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Friendship without Borders: Women's Stories of Power, Politics, and Everyday Life across East and West Germany

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Friendship without Borders

Women's Stories of Power, Politics, and Everyday Life across East and West Germany

Phil Leask

338 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-655-5 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (March 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-656-2 eBook


Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®

Reviews

“The phrase ‘paradigm-altering’ is used in an inflationary way, but in this case of this book it seems appropriate. Friendship, Power, and Everyday Life will change the way we approach the social history of the twentieth century. In important respects, it alters our view of gender relations in the Third Reich, FRG and GDR.” • Mark Fenemore, Senior Lecturer in Modern European History

“Leask writes with great care for and due attention to the lives of the Schönebeck women. The reader is given a glimpse into their ‘unpolitical’ world, from the ins and outs of their daily lives—love, death, marriage, children—to their experiences living through some of the major ruptures of European history.” • Jane Freeland, German Historical Institute London

Description

Across half a century, from the division of Germany through the end of the Cold War, a cohort of thirty women from the small German town of Schönebeck in what used to be the GDR circulated among themselves a remarkable collective archive of their lives: a Rundbrief, or bulletin, containing hundreds of letters and photographs. This book draws on that unprecedented resource, complemented by a set of interviews, to paint a rich portrait of “ordinary” life in postwar Germany. It shows how these women—whether reflecting on their experiences as Nazi-era schoolchildren or witnessing reunification—were united by their complex interactions with official power and their commitment to sustaining a shared German identity as they made the most of their everyday lives in both the GDR and the Federal Republic.

Phil Leask is an honorary research associate in the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London. The author of numerous novels and short stories as well as scholarly reviews and articles, he has also contributed to several edited volumes: Becoming East German: Socialist Structures and Sensibilities after Hitler (ed. Mary Fulbrook and Andrew I. Port, Berghahn 2013); Ruptures in the Everyday: Views of Modern Germany from the Ground (ed. Andrew S. Bergerson and Leonard Schmieding, Berghahn 2017); and Psychodynamics of Writing (ed. Martin Weegmann, Routledge 2018.).

Subject: General History Sociology Gender Studies
Area: Germany



Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
The Schönebeck Women and Where They Went

Introduction

Chapter 1. From Schoolgirls to Young Women
Chapter 2. Grown Up: The Long 1950s
Chapter 3. No Longer Young:The 1960s
Chapter 4. Turning Fifty: The 1970s
Chapter 5.Toward Retirement: The 1980s
Chapter 6. Reunited? The 1990s and Beyond

Conclusion: The Schönebeck Women and Their Group

Bibliography
Index

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