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Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945-90 - New Studies in European History (Hardback)
  • Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945-90 - New Studies in European History (Hardback)
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Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945-90 - New Studies in European History (Hardback)

(author)
£77.00
Hardback 362 Pages / Published: 05/11/2009
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Twenty years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, historians still struggle to explain how an apparently stable state imploded with such vehemence. This book shows how 'national' identity was invented in the GDR and how citizens engaged with it. Jan Palmowski argues that it was hard for individuals to identify with the GDR amid the threat of Stasi informants and with the accelerating urban and environmental decay of the 1970s and 1980s. Since socialism contradicted its own ideals of community, identity and environmental care, citizens developed rival meanings of nationhood and identities and learned to mask their growing distance from socialism beneath regular public assertions of socialist belonging. This stabilized the party's rule until 1989. However, when the revolution came, the alternative identifications citizens had developed for decades allowed them to abandon their 'nation', the GDR, with remarkable ease.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521111775
Number of pages: 362
Weight: 650 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review of the hardback: 'East Germany's selective use of homeland culture in its reconstruction is illuminating.' Gareth Dale, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Review of the hardback: 'This remarkable study deepens our understanding of how power functioned in the SED state and proves the explanatory value not just of its formal mechanisms of power, but also its cultural history. Not least owing to its comprehensive temporal range - from 1945 to 1990 - this study will provide a fruitful foundation for further work. The book is, moreover, written in the most lively prose.' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Review of the hardback: 'Palmowski has brilliantly captured the complexities of the GDR, including the juxtaposition of the combination of dictatorship and control of language against social development and subversion of language. He has written a remarkable book indeed.' Peter C. Caldwell, H-Net Reviews

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