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The Price of Exclusion
Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1898-1933
400 pages, bibliog., Index
ISBN 978-1-84545-069-4 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (August 2006)
eISBN 978-1-80073-362-6 eBook
“…the very fact that his book raises so many follow-up questions is testimony to the value of his research and the stimulating tone of his book.” • German Studies Review
“Kurlander scrutinizes the role of ethnicity in German liberal thought more acutely than previous studies have done. This angle determines the role of antisemitism in German liberalism anew, which is important and a vital correction to the established image.” • Journal of Contemporary History
"The failure of Liberalism" in Germany and its responsibility for the rise of Nazism has been widely discussed among scholars inside and outside Germany. This author argues that German liberalism failed because of the irreconcilable conflict between two competing visions of German identity. In following the German liberal parties from the Empire through the Third Reich Kurlander illustrates convincingly how an exclusionary racist Weltanschauung, conditioned by profound transformations in German political culture at large, gradually displaced the liberal-universalist conception of a democratic Rechtsstaat. Although there were some notable exceptions, this widespread obsession with "racial community [Volksgemeinschaft]" caused the liberal parties to succumb to ideological lassitude and self-contradiction, paving the way for National Socialism.
Eric Kurlander received his PhD from Harvard University and is now Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Stetson University. He has published articles on liberalism, anti-Semitism and political culture in Imperial and Weimar Germany, he authored a book studying the fate of bourgeois republicans in the Third Reich, Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats Between Resistance and Collaboration, 1933-1945 (Yale UP, 2009).
Erratum: The publisher deeply regrets a file error in the printed index, which has resulted in the replacement of note notations (n) with en dashes. The corrected file can be downloaded here.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
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