This volume of interviews reveals Habermas's passionate engagement with contemporary issues. Wide-ranging and informal, the interviews focus on matters of decisive importance to Germany and the rest of the world in the 1990s: German unification; recent explosive debates about interpretations of German history, Germany's asylum policies, and the Nazi era; efforts to create a cooperative, peaceful Europe; and the significance of the Persian Gulf War. A final interview focuses on the relation between theory and practice—between philosophy and the so-called real world. In an afterword to the volume, Habermas addresses a broad spectrum of issues facing Germany and other nations in this final decade of the century.
Ably translated and annotated by Max Pensky, professor of philosophy at the State University of New York-Binghamton, The Past as Future provides a striking portrait of an intellectual who is equally at home in the world of academic philosophy and in mainstream debate—and who can make valuable connections between the two.