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Studies in German History
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Coffee, East Germans, and Twentieth-Century Globalization
262 pages, 5 illus., 17 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-669-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (October 2022)
eISBN 978-1-80073-670-2 eBook Not Yet Published
“In an exemplary fashion, Brewing Socialism highlights the power and cultural politics of consumption in the former East Germany. By focusing on one specific but important commodity, coffee, the author explores the connection between consumer demands and expectations and the political decision-making of the SED leadership. Kloiber does an admirable job in terms of exploring the fraught assumptions and long-term implications of these negotiations with socialist developing nations, in which socialist brotherhood was not always the most essential and driving motivation.” • Gerd Horten, Emeritus Professor of Concordia University
Placing coffee at the center of its analysis, Brewing Socialism links East Germany’s consumption and food culture to its relationship to the wider world. Andrew Kloiber reveals the ways that everyday cultural practices surrounding coffee drinking not only connected East Germans to a global system of exchange, but also perpetuated a set of traditions and values which fit uneasily into the Socialist Unity Party’s conceptualization of a modern Socialist Utopia. Sifting through the relationship between material culture and ideology, this unique work examines the complex tapestry of traditions, history and cultural values that underpinned the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Andrew Kloiber earned his Ph.D. in 2017 at McMaster University (Canada). His work broadly examines the cultural history of Modern Germany – particularly the role of material culture in shaping identity, social norms and power. His work has received generous support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Historical Institute Washington, the University of Exeter, and McMaster University.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Cultural Studies (General)
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