Elections, Mass Politics and Social Change in Modern Germany
This collection of essays presents the most recent work on Germany's stormy and problematic encounter with mass politics from the time of Bismarck to the Nazi era. The authors - sixteen scholars from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany - consider this problem from novel and sometimes surprising viewpoints. The history of elections, narrowly conceived, is abandoned in favor of a broader inquiry into roots of German political loyalties and their relationship to the historic cleavages of class, gender, language, religion, generation and locality. The essays not only present archival findings, but they also pursue more theoretical or conjectural paradigms, and raise new questions. Collectively, the authors explore the twin problems of electoral politics and social dislocation with language that is intentionally familiar, inventive, and allusive all at once - in a sense reflecting the Germans' own unfinished search for political consensus and social stability.