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Drawing from such primary sources as magazines, newspapers, manifestoes, and official documents (many unknown even to specialists and most never before available in English), this book challenges the traditional boundaries between politics, culture, and social life. Its thirty chapters explore Germany's complex relationship to democracy, ideologies of "reactionary modernism," the rise of the "New Woman," Bauhaus architecture, the impact of mass media, the literary life, the tradition of cabaret and urban entertainment, and the situation of Jews, intellectuals, and workers before and during the emergence of fascism.
While devoting much attention to the Republic's varied artistic and intellectual achievements (the Frankfurt School, political theater, twelve-tone music, cultural criticism, photomontage, and urban planning), the book is unique for its inclusion of many lesser-known materials on popular culture, consumerism, body culture, drugs, criminality, and sexuality; it also contains a timetable of major political events, an extensive bibliography, and capsule biographies. This will be a major resource and reference work for students and scholars in history; art; architecture; literature; social and political thought; and cultural, film, German, and women's studies.
The Weimar Republic's political and cultural lessons retain relevance for all who seek to understand the tensions of our age. This book represents the most comprehensive documentation of Weimar culture, history and politics assembled in any language. It invites a wide community of readers to discover the richness and complexity of the turbulent years in Germany before Hitler's rise to power.