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Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State

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Eric Weitz presents a social and political history of German communism from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1990. In the first book in English or in German to explore this entire period, Weitz describes the emergence of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) against the background of Imperial and Weimar Eric Weitz presents a social and political history of German communism from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1990. In the first book in English or in German to explore this entire period, Weitz describes the emergence of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) against the background of Imperial and Weimar Germany, and clearly explains how the legacy of these periods shaped the character of the GDR to the very end of its existence. In Weimar Germany, social democrats and Germany's old elites tried frantically to discipline a disordered society. Their strategies drove communists out of the workplace and into the streets, where the party gathered supporters in confrontations with the police, fascist organizations, and even socialists and employed workers. In the streets the party forged a politics of display and spectacle, which encouraged ideological pronouncements and harsh physical engagements rather than the mediation of practical political issues. Male physical prowess came to be venerated as the ultimate revolutionary quality. The KPD's gendered political culture then contributed to the intransigence that characterized the German Democratic Republic throughout its history. The communist leaders of the GDR remained imprisoned in policies forged in the Weimar Republic and became tragically removed from the desires and interests of their own populace. -- "Choice"


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Eric Weitz presents a social and political history of German communism from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1990. In the first book in English or in German to explore this entire period, Weitz describes the emergence of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) against the background of Imperial and Weimar Eric Weitz presents a social and political history of German communism from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1990. In the first book in English or in German to explore this entire period, Weitz describes the emergence of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) against the background of Imperial and Weimar Germany, and clearly explains how the legacy of these periods shaped the character of the GDR to the very end of its existence. In Weimar Germany, social democrats and Germany's old elites tried frantically to discipline a disordered society. Their strategies drove communists out of the workplace and into the streets, where the party gathered supporters in confrontations with the police, fascist organizations, and even socialists and employed workers. In the streets the party forged a politics of display and spectacle, which encouraged ideological pronouncements and harsh physical engagements rather than the mediation of practical political issues. Male physical prowess came to be venerated as the ultimate revolutionary quality. The KPD's gendered political culture then contributed to the intransigence that characterized the German Democratic Republic throughout its history. The communist leaders of the GDR remained imprisoned in policies forged in the Weimar Republic and became tragically removed from the desires and interests of their own populace. -- "Choice"

31 review for Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Weitz argues that the behaviour of the East German party, the SED, and it's inability to adapt in the Cold War era, was based in the harsh experiences of the earlier KPD in the Weimar era. Driven from the workplace, the KPD developed a hypee-masculine street identity, which praised fighting and strict hierarchy. This brutal aspect of the KPD was strengthened by horrors witnessed in the long years in the Soviet Union, which also taught the party the importance of absolute obiedieince. The street- Weitz argues that the behaviour of the East German party, the SED, and it's inability to adapt in the Cold War era, was based in the harsh experiences of the earlier KPD in the Weimar era. Driven from the workplace, the KPD developed a hypee-masculine street identity, which praised fighting and strict hierarchy. This brutal aspect of the KPD was strengthened by horrors witnessed in the long years in the Soviet Union, which also taught the party the importance of absolute obiedieince. The street-fighting aspect of the KPD stifled its ability to attract women and moderates, who were in any case unwelcome in its ranks. Overall, I found in this book a useful means of combining social and political history, altough I would have liked more chapters on the GDR than the two it was given.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moisés

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Gallo

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Pope-obeda

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris H

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danka

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rodney Ulyate

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eren Buğlalılar

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christina Browne

  18. 4 out of 5

    Guruguru

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fooby Doobie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wario Kleineweißen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Mengsu

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Niels

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Gude

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia Damphouse

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sparrow

  28. 5 out of 5

    G

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam Seitz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ozgur Sevgi

  31. 4 out of 5

    Erin

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