Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History

Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History

by Juergen Kocka
     
 

ISBN-10: 1584658657

ISBN-13: 9781584658658

Pub. Date: 07/13/2010

Publisher: Brandeis University Press

In this rich and thought-provoking work, Jürgen Kocka focuses his analytic lens on Germany’s long twentieth century, from the empire to the present. He begins by establishing the semantic problematic in the German term Bürgertum and presenting an analytical survey of German civil society over the past 120 years. He then offers a fascinating social…  See more details below

Overview

In this rich and thought-provoking work, Jürgen Kocka focuses his analytic lens on Germany’s long twentieth century, from the empire to the present. He begins by establishing the semantic problematic in the German term Bürgertum and presenting an analytical survey of German civil society over the past 120 years. He then offers a fascinating social history of the GDR, along with a comparative analysis of the East German dictatorship and that of the Third Reich. He further compares Germany’s “two dictatorships” in regard to historical memory, post-regime justice, and historiography before and after reunification. Kocka concludes with a wonderfully expansive view of historical interpretation and even argues for the place of trendiness and fashion in the profession.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584658658
Publisher:
Brandeis University Press
Publication date:
07/13/2010
Series:
The Menahem Stern Jerusalem Lectures
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Shulamit Volkov vii

I Introduction 1

II Bourgeois Culture and Civil Society: The German Case in a European Context 7

The Opportunities of Semantic Ambivalence 9

Bürgertum: Bourgeoisie Defined by Its Opponents and Its Culture 10

Civil Society: The History and Definition of a Concept 15

Universal Claims versus Exclusive Realities in the Nineteenth Century 20

Bourgeoisie and Civil Society during the Kaiserreich 22

A Short View on the Twentieth Century 28

III Comparing Dictatorships: Toward a Social History of the German Democratic Republic 33

Why a History of the GDR? 35

The Political Construction of a New Society 40

Social Blockades and the Limits of Political Control 48

1949-1989: Four Periods of GDR History 54

The GDR in Comparative Perspectives 56

IV Dealing with Difficult Pasts: Collective Memories and Politics in Germany after 1945 and 1990 67

How West Germans and East Germans Dealt with Their Nazi Past, 1945-1990 70

Remembering the GDR after Unification: Different Layers, Controversial Debates 82

Memories Compete and Reinforce One Another 88

V Historians, Fashion, and Truth: The Last Fifty Years 99

History: A Changeable Discipline 101

An Example: Changing Views of World War I 103

Five Major Trends 108

The Productivity of Fashion and the Attainability of Truth: History as a Profession 111

Notes 117

Index 159

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