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Anatomy of a Dictatorship analyses the emergence in the 1980s of oppositional cultures in the communist German Democratic Republic. This seemingly impregnable and stable dictatorship collapsed with startling speed in 1989.
A new edition of Mary Fulbrook's history of Germany from the middle ages to today.
This book provides a clear and informative guide to the twists and turns of German history from the early middle ages to the present day. The multi-faceted, problematic history of the German lands has provided a wide range of debates and differences of interpretation. Mary Fulbrook provides a crisp synthesis of a vast array of historical material, and explores the interrelationships between social, political and cultural factors in the light of scholarly controversies. First published in 1990, A Concise History of Germany appeared in an updated edition in 1992, and in a second edition in 2004. It is the only single-volume history of Germany in English which offers a broad, general coverage. It has become standard reading for all students of German, European studies and history, and is a useful guide to general readers, members of the business community and travellers to Germany.
What was life really like for East Germans, effectively imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain? The headline stories of Cold War spies and surveillance by the secret police, of political repression and corruption, do not tell the whole story. After the unification of Germany in 1990 many East Germans remembered their lives as interesting, varied, and full of educational, career, and leisure opportunities: in many ways "perfectly ordinary lives. "Using the rich resources of the newly-opened GDR archives, Mary Fulbrook investigates these conflicting narratives. She explores the transformation of East German society from the ruins of Hitler's Third Reich to a modernizing industrial state. She examines changing conceptions of normality within an authoritarian political system, and provides extraordinary insights into the ways in which individuals perceived their rights and actively sought to shape their own lives. Replacing the simplistic black-and-white concept of "totalitarianism" by the notion of a "participatory dictatorship," this book seeks to reinstate the East German people as actors in their own history.
The communist German Democratic Republic, founded in 1949 in the Soviet-occupied zone of post-war Germany is, for many people, epitomized by the Berlin Wall; Soviet tanks and surveillance by the secret security police, the Stasi, appear to be central. But is this really all there is to the GDR¹s history? How did people come to terms with their situation and make new lives behind the Wall? When the social history of the GDR in the 1960s and 1970s is explored, new patterns become evident. A fragile stability emerged in a period characterized by 'consumer socialism', international recognition and détente. Growing participation in the micro-structures of power, and conformity to the unwritten rules of an increasingly predictable system, suggest increasing accommodation to dominant norms and conceptions of socialist 'normality'. By exploring the ways in which lower-level functionaries and people at the grass roots contributed to the formation and transformation of the GDR from industry and agriculture, through popular sport and cultural life, to the passage of generations and varieties of social experience the contributors collectively develop a more complex approach to the history of East Germany.
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