Non-Fiction Books:

The Bismarck Myth

Weimar Germany and the Legacy of the Iron Chancellor

Format

Hardback

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The Bismarck Myth by Robert Gerwarth
$423.99
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Description

Few statesmen in history have inspired the imagination of generations of Germans more than the founder of the Kaiserreich, Otto von Bismarck. The archetype of charismatic leadership, the Iron Chancellor maintained his pre-eminent position in the pantheon of Germany's political iconography for much of the twentieth century. Based on a large selection of primary sources, this book provides an insightful analysis of the Bismarck myth's profound impact on Germany's political culture. In particular, it investigates the ways in which that myth was used to undermine parliamentary democracy in Germany after the Great War, paving the way for its replacement by authoritarian rule under an allegedly 'Bismarckian' charismatic leader, Adolf Hitler. As one of the most powerful weapons of nationalist agitation against the Weimar Republic, the Bismarck myth was never contested. The nationalists' ideologically charged interpretation of Bismarck as the father of the German nation-state and model for future political decision-making clashed with rivalling - and thoroughly critical - democratic and communist perceptions of the Iron Chancellor. The quarrel over Bismarck's legacy demonstrates how the clash of ideologies, particularly between 1918 and 1933, resulted in a highly political fight for the 'correct' and universal interpretation of the German past. Essential reading for anyone interested in modern German history, this book sheds new light on the Weimar Republic's struggle for survival and the reasons for its failure.

Author Biography

Robert Gerwarth was educated at the Humboldt University, Berlin and University College, Oxford. He is currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Release date NZ
August 1st, 2005
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
11 halftones
Imprint
Clarendon Press
Pages
228
Dimensions
162x242x18
ISBN-13
9780199281848
Product ID
1860123

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