition of German philosophy«. Ibid. Ethel M. Dell was a romance novelist and Eleanor Hull wrote Irish history. See also: »[F]or whereas the success of the Anglo-Saxon best-seller depends upon a facile acceptance of emotions, the Teutonic best-seller demands of the reader an equally facile acceptance of ideas«. New Statesman, 3 July 1926, p. 332.