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Civil Society and Memory in Postwar Germany

$99.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107177468

$ 99.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Blending history and social science, this book tracks the role of social movements in shaping German public memory and values since 1945. Drawn from extensive original research, it offers a fresh perspective on the evolution of German democracy through civic confrontation with the violence of its past. Told through the stories of memory activists, the study upends some of the conventional wisdom about modern German political history. An analysis of the decades-long struggle over memory and democracy shows how grassroots actors challenged and then took over public institutions of memorialization. In the process, confrontation of the Holocaust has been pushed to the centre of political culture. In unified Germany, memory politics have shifted again, as activists from East Germany have brought attention to the crimes of the East German state. This book delivers a novel and important contribution to scholarship about postwar Germany and the wider study of memory politics.

    • An innovative and accessible perspective on the history of German postwar memory politics, that will appeal to specialists and readers who are new to the subject
    • A thorough analysis of the interactions between civil society and state in memory politics is combined with compelling stories of memory activism
    • Presents new arguments and concepts about the interpretation of memory, which will appeal to those interested in the wider study of memory politics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance praise: ‘Emphasizing the role of memory activists in civil society - and their entanglement with state institutions and actors - Jenny Wüstenberg makes a compelling case for the force of contentious memories in reshaping the landscape of democratic remembrance. Her bottom-up approach brings memory agency to the fore and provides a necessary new perspective on a history we thought we already knew: the development of the public memory of National Socialism, the Holocaust, and communist repression in the postwar Federal Republic of Germany. Civil Society and Memory in Postwar Germany is important reading for all scholars in memory studies, Holocaust studies, and German studies.' Michael Rothberg, author of Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization

    Advance praise: 'Where does memory come from, and where does it take place? In contrast to conventional approaches that emphasize either the state as a producer of memory or the private sphere as the location of non-state memory, Jenny Wüstenberg’s important book highlights the neglected role of memory activists. This book is a truly significant contribution to the literature, both about Germany and about memory politics, providing nuanced interpretations and novel theoretical insights. A major accomplishment!' Jeffrey Olick, University of Virginia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107177468
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 36 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Abbreviations and German terms
    1. Civil society activism, memory politics and democracy
    2. Memorial politics and civil society since 1945
    3. Building negative memory: civic initiatives for memorials to Nazi terror
    4. Dig where you stand: the History Movement and grassroots memorialization
    5. Memorial aesthetics and the memory movements of the 1980s
    6. A part of history that continues to smolder: remembering East Germany from below
    7. Hybrid memorial institutions and democratic memory
    Interviews
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Jenny Wüstenberg, York University, Toronto
    Jenny Wüstenberg is DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto. She has been active in developing the field of memory studies, most notably as co-chair of the Research Network on Transnational Memory and Identity in the Council for European Studies and as co-founder of the Memory Studies Association.

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