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German Colonialism
A Short History

$30.99 (P)

  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107400474

$ 30.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Germany was a latecomer to the colonial world of the late nineteenth century but this history of German colonialism makes clear the wide-reaching consequences of Germany's short-lived colonial project. Sebastian Conrad charts the expansion of the empire from its origins in the acquisition of substantial territories in present day Togo, Cameroon, Namibia and Tanzania to new settlements in East Asia and the Pacific and reveals the colonialist culture which permeated the German nation and its politics. Drawing on the wider history of European expansion and globalisation he highlights the close interactions and shared vocabularies of the colonial powers and emphasises Germany's major role in the period of high imperialism before 1914. Even beyond the official end of the empire in 1919 the quest for Lebensraum and the growth of the Nazi empire in Eastern Europe can be viewed within a framework of colonialism whose effects resonate to the present day.

    • One of the first books in English to offer an overview of the main features and themes of German colonial history - a growing field of interest
    • Discusses German colonialism in the wider context of European colonialism as a whole, providing new insights into the transnational interactions between the colonial powers
    • Redresses the balance of traditional colonial history, shifting attention towards what was once the third largest empire in the world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this brief but superb book, Conrad manages to couple acute analysis with all the essential information about Germany's colonial ventures in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. It is a model history, a tour de force."
    Eric D. Weitz, University of Minnesota

    "Sebastian Conrad’s German Colonialism is a smart, scintillating synthesis of a great deal of new scholarship; it places the German experience in a cultural and transnational frame, and shows why this episode was so important for German, European, and global history. By far the best brief treatment."
    Helmut W. Smith, Vanderbilt University

    "Sebastian Conrad has proven to be a master in the art of condensed and efficient writing. He skilfully analyses most aspects of German colonial history and provides an impressive bibliography as well. The result is a brilliant mixture of wide ranging narrative account with cultural historical methods and a timely discussion of the social and economic effects of the European Powers’ colonialist period."
    Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, University of Oxford

    "… this is a quick, approachable book that any student new to the topic should treat as a must-read. Essential."

    "Sebastian Conrad’s brief summary provides an excellent overview not only of the events and of the geographical and structural dimensions of Germany’s colonial experience but also of its historiography."
    Woodruff Smith, The Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107400474
    • length: 246 pages
    • dimensions: 213 x 137 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • contains: 52 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Colonialism before the colonial empire
    3. Pressure groups, motivations, attitudes
    4. The German colonial empire
    5. The colonial state
    6. Economy and work
    7. Colonial society
    8. Knowledge and colonialism
    9. The colonial metropole
    10. Colonialism in Europe
    11. German colonialism and its global contexts
    12. Memory
    13. Selected readings.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Age of Exploration and Imperialism
    • Imperialism in the 19th and 20th Centuries
    • Intro to Jewish and Holocaust Lit
    • Making of Modern Germany
  • Author

    Sebastian Conrad, Freie Universität Berlin
    Sebastian Conrad is Professor of Modern History at the Free University of Berlin. His previous books include Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany (Cambridge, 2010) and The Quest for the Lost Nation: Writing History in Germany and Japan in the American Century (2010).


    Sorcha O'Hagan

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