Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940

Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940

Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940

Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940

Synopsis

Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940 reconstitutes the built environment of Berlin during the period of its classical modernity using over two hundred contemporary texts, virtually all of which are published in English translation for the first time. They are from the pens of those who created Berlin as one of the world's great cities and those who observed this process: architects, city planners, sociologists, political theorists, historians, cultural critics, novelists, essayists, and journalists. Divided into nineteen sections, each prefaced by an introductory essay, the account unfolds chronologically, with the particular structural concerns of the moment addressed in sequence--be they department stores in 1900, housing in the 1920s, or parade grounds in 1940. Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940 not only details the construction of Berlin, but explores homes and workplaces, public spaces, circulation, commerce, and leisure in the German metropolis as seen through the eyes of all social classes, from the humblest inhabitants of the city slums, to the great visionaries of the modern city, and the demented dictator resolved to remodel Berlin as Germania.

Excerpt

An enormous debt of gratitude is due to the translators whose expertise and dedication have produced so many elegant texts for this anthology. David Britt, very sadly, did not live to see its completion but lives on here and elsewhere in his wonderful translations. Michael Loughridge deserves special gratitude for taking on a particularly heavy burden of texts, often of a rather technical nature, while warm thanks and congratulations on their deft and thoughtful contributions are due to Fiona Elliott and Ishbel Flett. Finally, I am most grateful to Jane Yeomans for her translation of a rogue text in this company, written originally in French.

Translation is not an inexpensive business, nor is the compilation of a largescale anthology. For direct funding for translation I am most grateful for their substantial support both to the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and to the University of Edinburgh. A Senior Scholar grant awarded by the Getty Foundation to the editors of this volume for a different research project freed us from the obligations of university teaching and gave us the unstructured time essential for the collaborative gestation of this enterprise.

Two scholars of the German city were particularly helpful in recommending texts and in critiquing the overall shape of our selection. Edward Dimenberg was unstinting in his support of the project at every stage of its protracted development and played a decisive role in framing its final contours. Similarly, Francesca Rogier kindly shared with us her extensive knowledge of the planning debates in Berlin in the early years of the twentieth century. Expert advice on specific topics was generously given by Andrew Barker, Günter Berghaus, Helen Chambers, Jens Daehner, Hartmut Frank, Anton Kaes, Tim Kirk, Winfried Nerdinger, Bernd Nicolai, Anson Rabinbach, Wolfgang Sonne, and Volker Welter.

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