German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation

German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation

by William W. Hagen


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German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation by William W. Hagen

This history of German-speaking central Europe offers a very wide perspective, emphasizing a succession of many-layered communal identities. It highlights the interplay of individual, society, culture, and political power, contrasting German with western patterns. Rather than treating "the Germans" as a collective whole whose national history amounts to a cumulative biography, the book presents the pre-modern era of the Holy Roman Empire; the nineteenth century; the 1914-1945 era of war, dictatorship, and genocide; and the Cold War and post-Cold War eras since 1945 as successive worlds of German life, thought, and mentality. The book sets forth the differences between them, even as it traces paths leading from one to the other. This book's "Germany" is polycentric and multicultural, including the multi-national Austrian Habsburg Empire and the German Jews. Its approach to National Socialism offers a conceptually new understanding of the Holocaust. The book's numerous illustrations reveal German self-presentations and styles of life, which often contrast with western ideas of Germany.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521191906
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/31/2012
Pages: 488
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

William W. Hagen is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He has held fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Max-Planck Society and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is the author of Germans, Poles, and Jews: The Nationality Conflict in the Prussian East, 1772�914 and the prize-winning Ordinary Prussians: Brandenburg Junkers and Villagers, 1500�840 (Cambridge University Press, 2003). His wide-ranging research articles have appeared in many publications, including The Journal of Modern History, Foreign Affairs, the American Historical Review, Past and Present, Historische Zeitschrift and Geschichte und Gesellschaft.

Table of Contents

1. Master narratives and rival interpretations of modern German history; Part I. German Central Europe before Modern Nationalism: 2. The pyramid of power in pre-modern Germany; 3. Baroque and Enlightenment Germany, 1648-1789; 4. Power states (Machtstaaten): the rise of the Prussian and Austrian military-bureaucratic monarchies; 5. Aufklärung: the German Enlightenment and other spirits of the age; Part II. German Identities between Liberalism, Nationalism, and Socialism, 1789-1914: 6. Revolution on the march: French challenge, German response, 1789-1815; 7. 'Land of poets and thinkers': the transition from Enlightenment universalism to German national culture; 8. Freedom and voice, 'blood and iron': the struggle over liberalism and nationalism, 1815-1914; 9. Power to the people: German social democracy in the age of industrialization; 10. Women, family, feminism, 1789-1914; 11. Habsburg Austria: a multinational path in German history; 12. Jews, Germans, German Jews, 1789-1914; Part III. Nation in Crisis: Defeat, Turmoil, Aggression, 1914-15: 13. The Prussian-German monarchy's sudden death: World War I and postwar revolution, 1914-20; 14. Democracy's bitter fruits: society and politics, 1918-33; 15. The rise of Hitlerism: middle-class discontent and populist utopia; 16. The 'people's community' at Hitler's command: national and socialist Germany, 1933-45; 17. Lebensraum: the war for empire in Eastern Europe; 18. Banned from nation and earth: German Jews after 1914, Nazi 'Jewish policy', and the Holocaust; Part IV. The Cold War Germanies and their Post-1989 Fusion: A Nation Reforged from Its Remnants?: 19. Return from the abyss: defeated Germany and the West German Federal Republic, 1949-89; 20. 'Real existing socialism': Soviet-occupied Germany and the German Democratic Republic, 1949-90; 21. Present-day Germany: the post-unification scene in West and East.

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