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A Short History of the Weimar Republic

A Short History of the Weimar Republic
Colin Storer

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It is impossible to understand the history of modern Europe without some knowledge of the Weimar Republic. The brief fourteen-year period of democracy was marked by unstable government, economic crisis and the rise of extremist political movements. Yet at the same time a vibrant cultural scene flourished, which continues to influence the international art world, whether indirectly via the enduring popularity of Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Novels and Bob Fosse's Cabaret, or in more concrete ways through the aesthetics of Expressionism and the Bauhaus movement. Historians have seen the Weimar Republic as a democratic experiment set between the authoritarian monarchism of the Wilhelmine Empire and the tyranny of the Third Reich, but contemporaries were not so pessimistic. While some disparaged the new democratic system and fulminated against Weimar cosmopolitanism and 'decadence', most praised attempts to bring social improvement and the emancipation of women, or celebrated the exciting forays into the avant-garde of Weimar's artistic elite.

In the fields of visual art, literature, theatre, cinema, music and architecture - not to mention chemistry, physics and psychology - Germany became a world leader during the 1920s, while her perilous political and economic position ensured that no US or European statesman could afford to ignore her. Weimar Germany was thus much more than merely a cul-de-sac off Germany's difficult 'special path' to modernity, it was a key period in German and European history whose influence continues to be felt. Incorporating original research and a synthesis of the existing historiography, this book will provide students and a general readership with a clear and concise introduction to the history of the first German Republic. It highlights key concepts and themes in the study of German history in general and the Weimar Republic in particular.

Author Info

Colin Storer is Lecturer in History at the University of Nottingham. He holds a PhD from University of Nottingham and previously taught at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Britain and the Weimar Republic: The History of a Cultural Relationship (I.B.Tauris).


‘Colin Storer’s sympathetic new history of the Weimar Republic provides an up-to-date, balanced and reliable overview of the troubled years 1919-1933. He underlines the first German Republic’s achievements without glossing over its defects, presenting a compelling picture of a society in turmoil. Storer’s book is a perfect invitation to explore these highly ambivalent times.’
Daniel Siemens, University College London, author of The Making of a Nazi Hero: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel

‘Colin Storer accomplishes the almost impossible task of presenting the broader chronology of Weimar Germany with enough meaningful detail to make it a useful survey with intellectual depth, but without being lost in minutiae. This is a bravura performance.’
Richard Bodek, Professor of History, College of Charleston

‘A wonderfully readable and analytically superb introduction to the history of the Weimar Republic, which was, as Colin Storer demonstrates tremendously well, very different indeed from what historians have imagined it to be for the last half century.’
Thomas Weber, Reader in History, University of Aberdeen and Fritz Thyssen Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

'An exciting up-do-date account that argues the case for a positive reinterpretation of Weimar... this is a successful and well-grounded account of the best and worst features of democratic politics.'
Jeremy Black, The Historical Association

‘Storer performs an admirable job relating the most pertinent facts about the exciting and turbulent history of the Weimar Republic. If that were all he achieved, this book would still be of value. However, this is much more than a short history of Weimar Germany. this is a remarkable book that deserves a wide readership among all students of twentieth-century European history’
William A. Pelz, European History Quarterly


More Than a Cabaret Read

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: I.B. Tauris Short Histories

ISBN: 9781780761763
Publication Date: 30 Apr 2013
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 10 bw integrated illustrations, 2 maps

ISBN: 9781780761756
Publication Date: 30 Apr 2013
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 10-20 bw integrated illustrations, 2 maps

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