Visions of Modernity: American Business and the Modernization of Germany / Edition 1

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In much the same way that Japan has become the focus of contemporary American discussion about industrial restructuring, Germans in the 1920s debated economic reform in terms of Americanism and Fordism, seeing in the United States an intriguing vision for a revitalized economy and a new social order. During this period, Germans were fascinated by American economic success and its quintessential symbols, Henry Ford and his automobile factories.

Mary Nolan's Visions of Modernity explores the contradictory ways in which Germans envisioned a more efficient or "rationalized" economic system, and anguished over the social and cultural costs of adopting the American version of modernity. These debates deeply shaped German perceptions of what was possible and desirable in terms of technology and work, family and gender relations, consumption and culture. Germans imitated economic Americanism ambivalently and incompletely.

Embodying an original approach to an important historical period, Visions of Modernity will appeal not only to scholars of German history and those interested in European social and working-class history, but also to industrial sociologists and business scholars.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195088755
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 1700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Journeys to America 17
3 The Infatuation with Fordism 30
4 American Economic Success and German Emulation 58
5 Work, Workers, and the Workplace in America 83
6 The Cultural Consequences of Americanism 108
7 The Paradoxes of Productivism 131
8 Winners and Losers 154
9 Engineering the New Worker 179
10 Housework Made Easy 206
Epilogue 227
Notes 237
Bibliographic Essay 307
Index 314
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