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Selling the Economic Miracle

Economic Reconstruction and Politics in West Germany, 1949-1957

Mark E. Spicka

304 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-223-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 2007)

Hb   Recommend to your Library

Spicka’s conclusions are insightful and plausible; his arguments are logical and stringent. His research foundation, comprising varied sources, is solid; he …supports his text with many instructive pictures… Also informative are the detailed and convincing explanations of how American campaigning techniques and public relations strategies were combined with older national German practices…Altogether, Spicka has produced a sound, informative study.  ·  Business History Review

“For anyone interested in West-German politics and campaign practices during the 1950s, this well-researched monograph will be required reading.”  ·  German Studies Review

"Spicka has mad a valuable contribution to our understanding of West Germany’s first decade."  ·  American Historical Review

Through an examination of election campaign propaganda and various public relations campaigns, reflecting new electioneering techniques borrowed from the United States, this work explores how conservative political and economic groups sought to construct and sell a political meaning of the Social Market Economy and the Economic Miracle in West Germany during the 1950s.The political meaning of economics contributed to conservative electoral success, constructed a new belief in the free market economy within West German society, and provided legitimacy and political stability for the new Federal Republic of Germany.

Mark E. Spicka is Associate Professor of History at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1996/1997.

Series: Volume 18, Monographs in German History
Subject: Economic History Postwar History
Area: Germany

LC: HC286.5 .S7223 2007

BL: YC.2008.a.9139

BISAC: HIS037070 HISTORY/Modern/20th Century; BUS023000 BUSINESS & ECONOMICS/Economic History

BIC: HBLW3 Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000; KCZ Economic history


List of Illustrations
List of Acronyms


Chapter 1. Origins of the Social Market Economy and the Currency Reform of 1948
Chapter 2. Market or Planned? The 1949 Bundestag Election
Chapter 3. The Korean Crisis, the Social Market Economy, and Public Opinion
Chapter 4. Public Relations for the Social Market Economy: Die Waage
Chapter 5. Creating a CDU/CSU Public Relations Machine: The 1953 Bundestag Election
Chapter 6. The Triumph of the Economic Miracle: The CDU/CSU and the 1957 Bundestag Election



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