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Germany: A Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500-2000

Helmut Walser Smith



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05 May 2020
History; General & world history; European history; Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
An epic in the tradition of Jonathan Spence's The Search for Modern China and Jill Lepore's These Truths, Helmut Walser Smith's sterling work promises to redefine our perception of German history. For nearly a century, conventional historians have depicted Germany as a rabidly nationalist land, born in a sea of aggression, its nineteenth-century ascent accompanied by militarism and brought to a murderous apex in the Third Reich. Not so, asserts Smith, who, beginning in 1500, reveals early and even surprisingly pacific conceptions of the nation, and allows us to see the Nazis' extreme form of nationalism not as the dark culmination point of German history, but rather as an essential episode in Germany's centuries-long history of continually conceiving the nation in radically different ways. Whether chronicling the Thirty Years War, the German Enlightenment of Goethe and Schiller, the Weimar Republic, the Holocaust, or the era of Angela Merkel, Smith has created a new standard for the twenty-first-century.
By:   Helmut Walser Smith
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   977g
ISBN:   9780871404664
ISBN 10:   0871404664
Pages:   608
Publication Date:   05 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Helmut Walser Smith is the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the author of the acclaimed The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Reviews for Germany: A Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500-2000

Helmut Walser Smith's Germany is an encompassing history of German efforts to define their nation in all its stunning contradictions through five centuries - pastoral, productive, exalted, for a time murderous, for longer civic, always complex. -- Charles Maier, Harvard University Drawing on cartography, literature, travel narratives, and the history of politics, warfare, science, religion, and art, Helmut Walser Smith constructs a magisterial account of the German nation as a history of constant transformation and reinvention. Beautifully written and richly textured, it is essential reading for everyone interested in Germany's past, present, and future. -- Sir Christopher Clark, University of Cambridge

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