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The Politics of Authenticity: Countercultures and Radical Movements across the Iron Curtain, 1968-1989

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Volume 25

Protest, Culture & Society

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The Politics of Authenticity

Countercultures and Radical Movements across the Iron Curtain, 1968-1989

Edited by Joachim C. Häberlen, Mark Keck-Szajbel, and Kate Mahoney
Afterword by Sara Blaylock

308 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-999-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-824-5 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (November 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-000-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


The Politics of Authenticity raises a number of meaningful—and provocative—interpretive questions, which makes it valuable reading for students of postwar social movements and countercultures, as well as those seeking to understand the recent history of democratic cultures and political participation in Europe.” • Central European History

“This is one of the most distinctive and inspiring explorations of protest cultures that I have read in the last decade or so. While building on existing studies of social movements, it is original in its geographical breadth, diversity of topics and methodologies, and theoretical approach.” • Malgorzata Fidelis, University of Illinois at Chicago

“The innovative studies collected here contribute to important discussions within contemporary history. This book will be very useful for both undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as scholars in history, sociology, and other fields.” • Pascal Eitler, Max Planck Institute for Human Development


Following the convulsions of 1968, one element uniting many of the disparate social movements that arose across Europe was the pursuit of an elusive “authenticity” that could help activists to understand fundamental truths about themselves—their feelings, aspirations, sexualities, and disappointments. This volume offers a fascinating exploration of the politics of authenticity as they manifested themselves among such groups as Italian leftists, East German lesbian activists, and punks on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Together they show not only how authenticity came to define varied social contexts, but also how it helped to usher in the neoliberalism of a subsequent era.

Joachim C. Häberlen is Assistant Professor of Continental European History at the University of Warwick. He has previously coedited a theme issue on emotions in protest movements for Contemporary European History (2014) and published numerous articles.

Mark Keck-Szajbel is an Academic Research Fellow at the European University Viadrina. He received his doctorate in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley for his dissertation on Eastern bloc tourism in the 1970s and 1980s. He was most recently a long-term research fellow at the German Historical Institute from 2015 to 2016.

Kate Mahoney is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Modern British History at the University of Essex. She completed her doctoral thesis on feminist mental health activism in late twentieth-century Britian at the University of Warwick in 2018. She has contributed to collections on researchers' emotions and the experiences of PhD students within the neoliberal academy.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentSociologyHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Europe


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