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Founding Weimar
Violence and the German Revolution of 1918–1919


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107535527

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About the Authors
  • The German Revolution of 1918–1919 was a transformative moment in modern European history. It was both the end of the German Empire and the First World War, as well as the birth of the Weimar Republic, the short-lived democracy that preceded the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship. A time of great political drama, the Revolution saw unprecedented levels of mass mobilisation and political violence, including the 'Spartacist Uprising' of January 1919, the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, and the violent suppression of strikes and the Munich Councils' Republic. Drawing upon the historiography of the French Revolution, Founding Weimar is the first study to place crowds and the politics of the streets at the heart of the Revolution's history. Carefully argued and meticulously researched, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in the relationship between violence, revolution, and state formation, as well as in the history of modern Germany.

    • Shows how the Revolution's political cultures were defined by violence, rumours, and fears, including fears that grew out of contemporary Germans' knowledge of the shattering of empires across Central and Eastern Europe and the ongoing Russian Civil War
    • Provides new knowledge and escapes from a local or parochial view of German history
    • Offers a rich narrative that brings the reader into the imaginative worlds that defined contemporary experiences of the Revolution
    • Highlights the extreme and brutal nature of individual acts of violence and violent atrocity during the Revolution, posing new questions about support for extreme violence on the part of the state at the foundation of the Weimar Republic
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A book that revolutionizes our understanding of the German Revolution of 1918-19 and the long term history and long term origins of Nazism. A major achievement.' Richard Evans, University of Cambridge

    'Based on meticulous archival research and written by one of the most promising young historians of modern Germany, Founding Weimar is an important scholarly corrective to our understanding of the difficult birth of German democracy after the First World War. Its emphasis on violence and rumours challenges the traditional high-politics focus and opens up new questions about German history in the fateful first half of the twentieth century.' Robert Gerwarth, University College Dublin

    'A remarkable new account of the German Revolution of 1918–1919 … Jones manages to mix military and political history together with social and cultural history in a book that merits a wide readership.' Peter C. Caldwell, Central European History

    'A major contribution to historiography … there are reasons to believe that it will be regarded as a turning point in the way in which historians explain post First World War revolutionary processes and political violence on the European continent … Original and well written, Founding Weimar is an innovative, intriguing, and persuasive analysis of violence during the German revolution of 1918–19. Mark Jones must be congratulated on his new and provocative contribution to the topic.' Ángel Alcalde, Reviews in History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107535527
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of maps
    1. La grande peur of November 1918
    2. Karl Liebknecht and the Spartacist threat
    3. Terror and order
    4. The edge of the abyss
    5. The January uprising
    6. Atrocities and remobilisation
    7. Weimar's order to execute
    8. Death in Munich

  • Author

    Mark Jones, University College Dublin
    Mark Jones is a historian of modern Europe. He is currently an Irish Research Council Marie Curie Fellow at University College Dublin and the Free University of Berlin. He was educated at the European University Institute, the University of Cambridge, the University of Tübingen, and Trinity College Dublin, where he graduated with a first class honours degree in history and political science, placed first in his class.

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