Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History
A book talk with author Jürgen Kocka (UCLA, History) and discussant Ivan Berend (UCLA, History)
A consideration of twentieth-century German social history and the legacies of the two dictatorships
In this rich and thought-provoking work, Jürgen Kocka focuses his analytic lens on Germany’s long twentieth century, from the empire to the present. He begins by establishing the semantic problematic in the German term Bürgertum and presenting an analytical survey of German civil society over the past 120 years. He then offers a fascinating social history of the GDR, along with a comparative analysis of the East German dictatorship and that of the Third Reich. He further compares Germany’s “two dictatorships” in regard to historical memory, post-regime justice, and historiography before and after reunification. Kocka concludes with a wonderfully expansive view of historical interpretation and even argues for the place of trendiness and fashion in the profession.
Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011