The Ego Made Manifest: Max Stirner, Egoism, and the Modern Manifesto

Bradshaw, Wayne (2023) The Ego Made Manifest: Max Stirner, Egoism, and the Modern Manifesto. Bloomsbury, New York, NY, USA.

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Max Stirner has long proven to be an elusive figure at the fringes of 19th-century German idealism. He has been portrayed as the father of the philosophical dead end that was egoistic anarchism: a withered branch of an ineffectual movement, remembered largely because of its suggestion that crime was a valid form of revolutionary action. From this perspective, egoists subscribed to extreme forms of anarchism and defended acts of theft, assault, and even murder; egoism only held lasting appeal to rebels, nihilists, and criminals; and Stirner's ideas could – and should – be consigned to the dustbin of history accordingly.

The Ego Made Manifest argues that many of the accepted truisms about Stirner and his reception are false and that his contribution to modernist and avant-garde manifesto-writing traditions has been overlooked. Beginning with his influence on Marx's Communist Manifesto, Wayne Bradshaw reinserts Stirner into the history of manifestos that not only rebelled against tradition but sought to take ownership of history, culture, and people's minds. This study documents the trajectory of Stirner's reception from mid-19th-century Germany to his rediscovery by German and American readers almost 50 years later, and from his popularity among manifesto writers in fin de siècle Paris to the birth of Italian Futurism. Finally, it considers how American and British interest in egoism helped inspire Vorticism's satirical approach to revolt, and how, in an age of extremism, Stirner's ideas continue to haunt the modern mind.

Item ID: 77348
Item Type: Book (Research - A1)
ISBN: 9798765102596
Keywords: egoism; manifesto; Stirner; avant-garde; modernism; Symbolism; Futurism; Vorticism; Nietzsche; Marx
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Copyright Information: Copyright © Wayne Bradshaw, 2023. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. A chapter of this work has been made freely available in accordance with the Bloomsbury Academic Self-Archiving Policy (
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 00:03
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470507 Comparative and transnational literature @ 50%
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5002 History and philosophy of specific fields > 500207 History of ideas @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130203 Literature @ 70%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130704 Understanding Europe’s past @ 30%
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