Germany, 1914-1933: Politics, Society and Culture

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Germany, 1914-1933: Politics, Society and Culture takes a fresh and critical look at a crucial period in German history. Rather than starting with the traditional date of 1918, the book begins with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, and argues that this was a pivotal turning point in shaping the future successes and failures of the Weimar Republic.

Combining traditional political narrative with new insights provided by social and cultural history, the book reconsiders such key questions as:

  • How widespread was support for the war in Germany between 1914 and 1918?
  • How was the war viewed both ‘from above’, by leading generals, admirals and statesmen, and ‘from below’, by ordinary soldiers and civilians?
  • What were the chief political, social, economic and cultural consequences of the war? In particular, did it result in a brutalisation of German society after 1918?
  • How modern were German attitudes towards work, family, sex and leisure during the 1920s? What accounts for the extraordinary richness and experimentalism of this period?

The book also provides a thorough and comprehensive discussion of the difficulties faced by the Weimar Republic in capturing the hearts and minds of the German people in the 1920s, and of the causes of its final demise in the early 1930s.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Clear, concise, thought-provoking... This topical introduction works very well in setting the scene, explaining different approaches and stimulating further in-depth study."

- Times Higher Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405801362
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/2/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,068,326
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Stibbe is Reader in History at Sheffield Hallam University. He has published widely in the field of First World War studies and modern German history, and his books include British Civilian Internees in Germany: The Ruhleben Camp, 1914-18 (2008) and Women in the Third Reich (2003).

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Table of Contents

List of plates

List of tables


Publisher's acknowledgements


Map of Weimar Germany

Introduction 1

The scope of this book 6

1 The war from above 11

The Burgfrieden 12

The war on land and at sea, 1914-1916 16

Bethmann Hollweg and the civilian war leadership, 1914-1917 20

Wilhelm II and the generals 26

2 The war from below 38

The food question 39

Home front and fighting front 45

Strikes and political demonstrations 50

The revolution of November 1918 54

3 Political and psychological consequences of the war 67

A fragile post-war consensus 69

The extreme left 74

The anti-republican right 78

Germany in the early 1920's: a violent society? 83

4 Economy and Society in the 1920's 98

Big business, labour and the state 99

The urban poor 106

The middle classes 112

The countryside 117

5 Weimar Culture 132

Art and politics in the Weimar Republic 133

Class, leisure and mass consumption 138

Sex and sexuality 145

Jewish and Gentile Germans 152

6 The final years of the Republic 165

The crisis of democracy 166

The failure of anti-fascism 173

The rise of the Nazis 180

Hitler, Hindenburg and the end of Weimar 187

Conclusion 201

Glossary 211

Bibliography 217

Index 249

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