Constructing Socialism: Technology and Change in East Germany 1945-1990

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000 - Technology & Engineering - 260 pages
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Trabant cars carried many East Germans westward after the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. The car's 1950s design, obvious environmental incorrectness and all-plastic body became a symbol of the technological limitations of East German communism. But as Raymond G. Stokes points out in this text, eastern Germany in 1945 was one of the most highly developed, technologically sophisticated industrial areas in the world. Despite the evident failings of its technology by the late 1980s, the German Democratic Republic maintained advanced technological capability in selected areas. If the system itself was fundamentally flawed, what explains successes under the very same system? Why could the successes not be repeated in other areas? And if examples of success are so isolated, how did East Germany last as long as it did?

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About the author (2000)

Raymond G. Stokes is Professor of Business History at the University of Glasgow and Director of the Centre for Business History in Scotland.

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