Life after Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s / Edition 1

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This collection of essays offers a novel approach to thte cultural and social history of Europe after the Second World War. In a shift of perspective, it does not conceive of the impressive economic and political stability of the postwar era as a quasi-natural return to previous patterns of societal development but approaches it as an attempt to establish "normality" on the lingering memories of experienceing violence on a hitherto unprecedented scale. It views the relationship of the violence of the 1940s to the apparent "normality" and stability of the 1950s as a key to understanding the history of postwar Europe. Although the history of postwar Germany naturally looms large in this collection, the essays deal with countries across Western and Central Europe, offer comparative perspectives on their subjects, and draw on a wide range of primary and secondary source material.
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Editorial Reviews

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"The volume has considerable value in bringing together some of the most innovative social and cultural historians of postwar Europe." Journal of Social History
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Violence, Normality, and the Construction of Postwar Europe
1 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and World War II: Can a Psychiatric Concept Help Us Understand Postwar Society?
2 Between Pain and Silence: Remembering the Victims of Violence in Germany after 1949
3 Paths of Normalization after the Persecution of the Jews: The Netherlands, France and West Germany in the 1950s
4 Trauma, Memory, and Motherhood: Germans and Jewish Displace Persons in Post-Nazi Germany, 1945-1949
5 Memory and the Narrative of Rape in Budapest and Vienna in 1945
6 "Going Home": The Personal Adjustmentof British and American Servicemen after the War
7 Desperately Seeking Normality: Sex and Marriage in the Wake of the War
8 Family Life and "Normality" in Postwar British Culture
9 Continuities and Discontinuities of Consumer Mentality in West Germany in the 1950s
10 "Strengthened and Purified Through Ordeal by Fire": Ecclesiastical Triumphalism in the Ruins of Europe
11 The Nationalization of Victimhood: Selective Violence and National Grief in Western Europe, 1940-1960
12 Italy after Fascism: The Predicament of Dominant Narratives
13 The Politics of Post-Facist Aesthetics: 1950s West and East German Industrial Design
14 Dissonance, Normality, and the Historical Method: Why Did Some Germans Think of Tourism after May 8, 1945?
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