In Rethinking German History, first published in 1987, Richard J. Evans argues for a social-historical approach to the German past that pays equal attention to objective social structures and subjective values and experiences. If German history has been seen as an exception to the ‘normal’ development of Western society, this is not least because historians have until recently largely failed to look beyond the world of high politics, institutions, organizations and ideologies to broader historical problems of German society and German mentalities. By applying and adapting approaches learned from French and British social history as they have been developed over the last quarter of a century, it is possible to achieve a rethinking of German history which does away with many of the textbook myths that have encrusted the historiogrpahy of Germany for so long.
This book will be valuable for students of German history and politics, and brings together essays widely used in teaching. Its broad coverage of social history will also be useful to all those interested in contemporary historiography or the comparative study of European history.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part 1: Historiographies; 1. Wilhelm II’s Germany and the Historians 2. From Hitler to Bismarck: Third Reich and Kaiserreich in Recent Historiography; 3. The Myth of Germany’s Missing Revolution; Part 2: Mentalities; 4. Religion and Society in Modern Germany 5. In Pursuit of the Untertanengeist: Crime, Law and Social Order in German History; Part 3: Movements; 6. The Sociological Interpretations of German Labour History 7. Liberalism and Society: the Feminist Movement and Social Change 8. ‘Red Wednesday’ in Hamburg: Social Democrats, Police and Lumpenproletarait in the Suffrage Disturbances of 17 January 1906; Index