Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany

Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany

by Andrew Bickford
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804773963

ISBN-13: 9780804773966

Pub. Date: 03/09/2011

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Military officers are often the first to be considered politically dangerous when a state loses its authority. Overnight, actions once considered courageous are deemed criminal, and men once praised as heroes are redefined as villains. In Fallen Elites, Andrew Bickford examines how states make soldiers and what happens to fallen military elites when they no

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Overview

Military officers are often the first to be considered politically dangerous when a state loses its authority. Overnight, actions once considered courageous are deemed criminal, and men once praised as heroes are redefined as villains. In Fallen Elites, Andrew Bickford examines how states make soldiers and what happens to fallen military elites when they no longer fit into the political spectrum.

Gaining unprecedented entry into the lives of former East German officers in unified Germany, Bickford relates how these men and their families have come to terms with the shock of unification, capitalism, and citizenship since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Often caricatured as unrepentant, hard-line communists, former officers recount how they have struggled with their identities and much-diminished roles. Their disillusionment speaks to global questions about the contentious relationship between the military, citizenship, masculinity, and state formation today. Casting a critical eye on Western triumphalism, they provide a new perspective on our own deep-seated assumptions about "soldier making," both at home and abroad.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804773966
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
03/09/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,258,898
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Prologue: The Anthropologist Who Came In from the Cold xiii

Abbreviations and Terms xvii

Part 1 Becoming Militarized: My Brother, My Enemy 1

1 The Military Imaginary: Soldiers, Myths, and States 3

2 Emotions, Generations, and Death Cults: Militarization and the Creation of Socialist Military Personalities 37

3 Coming of Age in the NVA: The Master Narratives of Militarization 71

Part 2 Being Militarized

4 The Writing on the Wall: The NVA Surrenders 99

5 A War of Signs, Images, and Memories: German Militaries in the Cold War and Unification 104

6 "Unification Has Ruined My Life": The Political Economy of the Military Other 134

7 As Germans Among Germans: Life in the Kameradschaft 162

8 "We're the Jews of the New Germany": Heroic Victimhood, Fallen Elites, and the Slipperiness of History and Memory 193

9 Death and Allegiance: Toward an Anthropology of Soldiering 215

Notes 229

Works Cited 247

Index 261

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