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Look Inside Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850

Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850


Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: December 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521123921

£ 36.99

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About the Authors
  • The age of revolution challenged the ancien régime's political world, introducing Europeans to fresh ideals of citizenship. German society was no less affected. Following the Napoleonic era, a political culture of partisan choice undermined the official restoration of absolutism. Bourgeois and popular classes took part in the political landscape of civil society, producing an impressive social base for participatory politics by the 1830s. Because of severe restrictions on speech and assembly, ordinary Germans formed political opinions in irregular ways. This book looks at the sites and forms of culture that facilitated political communication. With chapters devoted to reading, singing, public space, carnival, violence and religion, James Brophy argues that popular culture played a critical role in linking ordinary Rhinelanders to the public sphere. Moving beyond conventional explanations of opinion formation, he exposes the broad cultural infrastructure that enabled popular classes to join the political nation.

    • An innovative study of the politicisation of 'ordinary people' in western Germany in the nineteenth century
    • Poses important questions for the study of nineteenth-century European history
    • Will appeal to scholars of nineteenth-century German history, European history and social and cultural history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Reviews of the hardback: 'Throughout the book, the author demonstrates the interconnectedness of bourgeois and plebeian worlds in the formation of opinion. How did common people come by political information, learn to grasp post-revolutionary ideas and ideologies, and become part of civil society? What was the process by which they became citizens in the classical political sense? An impressive array of archival and published material from the formerly French Rhineland has been marshalled …' Journal of Central European History

    'This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in expressions of public culture in the decades leading up to the 1848 revolution. … It is a well presented book with illustrations and photographs and, most usefully for an international readership, all German quotations translated into English.' Song and Popular Culture

    '… impressively combines social and political theory with empirical research, ably weaving and organizing the results of years of work in the archival trenches into a well-crafted monograph … This is certainly an informative case study that should be read and studied by all scholars of modern Germany …' Journal of Modern History

    'The study, deeply embedded in the many appropriate strands of scholarship and painstaking archival research, is divided into six substantive and mesmerizing chapters. …The author rounds out the book with absorbing chapters on the roles of singing, carnival, tumult, and religion. …An eminently readable treat for most German and many European historians …' The Historian

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521123921
    • length: 384 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: popular culture and the public sphere
    1. Reading
    2. Singing
    3. Public space
    4. Carnival
    5. Tumult
    6. Religion
    Conclusion: joining the political nation

  • Author

    James M. Brophy, University of Delaware

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