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Contesting the German Empire 1871 - 1918

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2996-1
248 pages
January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Contesting the German Empire 1871 - 1918 (1405129964) cover image
This volume provides an up-to-date and accessible guide to the diversity of current thinking on Imperial Germany.
  • Offers a historiographical overview, spanning more than a century of works on the German Empire
  • Guides readers through the main approaches, from ‘personalist’ to ‘structuralist’ and ‘post-structuralist’
  • Presents varying perspectives on gender, cultural history, foreign relations, colonialism, and war
  • Explores the controversial historical reputations of Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II
  • Reflects the wide range of opinions on Imperial Germany held by historians today
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Acknowledgements.

Introduction.

1 The German Empire and its historians.

2 Great Men? Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II.

3 ‘Democracy in the undemocratic state?’.

4 ‘Familiar features in an unfamiliar light’ Social and cultural perspectives.

5 The Kaiserreich transnational? Germany, colonialism, and the First World War.

Epilogue: Remembering Imperial German.

Bibliography.

Index

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Matthew Jefferies is Senior Lecturer in German History at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Imperial Culture in Germany, 1871-1918 (2003) and Politics and Culture in Wilhelmine Germany (1995).
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  • Offers a historiographical overview, spanning more than a century of works on the German Empire
  • Guides readers through the main approaches, from ‘personalist’ to ‘structuralist’ and ‘post-structuralist’
  • Presents varying perspectives on gender, cultural history, foreign relations, colonialism, and war
  • Explores the controversial historical reputations of Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II
  • Reflects the wide range of opinions on Imperial Germany held by historians today
See More
"Excellently suited for undergraduates developing a critical approach to historiography." (European History Quarterly, Spring 2010)

"The great merit of the volume is thus to analyze the playing out, if not the full resolution, of these controversies, during the era that has followed German reunification." (English Historical Review, June 2009)

"Jefferies has produced a balanced, up-to-date book which will be an invaluable study aid for students and academics alike. ... A welcome arrival in so densely researched a field." (History, April 2009)

"In the past two decades, American, British and German historians have offered fundamentally new perspectives on the trajectory of Imperial Germany, often informed by recent approaches in social and cultural history. What was still needed, therefore, was a companion to the findings of this burgeoning and often controversial literature, a companion that is now available with this very informative and always reliable book by Matthew Jefferies."(History Today)

"A very readable and balanced account of the historiography of the German Empire. He focuses on the historical social science school and its main competitors, from neoconservatism through British neo-Marxism to a variety of cultural approaches." (CHOICE)

"An intelligent and very well informed discussion of the wide-ranging and sometimes vituperative historiography of Imperial Germany. Historians will appreciate the many balanced judgements and valuable reflections."
–Alastair Thompson, Durham University

"This is an excellent text. The style is clear and accessible; the exposition zips along while paying careful attention to the historiographical and interpretive problems and controversies the book is conceived to address. It is just the kind of critical introduction the bright and interested undergraduate needs."
–Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

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