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Bismarck's Shadow : The Cult of - Richard E. Frankel

Bismarck's Shadow

The Cult of

Paperback

Published: 1st December 2004
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History is a tale often told by ghosts and demi-gods, and our relationship to these figures often determines the shape of the narratives we weave about the past. Bismarck's Shadow targets this idea, as it is a book that unearths a fascinating phenomenon of German political culture - the elevation of a dead political figure, Otto von Bismarck, to the level of a demi-god and the effects of such deification on the course of German politics during the first half of the 20th century.Already a central national symbol during his lifetime, after his death Bismarck became the object of a political religion, what Frankel regards as a 'Bismarck Cult'. This book examines how certain ritual practices and a particular historical understanding - a Bismarckian gospel - provided its followers meaning and direction. Extending beyond the cultural as well, Bismarck's Shadow also looks at how the cult of Bismarck translated into political practice. In Frankel's estimation, the logic of the Bismarckian political religion contributed to the right's progressive radicalization from the turn of the century to the triumph of the Nazis. The image of the deceased figure of Bismarck serves as a tool to investigate the transformation of the German right from a traditional, state-supporting group to a populist, radical nationalist movement like Nazism.Timely and compelling, Bismarck's Shadow raises long overdue questions about the political religion of National Socialism, Germans' perceptions about Bismarck, and the relationship between Otto von Bismarck and Adolf Hitler.

'We have long known that Bismarck's legacy became worked after his death into a potent and adaptable source of political legitimacy, doing particularly valuable service for the various groupings of the Right. But only now, in Richard Frankel's detailed and persuasive account, has the Bismarck cult finally found its excellent historian.' Geoff Eley, University of Michigan 'Bismarck's Shadow is important and intrinsically interesting. There is no other book that deals so thoroughly with the Bismarck image or its role in transforming the German right.' Ronald J. Ross, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 'This innovative study explores the deleterious effect of the Bismarck myth on the Right's (mis)conceptions of leadership that helped to destabilize German political culture in the first part of the twentieth century. ' Konrad Jarausch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introduction
From Bismarck to Hitler? The Nature of the Project
The Development of an Obsession: Bismarck and the German People
Defining the Nation: Bismarck and German National Identity
Charismatic Authority and the Crisis of Leadership
The Role of Bismarck in German Political Culture: Method and Structure of the Project
The Living Legend, 1866-1898
Establishment of the Legend: Bismarck as Founder and Protector of the Reich
The Chancellor as Legend: Bismarck in Political Practice
The Chancellor Unbound: The Bismarck Legend in the Wake of the Dismissal
Reestablishing the Right: Bismarck in Retirement and the Politics of National Opposition
'Forward in the Spirit of Bismarck!' 1898-1914
Death, Deification, and the Development of the Bismarck Cult
Crying in the Wilderness: The Early Cult in Political Practice and the Quest for Legitimacy
The Legitimization of Right-Wing Populism and the Radicalization of the Right during the Wilhelmine Crisis Period
Bismarck in the Crisis Decade, 1914-1923
Germany's 'Holy War': The Bismarck Cult and the Spirit of 1914
War-time Radicalization: Leadership Crisis, Democratization, and the Emergence of the Fatherland Party
Challenging the Iron Chancellor: Bismarck and the Revolution
A New Bismarck for a New Right: The Iron Chancellor as Counter-Revolutionary Icon in the Civil War Period
A Hopeful Interlude: Bismarck and the 'Years of Stability', 1923-1930
Gustav Stresemann and the Pursuit of a Moderate Bismarck
The Radical Bismarck and the Undermining of Weimar Democracy
Beyond Bismarck: The Iron Chancellor in the Third Reich, 1930-1945
'Solving' the Crisis of Leadership: Bismarck in the Last Years of Weimar
From Bismarck to Hitler: The Iron Chancellor in the Wake of the Nazi Seizure of Power
In Hitler's Shadow: The Decline of Bismarck in the Third Reich Conclusion
From Politics to History: The Decline of Bismarck in German Political Culture after the Second World War
Analyzing the Shadow: The Role of the Iron Chancellor in the Crisis of German Leadership and the Transformation of the German Right
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781845200343
ISBN-10: 1845200349
Audience: BAC
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 236
Published: 1st December 2004
Publisher: BERG PUBL INC
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1