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The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Wurttemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871-1918 Paperback – October 27, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0807846650 ISBN-10: 0807846651

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (October 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807846651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807846650
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

ÝA political sociology that confirms the positive contributions that still can be made by the best in the academy."European Legacy"

Book Description

"[An] excellent study. . . . Such a study requires innovative thinking as well as recourse to and creative use of unusual sources so as to get at material that will reconstruct a mentality of a given era. And so Confino did all these things, and he did them well. . . . Confino's study is not merely history. It is more than history. It is a sort of political sociology that confirms the positive contributions that still can be made by the best in the academy."--European Legacy

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Robin on October 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
The popular historical conception is that the unification of Germany (1871) laid the framework for a nationalism that metastasized, through wartime defeats and economic humiliations, into Nazism. This is misguided, says Prof. Confino in his insightful volume chronicling the evolution of national identity in Germany.

Confino focuses his volume in the southwestern German region of Wurttemberg, where two celebrations--one commemorating military triumphs, the other a feature of provincial history--illustrate the differing forms of nationalism taking place in the young country. First he recounts the celebration of Sedan Day, when Prussian troops captured Napoleon III, emperor of France, and imprisoned him during the Franco-Prussian War. Then he describes the celebration of so-called Heimat memory in Wurttemberg, which is endemic to the province, and how its practice in the province fostered nationalism throughout the new country. Wurttemberg is a case study for German nationalism.

One interesting aside is that the city of Berlin was disinterested in commemorating the new nation, creating a vacuum for national pride whose roots were being sowed out in the provinces. Members of professional classes filled the hole.

Sedan Day failed as a foundation for national pride, because the event was celebrated chiefly as a political success rather than fitting the occasion within the centuries-long narrative of Germanic people. Since it was an individual event memories of it would dissipate over time, which is what happened in the 1890s.

What was more successful was the celebration of the Heimat idea.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting, somewhat aggressive thinking in the study of formation of German common awareness of national idenity following the unification of 1870. It is a challenging topic that has brought out some outstanding work, the best in my judgement is Celia Applegate 's.
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15 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book as a student in Prof. Confino's class on Modern Germany (beginning with Bismarck until the present) at the University of Virginia. Confino, or the Chancellor as he is known by some, is an exceptional lecturer with a great sense of humor and a lively presentation style. Unfortunately for readers of this book, his skills as an author do not live up to his skills as an orator. In the first 100 pages Confino makes the same point 25 times. His examples are at times impossible to penetrate and leave the reader not invigorated to continue but instead weary and ready for slumber. He tries to look at an entity so as to serve as a micrcosm for something larger. This is a very popular style, especially in German history with authors like William Sheridan Allen and Christopher Browning, but for Confino it is not at all effective. Alon Confino is a good man and a smart and entertaining professor, but this book exhibits that he is not a talented writer.
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