The Fontana History of Germany: 1918-1990 The Divided Nation

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9780006861119: The Fontana History of Germany: 1918-1990 The Divided Nation

This account of Germany in the 20th century covers revolutions and reactions, continuities and change, prosperity and deprivation. The author focuses on the role of elites, and the implications of political dissent under changing socio-economic conditions and international circumstances.

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From the Back Cover:

When the Berlin wall crumbled in November 1989, the division of the German nation, which since 1945 had come to seem so permanent, was at a stroke rendered obsolete. The 'German Question' sprang again to the forefront of public attention, as the prospect of a united, powerful Germany reawakened prejudices and memories which had lain dormant since the days of Hitler.

Division has been the touchstone of German history since 1918: from the self-destructive Weimar Republic, through the extremes of the Nazi era to the political fragmentation of the nation after 1945. The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic appeared – in very different ways – to represent remarkably stable, successful solutions to the problems of German history, yet they too were based on shifting ground, on political uncertainties and self-doubt, in the shadow of the holocaust. With the gentle revolution of autumn 1989 and the breathtaking rapid unification of the two Germanies in 1990, new divisions between past and present, within and between the Germans of East and West, emerged amid the complexities of political and economic reconstruction.

Mary Fulbrook recounts the tortuous historical narrative, of revolutions and reaction, of continuities and change, of prosperity and deprivation, with precision and clarity. In a powerful new interpretation of the dynamics of German history since 1918, she focuses particularly on the role of elites, and on the implications of political dissent and opposition, under changing socio-economic conditions and international circumstances. The Divided Nation – and accessible, persuasive study which treats twentieth-century history as a whole, from the perspective of reunification – is essential reading for all who seek answers to the fundamental questions of modern German History.

About the Author:

Mary Fulbrook is Professor of German History at University College London.

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