Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany

Princeton University Press
1
Free sample

Against the backdrop of one of the great transformations of our century, the sudden and unexpected fall of communism as a ruling system, Charles Maier recounts the history and demise of East Germany. Dissolution is his poignant, analytically provocative account of the decline and fall of the late German Democratic Republic.

This book explains the powerful causes for the disintegration of German communism as it constructs the complex history of the GDR. Maier looks at the turning points in East Germany's forty-year history and at the mix of coercion and consent by which the regime functioned. He analyzes the GDR as it evolved from the purges of the 1950s to the peace movements and emerging youth culture of the 1980s, and then turns his attention to charges of Stasi collaboration that surfaced after 1989. In the context of describing the larger collapse of communism, Maier analyzes German elements that had counterparts throughout the Soviet bloc, including its systemic and eventually terminal economic crisis, corruption and privilege in the SED, the influence of the Stasi and the plight of intellectuals and writers, and the slow loss of confidence on the part of the ruling elite. He then discusses the mass protests and proliferation of dissident groups in 1989, the collapse of the ruling party, and the troubled aftermath of unification.

Dissolution is the first book that spans the communist collapse and the ensuing process of unification, and that draws on newly available archival documents from the last phases of the GDR, including Stasi reports, transcripts of Politburo and Central Committee debates, and papers from the Economic Planning Commission, the Council of Ministers, and the office files of key party officials. This book is further bolstered by Maier's extensive knowledge of European history and the Cold War, his personal observations and conversations with East Germans during the country's dramatic transition, and memoirs and other eyewitness accounts published during the four-decade history of the GDR.

Read more

About the author

Charles S. Maier teaches history at Harvard University. He is Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and Chairman of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies. His books include Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilization in France, Germany, and Italy in the Decade after World War I and The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity.
Read more

Reviews

3.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Mar 1, 1999
Read more
Pages
464
Read more
ISBN
9781400822256
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
History / Europe / Germany
Political Science / History & Theory
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Leon Lindberg
The inflation of the 1970s represented the greatest peacetime disruption of the Western economies since the Depression. Even as inflation receded, the recession in its wake brought more joblessness than at any time since the 1930s. The governments of industrialized nations found that the economic policies they had developed since World War II no longer assured price stability or high employment. What are the lessons of over a decade of economic difficulty? In this conference volume, which focuses on aspects of the crisis that economists often presuppose to be beyond control, the authors analyze the political and social underpinning of inflation and recession. Part 1 places the economic problems of the 1970s in the historical context of postwar development and then compares economic and political science analyses of inflation. Part 2 examines how rivalries between social groups affect inflationary processes. One chapter draws on the history of Latin American inflation to suggest the conflicts in play. Two others weigh the role of labor and industry in the formation of economic policy. And another shows how rivalry between countries, like rivalry between classes at home, permitted inflation to rise. The chapters in part 3 contest the claim that big government or big labor causes inflation. Two studies emphasize that a high degree of public expenditure does not itself lead to inflation. Further contributions explore the role of central banks and subject such concepts as the political business cycle to critical analysis. Part 4 comprises case studies about macroeconomic policymaking in four nations: Italy, Germany, Japan, and Sweden. The studies reveal what institutional attributes rendered those countries resistant to inflation or vulnerable to economic setback. In the last part, the editors pull together the findings and lay out the contemporary political feasibility of alternative approaches to macroeconomic management.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.