This essay offers a capsule memoir of a part-time Germanist. It recounts the author’s experience of coming of age in the 1990s when it was salad days for All Things German in North America and the sheen of Weimar shone. This decade was followed by the years of the global war on terror and eventually the global financial crisis, when German studies seemed to lose the plot and many historians of German quietly exited the subfield. The essay concludes with a reflection on political geography as a way to engage with German history and the German contribution to the world of ideas. German history is dense with suggestive answers to the evergreen questions of what a state should be and what kind of world it should exist in.

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