The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949-1968

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2001 - History - 498 pages
0 Reviews

Stereotypical descriptions showcase West Germany as an "economic miracle" or cast it in the narrow terms of Cold War politics. Such depictions neglect how material hardship preceded success and how a fascist past and communist sibling complicated the country's image as a bastion of democracy. Even more disappointing, they brush over a rich and variegated cultural history. That history is told here by leading scholars of German history, literature, and film in what is destined to become the volume on postwar West German culture and society.


In it, we read about the lives of real people--from German children fathered by black Occupation soldiers to communist activists, from surviving Jews to Turkish "guest" workers, from young hoodlums to middle-class mothers. We learn how they experienced and represented the institutions and social forces that shaped their lives and defined the wider culture. We see how two generations of West Germans came to terms not only with war guilt, division from East Germany, and the Angst of nuclear threat, but also with changing gender relations, the Americanization of popular culture, and the rise of conspicuous consumption. Individually, these essays peer into fascinating, overlooked corners of German life. Together, they tell what it really meant to live in West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s.


In addition to the editor, the contributors are Volker R. Berghahn, Frank Biess, Heide Fehrenbach, Michael Geyer, Elizabeth Heineman, Ulrich Herbert, Maria Höhn, Karin Hunn, Kaspar Maase, Richard McCormick, Robert G. Moeller, Lutz Niethammer, Uta G. Poiger, Diethelm Prowe, Frank Stern, Arnold Sywottek, Frank Trommler, Eric D. Weitz, Juliane Wetzel, and Dorothee Wierling.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Hour of the Woman Memories of Germanys Crisis Years and West German National Identity
21
Survivors of Totalitarianism Returning POWs and the Reconstruction of Masculine Citizenship in West Germany 19451955
57
Remembering the War in a Nation of Victims West German Pasts in the 1950s
83
Mission to Happiness The Cohort of 1949 and the Making of East and West Germans
110
STIGMA OTHERS IN THE SHAPING OF WEST GERMANY
127
Introduction
129
An Uneasy Existence Jewish Survivors in Germany after 1945
131
Heimat in Turmoil AfricanAmerican GIs in 1950s West Germany
145
THE EMERGENCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY MODERNITYS CLAIMS AND LIMITS
321
Introduction
323
Recasting Bourgeois Germany
326
From Starvation to Excess? Trends in the Consumer Society from the 1940s to the 1970s
341
Normalization as Project Some Thoughts on Gender Relations in West Germany during the 1950s
359
Cold War Angst The Case of WestGerman Opposition to Rearmament and Nuclear Weapons
376
THE AMBIGUITY OF AMERICAN INFLUENCES POPULAR CULTURE AND THE BREAKING OF HIGH CULTURES HEGEMONY
409
Introduction
411

Of German Mothers and Negermischlingskinder Race Sex and the Postwar Nation
164
Guest Workers and Policy on Guest Workers in the Federal Republic From the Beginning of Recruitment in 1955 until its Halt in 1973
187
The EverPresent Other Communism in the Making of West Germany
219
THE PRESENCE OF THE ABSENT
233
Introduction
235
Normalization in the West Traces of Memory Leading Back into the 1950s
237
Film in the 1950s Passing Images of Guilt and Responsibility
266
Memory and Commerce Gender and Restoration Wolfgang Staudtes Roses for the State Prosecuter 1959 and West German Film in the 1950s
281
Creating a Cocoon of Public Acquiescence The AuthorReader Relationship in Postwar German Literature
301
A New Western Hero? Reconstructing German Masculinity in the 1950s
412
Establishing Cultural Democracy Youth Americanization and the Irresistible Rise of Popular Culture
428
The Miracle of the PoliticalCulture Shift Democratization Between Americanization and Conservative Reintegration
451
Rebels in Search of a Cause
459
SELECTED READINGS
469
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
479
INDEX
487
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information