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Dictatorship as Experience : Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the Gdr - Konrad H. Jarausch

Dictatorship as Experience

Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the Gdr

By: Konrad H. Jarausch (Editor)

Paperback Published: 22nd October 1999
ISBN: 9781571811820
Number Of Pages: 402

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"The essays presented display a realm of vibrant historical inquiry. Many of the chapters significantly expand our understanding of the complexity of GDR society." * Central European History "This is certainly the best single volume on the social and cultural history of the GDR in English, and indeed ranks highly among works in German as well." * German Politics A decade after the collapse of communism, this volume presents a historical reflection on the perplexing nature of the East German dictatorship. In contrast to most political rhetoric, it seeks to establish a middle ground between totalitarianism theory, stressing the repressive features of the SED-regime, and apologetics of the socialist experiment, emphasizing the normality of daily lives. The book transcends the polarization of public debate by stressing the tensions and contradictions within the East German system that combined both aspects by using dictatorial means to achieve its emancipatory aims. By analyzing a range of political, social, cultural, and chronological topics, the contributors sketch a differentiated picture of the GDR which emphasizes both its repressive and its welfare features. The sixteen original essays, especially written for this volume by historians from both east and west Germany, represent the cutting edge of current research and suggest new theoretical perspectives. They explore political, social, and cultural mechanisms of control as well as analyze their limits and discuss the mixture of dynamism and stagnation that was typical of the GDR. Konrad H. Jarausch is Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Director of the Zentrum fur Zeithistorische Studien in Potsdam, Germany.

"The essays presented display a realm of vibrant historical inquiry. Many of the chapters significantly expand our understanding of the complexity of GDR society." - Central European History

"This is certainly the best single volume on the social and cultural history of the GDR in English, and indeed ranks highly among works in German as well." - German Politics

"What emerges from this collection is a picture of a complex society that was neither fully modern nor fully totalitarian ... The dense book provides an illuminating discussion of the difficulties inherent in characterizing the GDR and, in so doing, points the reader in directions that might prove more fruitful." - German Studies Review

"The contributions represent sound research, employing use of new archival sources, interviews and oral history, as well as rich secondary literature ... The volume merits high marks for its theoretical and empirical import." - The Historian

Prefacep. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xi
Introduction
Beyond Uniformity: The Challenge of Historicizing the GDRp. 3
The Theoretical Problem of Dictatorship
The GDR: A Special Kind of Modern Dictatorshipp. 17
Modernization and Modernization Blockages in GDR Societyp. 27
Care and Coercion: The GDR as Welfare Dictatorshipp. 47
Mechanisms of Political Repression
From Dismantling to Currency Reform: External Origins of the Dictatorship, 1943-1948p. 73
Foreign Influences on the Dictatorial Development of the GDR, 1949-1955p. 91
Repression and Tolerance as Methods of Rule in Communist Societiesp. 109
Means of Social Control
Creating State Socialist Governance: The Case of the Deutsche Volkspolizeip. 125
Food Supply in a Planned Economy: SED Nutrition Policy between Crisis Response and Popular Needsp. 143
The Myth of Female Emancipation: Contradictions in Women's Livesp. 163
The Socialist Glass Ceiling: Limits to Female Careersp. 177
Cultural Dimensions of Domination
Dictatorship as Discourse: Cultural Perspectives on SED Legitimacyp. 195
The Fettered Media: Controlling Public Debatep. 213
Criticism and Censorship: Negotiating Cabaret Performance and Book Productionp. 241
The Pivotal Cadres: Leadership Styles and Self-Images of GDR-Elitesp. 265
Temporal Transformations
Stagnation or Change? Transformations of the Workplace in the GDRp. 285
The Hitler Youth Generation in the GDR: Insecurities, Ambitions and Dilemmasp. 307
Reforming Socialism? The Changing of the Guard from Ulbricht to Honecker during the 1960sp. 325
Mobility and Blockage during the 1970sp. 341
Postscript
Rethinking the Second German Dictatorshipp. 363
Selected Bibliographyp. 373
Notes on Contributorsp. 379
Indexp. 383
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781571811820
ISBN-10: 1571811826
Series: BERGHAHN
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 402
Published: 22nd October 1999
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.69 x 13.72  x 2.26
Weight (kg): 0.45