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From Recovery to Catastrophe: Municipal Stabilization and Political Crisis

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Volume 3

Monographs in German History

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From Recovery to Catastrophe

Municipal Stabilization and Political Crisis

Ben Lieberman

192 pages, 13 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-104-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 1998)

eISBN 978-1-78920-588-6 eBook

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"Ben Lieberman has contributed a valuable book on the Weimar welfare state… [the publisher] has done a fine job presenting this work in an attractive package with a full scholarly apparatus."  · German Studies Review

"A valuable account ... an interesting and useful book."   · American Historical Review


Historians of the stabilization phase of Weimar Germany tend to identify German recovery after the First World War with the struggle to revise reparations and control hyperinflation. Focusing primarily on economic aspects is not sufficient, however, the author argues; the financial burden of recovery was only one of several major causes of reaction against the republic. Drawing on material from major German cities, he is able to trace the emergence of strong local activism and of comprehensive and functional policies of recovery on the municipal level which enjoyed broad political backing. Ironically, these same programs that created consensus also contained the potential for destabilization: they unleashed intense debate over the needs of the consumersand the purpose and extent of public spending, and with that of government intervention more generally, which accelerated the fragmentation of bourgeois politics, leading to the final destruction of the Weimar Republic.

Ben Lieberman teaches in the Department of Social Science at Fitchburg State College, Mass.

Subject: Economic History 20th Century History
Area: Germany


List of Tables

Introduction: Recovering from Weimar Recovery

Chapter 1. Stabilization and State Expansion: Comprehensive City Planning
Chapter 2. State Expansion and Democratization
Chapter 3. Municipal Finance and Destabilization
Chapter 4. Cities and Distributional Conflict
Chapter 5. Cities and the Weimar Productivity Debate
Chapter 6. Defining the Civic Public
Chapter 7. State and Society: The Contradictions of Recovery

Conclusion: From Recovery to Destabilization

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