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Sex, Freedom, and Power in Imperial Germany, 1880–1914


  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107672734

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About the Authors
  • This is a study of the intense, complex, and escalating debate over sexuality and sexual morality that roiled politics in Germany between 1880 and 1914. That debate was grounded in the rapid evolution and growing complexity of German society - the multiplication of cultural groupings, professional associations, and social movements; the emergence of new social groups, social milieus, and professions; the rapid development of the media and commercial entertainments; and so on. All parties involved understood it to be a debate over the most fundamental question of modern political life: how to secure both national power and individual freedom in the context of rapid social and cultural change.

    • Examines the histories of a full range of movements and organizations concerned with sexuality, morality and reproduction, in parallel and in dialogue with each other
    • Roots the debate over sexuality, in its entirety, in the social history of the period
    • A case study in modern politics, this book offers a new model of how modern societies work
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This volume provides a seamless account of primary voices grappling with sexuality and sexual reform in the Kaiserreich … Dickinson has provided a comprehensive, convincing, and beautifully written account of a most compelling and untidy debate.' Catherine L. Dollard, The American Historical Review

    'As a whole, this book makes a very valuable contribution not only to the history of sexuality and sex reform but also to the larger exploration of how public debates about individual morality and private reproductive and sexual decisions both drew from and informed discussions about the relationship between the individual and the state in Imperial Germany.' Annette F. Timm, Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107672734
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: sex, politics, and modernity I
    Part I. Moral Reform, 1880–1900:
    1. Christian men and morality
    2. 'A spirit of insubordination': popular culture, modernism, and morality
    3. The politics of morality, class, and gender
    4. Religion, women, and morality
    5. Isolation and impact
    Part II. Sexual Radicalism, 1900–14:
    6. Social democratic sexual ethics
    7. Homosexual rights
    8. Syphilis and salvation
    9. Sex reform
    10. Religion of love
    Part III. Conflict, 1908–14:
    11. Men, sex, and science
    12. Confrontations, 1908–14
    13. Conclusion: sex, politics, and modernity II.

  • Author

    Edward Ross Dickinson, University of California, Davis
    Edward Ross Dickinson is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He previously taught at Victoria University of Wellington from 1991 to 2000, and at the University of Cincinnati from 2002 to 2007. He is author of The Politics of German Child Welfare from the Empire to the Federal Republic (1996) and numerous articles in Central European History, the German Studies Review, European History Quarterly, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, Gender and History, History Workshop, the Journal of Modern History, German History and the Dance Chronicle.

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