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This book explains how and why Berlin became the symbolic capital of the Cold War. Paul Steege anchors his account of this emerging global conflict in the terrain of a city literally shattered by World War II. By focusing on what happened 'on the ground' in Berlin, the book shows how ordinary people mattered for the development of a global Cold War that dominated world affairs for four decades and offers an interpretive framework with which to reevaluate international conflict in the present.Read more
- Describes everyday life in Berlin after World War II
- Provides an inside-out history of the Cold War told from within the ruins of post-World War II Berlin
- Gives a historical account of how and why the Cold War began in Berlin
Reviews & endorsements
"In this ambitiously conceived and passionately written account of Berlin at the start of the Cold War, Paul Steege provides compelling vindication for the claims of Alltagsgeschichte or the history of everyday life. In addition to the Cold War itself, he illuminates many vital aspects of German history immediately after, including the social history of urban survival, the histories of East German Communism and West German Social Democracy, and the overall dynamics of political reconstruction. He is to be applauded for a brave and original attempt at re-conceptualizing the relationship between grand politics and ordinary experience."
-Geoffrey Eley, University of MichiganSee more reviews
"While Steege may not have entirely found the real Cold War in the streets of Berlin, he has certainly found part of it there. Quite literally, human agency was all over this place, in its cellars and in its skies, as well as in distant capitals. This highly stimulating and original book will spark further reflection on how to assess the balance, and its significance."
-Noel D. Cary, Central European History
"This well-written book uses an increasingly popular historical approach that moves beyond Alltagsgeschichte to blend bottom-up with top-down history. Paul Steege set out to capture the reality of day-to-day life as Berliners would have experienced it during the dramatic years from the first local cold war clashes to the end of the Berlin Blockade. [...]this book will be welcomed as a nicely integrated, well-presented overall story, illustrated with over a dozen photographs."
-Diethelm Prowe, Carleton College, The International History Review
"Steege has single-handedly re-conceptualised the origins of the Cold War and may well have broken historians out of the revisionist/post-revisionist intellectual framework that still informs much of Cold War history. A phrase that is used far too frequently is, in this instance, no exaggeration: This is a book that must be read." -Gary Bruce, English Historical Review
"By focusing on the local origins of a global conflict, this book offers an alternative interpretation of the unfolding of the Cold War. It should be essential reading for anybody interested in the everyday social realities of the Cold War." -Frank Biess, American Historical Review
"...highly stimulating and original..." -Noel D. Cary, Central European History
"The book excels in its attention to detail." -Petra Goedde, Diplomatic History
"...an impressive work..." -Jens Gieseke, H-German
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- Date Published: October 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521745178
- length: 374 pages
- dimensions: 226 x 150 x 25 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Postwar Berlin: the continuities of scarcity
2. October 1946: rolling back Soviet power
3. June 1947: Berlin politics in the shadow of the black market
4. March 1948: Berlin and the struggle for the Soviet Zone
5. August 1948: battle lines on the Potsdamer Platz
6. June 1949: ending the blockade.
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