New Perspectives on Weimar

The new book Beyond Glitter and Doom. The Contingency of the Weimar Republic, edited by Jochen Hung, Godela Weiss-Sussex and Geoff Wilkes and based on the proceedings of a conference of the same name, gathers the latest research on Weimar history and culture:

‘The Weimar Republic has received more attention in academic research and popular culture than almost any other period in German history. Nevertheless, its prevailing historical image remains surprisingly simplistic: it is often seen as an era of accelerated cultural progress on the one hand and extreme political unrest, social upheaval and economic crisis on the other, a view epitomized in the ubiquitous image of the ‘dance on the volcano’.


The authors gathered in this volume aim to move the discussion beyond this limited dichotomy. Their essays cover a wide range, from Weimar’s legal framework to musical theatre, each challenging hitherto accepted views in its respective field. Despite their thematic range and differences in approach, the contributions are united by the common theme of contingency. They posit the idea of Weimar’s historical ‘openness’, reflected in the period’s pluralism, as a counter-narrative to the image of the first German democracy as a moribund mixture of modernist glitter and socio-economic doom.’

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