Cover image for A history of modern Germany since 1815
Title:
A history of modern Germany since 1815
Author:
Tipton, Frank B., 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xxi, 730 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780520240506

9780520240490
Format :
Book

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DD203 .T56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Germany has fascinated its own people as well as onlookers in the twentieth century because, unlike the history of other European states, its very being has been posed as a question. Why was there no unified German state until late in the nineteenth century? How did Germany become an industrial power? What responsibility does Germany bear for the two world wars? This accessible but authoritative study attempts to answer these and other fundamental questions by looking at the economic, social, political and cultural forces that have created modern Germany.

The 1848 revolutions ushered in an age of Realism that saw rapid economic development and the creation of the Bismarckian empire. However, by the early twentieth century Germany's economic expansion and position as a world power began to fracture and growing internal, economic, social, and political contradictions led it, with disastrous results, into the First World War and the subsequent Weimar Republic. Hitler and the Nazi movement proposed a "revolution" and the creation of a "German style" and the Second World War/Holocaust is, arguably, the defining event of the twentieth century. The Americanization of the German economy and society, the "economic miracle" and euphoria of reunification have in recent years rapidly given way to disillusionment as the major political parties have failed to master outstanding social and environmental problems. The "German question"--Germany's place within the European Union--continues to be unanswered even within an EU where it is the dominant economic power.


Summary

Germany has fascinated its own people as well as onlookers in the twentieth century because, unlike the history of other European states, its very being has been posed as a question. Why was there no unified German state until late in the nineteenth century? How did Germany become an industrial power? What responsibility does Germany bear for the two world wars? This accessible but authoritative study attempts to answer these and other fundamental questions by looking at the economic, social, political and cultural forces that have created modern Germany.

The 1848 revolutions ushered in an age of Realism that saw rapid economic development and the creation of the Bismarckian empire. However, by the early twentieth century Germany's economic expansion and position as a world power began to fracture and growing internal, economic, social, and political contradictions led it, with disastrous results, into the First World War and the subsequent Weimar Republic. Hitler and the Nazi movement proposed a "revolution" and the creation of a "German style" and the Second World War/Holocaust is, arguably, the defining event of the twentieth century. The Americanization of the German economy and society, the "economic miracle" and euphoria of reunification have in recent years rapidly given way to disillusionment as the major political parties have failed to master outstanding social and environmental problems. The "German question"--Germany's place within the European Union--continues to be unanswered even within an EU where it is the dominant economic power.


Author Notes

Frank B. Tipton is Professor in the School of Economics and Political Science, University of Sydney.


Frank B. Tipton is Professor in the School of Economics and Political Science, University of Sydney.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Scholars familiar with earlier textbooks by Koppel Pinson and Gordon Craig will welcome the arrival of a new cultural-intellectual history of modern Germany since 1815. Tipton (economics and political science, Univ. of Sydney) approaches modern German history through the lens of a complex social history focusing on generational changes. Rather than a biological definition, Tipton emphasizes "distinctive shared experiences, perceptions, and modes of expression." Tipton's underlying assumption rests on history as driven by largely irrational factors reflecting the changing expectations and experiences of each generation. He integrates forms of artistic expression; changes in literature, philosophy, music, science, and economics; and film and television in a fashion that will remind some of Hermann Glaser. Tipton challenges readers with questions and the various interpretations offered by contemporary and classical scholars. Beyond traditional historiographical elements, Tipton includes works by rising new scholars. Even so, there are authors that Tipton regularly leans on, including Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Jrgen Habermas. Specialists will note the absence of several key authors, e.g, Hans-Peter Schwarz and Henning Khler. Overall, Tipton's style will encourage reflection and discussion among undergraduate students. The wealth of material, combined with an inspiring depth and breadth, is highly readable and engaging. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Meier Dickinson State University


Choice Review

Scholars familiar with earlier textbooks by Koppel Pinson and Gordon Craig will welcome the arrival of a new cultural-intellectual history of modern Germany since 1815. Tipton (economics and political science, Univ. of Sydney) approaches modern German history through the lens of a complex social history focusing on generational changes. Rather than a biological definition, Tipton emphasizes "distinctive shared experiences, perceptions, and modes of expression." Tipton's underlying assumption rests on history as driven by largely irrational factors reflecting the changing expectations and experiences of each generation. He integrates forms of artistic expression; changes in literature, philosophy, music, science, and economics; and film and television in a fashion that will remind some of Hermann Glaser. Tipton challenges readers with questions and the various interpretations offered by contemporary and classical scholars. Beyond traditional historiographical elements, Tipton includes works by rising new scholars. Even so, there are authors that Tipton regularly leans on, including Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Jrgen Habermas. Specialists will note the absence of several key authors, e.g, Hans-Peter Schwarz and Henning Khler. Overall, Tipton's style will encourage reflection and discussion among undergraduate students. The wealth of material, combined with an inspiring depth and breadth, is highly readable and engaging. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Meier Dickinson State University