Author : Stein Leon
Title : The racial thinking of Richard Wagner
Year : 1950

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Introduction. The Wagner literature is already so voluminous that any new addition must particularly justify itself. It may come as a surprise to many musicians as well as laymen that Wagner did much thinking on race at all; this by itself would warrant the present study. But there are more important justifications. It is the author's belief that up to the present, Wagner's radial tenets have not been clearly understood either in their content or their influence. Since the implications of these tenets have been made manifest only within the past decade, any previous appraisal must necessarily prove wanting. Finally, it is only in the recent past that an objective scientific investigation of race and racial factors has been established. In the light of such investigation we are not only justified, we are compelled to consider those tenets of Wagner which are based on or derive from his theories of race. ...