From Recovery to Catastrophe: Municipal Stabilization and Political Crisis in Weimar Germany

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Historians of the stabilization phase of Weimar Germany tend to identify German recovery after the First World War with the struggle to revise reparations and control hyperinflation. Focusing primarily on economic aspects is not sufficient, however, the author argues; the financial burden of recovery was only one of several major causes of reaction against the republic. Drawing on material from major German cities, he is able to trace the emergence of strong local activism and of comprehensive and functional ...

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Overview

Historians of the stabilization phase of Weimar Germany tend to identify German recovery after the First World War with the struggle to revise reparations and control hyperinflation. Focusing primarily on economic aspects is not sufficient, however, the author argues; the financial burden of recovery was only one of several major causes of reaction against the republic. Drawing on material from major German cities, he is able to trace the emergence of strong local activism and of comprehensive and functional policies of recovery on the municipal level which enjoyed broad political backing. Ironically, these same programs that created consensus also contained the potential for destabilization: they unleashed intense debate over the needs of the consumersand the purpose and extent of public spending, and with that of government intervention more generally, which accelerated the fragmentation of bourgeois politics, leading to the final destruction of the Weimar Republic.

Ben Lieberman teaches in the Department of Social Science at Fitchburg State College, Mass.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Extends the analysis of German stabilization after World War I beyond the often considered economic issues of reparations and hyperinflation to trace the emergence of strong local activism and comprehensive, functional policies on the municipal level. Drawing on local material from major cities, shows how those very programs sowed the seeds of destabilization and accelerated the fragmentation of bourgeois politics. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Abbreviations
Preface
Introduction: Recovering Weimar Recovery 1
Ch. 1 Stabilization and State Expansion: Comprehensive City Planning 27
Ch. 2 State Expansion and Democratization 57
Ch. 3 Municipal Finance and Destabilization 82
Ch. 4 Cities and Distributional Conflict 106
Ch. 5 Cities and the Weimar Productivity Debate 122
Ch. 6 Defining the Civic Public 138
Ch. 7 State and Society: The Contradictions of Recovery 163
Conclusion: From Recovery to Destabilization 184
Sources and Select Bibliography
Index 216
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