In Rereading German History, first published in 1997, Richard J. Evans draws together his seminal review essays on the political, economic, cultural and social history of Germany through war and reunification. This book provides a study of how and why historians – mainly German, American, British and French – have provided a series of differing and often conflicting readings of the German past. It also presents a reconsideration of German history in the light of the recent decline of the German Democratic Republic, collapse of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
Rereading German History re-examines major controversies in modern German history, such as the debate over Germany’s ‘special path’ to modernity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the discussions in the 1980s on the uniqueness or otherwise of Auschwitz. Evans also analyses the arguments over the nature of German national identity. The book offers trenchant and important analytical insights into the history of Germany in the last two centuries, and is ideal reading material for students of modern history and German studies.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; Part 1: Parade of the Grand Narratives; 1. Towards Unification 2. Whatever Became of the Sonderweg? 3. Nipperdey’s Nineteenth Century 4. From Unification to World War 5. The View from France; Part 2: Patterns of Authority and Revolt; 6. Police and Society from Absolutism to Dictatorship 7. The Catholic Community and the Prussian State 8. Workers’ Co-Operatives in the Nineteenth Century 9. The Failure of German Labour in the Weimar Republic; Part 3: Ideological Origins of Nazism; 10. The Dynamics of Violence 11. In Search of German Darwinism 12. From Racial Hygiene to Auschwitz 13. Antisemitism: Ordinary Germans and the ‘Longest Hatred’; Part 4: Faces of the Third Reich; 14. Playing for the Devil: Furtwangler and the Nazis 15. Claus von Stauffenberg and the Bomb that Failed 16. The Deceptions of Albert Speer 17. Churchill: the End of Glory?; Part 5: Reunification and Beyond; 18. German Reunification in Historical Perspective 19. Beyond the Historikerstreit 20. Rebirth of the German Right? 21. After Reunification; Index