The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and Mobilization in Germany

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Cambridge University Press, May 4, 2000 - History
This book, first published in 2000, is a systematic analysis of German public opinion at the outbreak of the Great War and the first treatment of the myth of the 'spirit of 1914', which stated that in August 1914 all Germans felt 'war enthusiasm' and that this enthusiasm constituted a critical moment in which German society was transformed. Jeffrey Verhey's powerful study demonstrates that the myth was historically inaccurate. Although intellectuals and much of the upper class were enthusiastic, the emotions and opinions of most of the population were far more complex and contradictory. The book further examines the development of the myth in newspapers, politics and propaganda, and the propagation and appropriation of this myth after the war. His innovative analysis sheds light on German experience of the Great War and on the role of political myths in modern German political culture.
 

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Contents

The myth of the spirit of 1914
1
the evidence of the crowds
12
2 The response to the outbreak of the war
58
3 The August experiences
72
4 The spirit of 1914 in the immediate interpretations of the meaning of the war
115
5 The governments myth of the spirit of 1914
136
6 The spirit of 1914 in the discourse of the political parties
156
7 The myth of the spirit of 1914 in German propaganda 19161918
186
8 The spirit of 1914 19191945
206
The myth of the spirit of 1914 in German political culture 19141945
231
Select bibliography
239
Index
262
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