From the Berlin Museum to the Berlin Wall: Essays on the Cultural and Political History of Modern Germany

From the Berlin Museum to the Berlin Wall: Essays on the Cultural and Political History of Modern Germany

From the Berlin Museum to the Berlin Wall: Essays on the Cultural and Political History of Modern Germany

From the Berlin Museum to the Berlin Wall: Essays on the Cultural and Political History of Modern Germany

Synopsis

These essays by nine distinguished historians deal with prominent personalities in German history over the last two centuries; and they are dominated by two themes. First, they trace the growth and flowering of German culture in areas like print and architecture and painting and how this transformed relationships and procedures in everyday life. Second, they follow the rise of a political consciousness on the part of the Germans, and the consequences this consciousness had for nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In throwing light on the art of Schinkel and Liebermann, on the undertakings of Lichtwark, on the policies of Bismarck, and on the ordeals of Rathenau and Hitler and Beck and Faulhaber and Brandt, these nine essays offer a salutary guidepost to a past that is as rich as it is terrifying.

Excerpt

The contributors to this volume are all either colleagues or former students of Gordon A. Craig. Gordon Craig is one of the most distinguished historians of our time. His first book appeared in 1944. Since then his works have been widely read and debated. He has interpreted the modern history of Germany with such brilliant analytical penetration and facility of style that his contribution to this field has been unique. He has rightly been called "possibly the best known historian of Germany not only in this country but in Germany as well." Readers of this volume will therefore appreciate that its authors have labored under an abiding sense of humility. It is, however, much more than as a writer of history that we honor Gordon Craig. Most of us have been privileged to know him either as a teacher or as a friend; all have been personally aware of his influence on many other individual historians. It therefore moves us greatly that we can dedicate our essays as a token of esteem to one who has inspired us all.

Our essays are arranged in two categories of German histoty--culture and politics. The arrangement is not watertight. The two essays on culture have information on politics and many of those on politics touch on aspects of German culture. Each of the essays deals with what we may call great personalities--with statesmen and tyrants; outstanding inventors and technologists; and writers, artists, and musicians of the highest genius. This book seeks to bring them to the fore in the two hundred years of German history between 1780 and 1963.

There is a confession about the essays of this volume that its editor would do well to make at the outset. They are mostly about traditional history . . .

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