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The Search for Normality

National Identity and Historical Consciousness in Germany Since 1800

Stefan Berger

336 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-863-8 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 1997)

ISBN  978-1-57181-620-7 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (September 2003)

eISBN 978-1-78238-711-4 eBook


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"This book presents an essential segment of contemporary history that so far has not been explored systematically ... [It is] based on a wide variety of sources and highly informative ... The exhaustive treatment results in a far more differentiated picture than has predominated so far."   · IWK

"[The author] has succeeded in presenting a differentiated, rigorously argued and convincing study of the debates that have taken place in the academic and media worlds."   · Archiv für Sozialgeschichte

"[The author's] lucid, well structured presentation offers non-German readers in particular a scholarly overview that still preserves the nuances of the subject."  · German Studies Review

"Curious observers of Germany's never-ending quarrel with its past will find much to ponder in Berger's assessments."  · Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"The author undoubtedly deserves a great deal of recognition ... The way in which he grasps all the diverse facets of his subject, yet pares his account down to the bare minimum is impressive."  · Bulletin of the German Historical Institute London

"There is much useful material here for a book on the role of historians and historical debates on the political culture of the Federal Republic during the years immediately before and after unification ... [it is] of great value."   · Journal of Central European History

"[The book] registers some important trends in recent historical debate, and does so with energy and insight."   · Times Literary Supplement

"A detailed and valuable research on an impressive range of recent historical writing."   · Jewish Chronicle

"... an invaluable guide to the political and ideological baggage carried by the standard works encountered by students on the library shelves."   · Debatte. Review of Contemporary German Affairs

The Historikerstreit of the 1980s has ended inconclusively amidst heated debates on the nature and course of German national history. The author follows the debates beyond the unexpected reunification of the country in 1990 and analyzes the most recent trends in German historiography. Reunification, he observes, has brought in its wake an urgent search for the "normality" of the nation state. For anyone interested in the development of the national master narrative in more recent German historiography, this book will provide an essential guide through the multitude of historical debates surrounding the nation state.

Stefan Berger is Professor of Modern German and Comparative European History at the University of Manchester, where he is also Director of the Jean-Monnet-Centre of Excellence. Between 2003 and 2008 he directed the European Science Foundation Programme on 'Representations of the Past. The Writing of National Histories in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe (NHIST) He has published widely in the areas of historiography, national identity and labour history.

Subject: General History
Area: Germany

LC: DD204 .B475 1997

BL: YC.1997.a.3714

BISAC: HIS014000 HISTORY/Europe/Germany

BIC: HBJD European history




Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations

Foreword: ‘The Search For Normality’ Six Years Later: History Writing and National Identity in Germany at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Chapter 1. Historiography and Nation-Building: Some Preliminary Remarks

PART I: NATIONAL IDENTITY AND HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN GERMANY 1800-1989

Chapter 2. The National Tradition in German Historiography, 1800-1960
Chapter 3. The Impact of Fritz Fischer
Chapter 4. Decades of Postnationalism? German Historiography from the 1960s to the 1980s

PART II: THE SEARCH FOR NORMALITY AFTER 1990

Chapter 5. Imperial Germany and the Sonderweg Revisited
Chapter 6. Germany’s Darkest Years Revisited
Chapter 7. ‘The Second German Dictatorship’
Chapter 8. The Old Federal Republic as the New Sonderweg
Chapter 9. The National Revival in German Historiography
Chapter 10. Reactions of British and American Historians to Changes in German Historiography after Reunification
Chapter 11. Conclusion

Biographical Appendix
Select Bibliography
Index

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