Dissolution by Charles Maier
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By Charles Maier


The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany

By (author) See other recent books by Charles Maier
Format: Paperback

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Dissolution by Charles Maier

Book Awards

  • Winner of New England Historical Association Book Award 1998.

Book Description

Against the backdrop of one of the great transformations of our century, the sudden and unexpected fall of communism as a ruling system, Charles Maier recounts the history and demise of East Germany. Dissolution is his poignant, analytically provocative account of the decline and fall of the late German Democratic Republic. This book explains the powerful causes for the disintegration of German communism as it constructs the complex history of the GDR. Maier looks at the turning points in East Germany's forty-year history and at the mix of coercion and consent by which the regime functioned. He analyzes the GDR as it evolved from the purges of the 1950s to the peace movements and emerging youth culture of the 1980s, and then turns his attention to charges of Stasi collaboration that surfaced after 1989. In the context of describing the larger collapse of communism, Maier analyzes German elements that had counterparts throughout the Soviet bloc, including its systemic and eventually terminal economic crisis, corruption and privilege in the SED, the influence of the Stasi and the plight of intellectuals and writers, and the slow loss of confidence on the part of the ruling elite. He then discusses the mass protests and proliferation of dissident groups in 1989, the collapse of the ruling party, and the troubled aftermath of unification. Dissolution is the first book that spans the communist collapse and the ensuing process of unification, and that draws on newly available archival documents from the last phases of the GDR, including Stasi reports, transcripts of Politburo and Central Committee debates, and papers from the Economic Planning Commission, the Council of Ministers, and the office files of key party officials. This book is further bolstered by Maier's extensive knowledge of European history and the Cold War, his personal observations and conversations with East Germans during the country's dramatic transition, and memoirs and other eyewitness accounts published during the four-decade history of the GDR.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691007465
ISBN-10: 0691007462
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Charles Maier

Bread and Democracy in Germany by Charles Maier Bread and Democracy in Germany, Paperback (August 1989)

A classic in its field, Bread and Democracy in Germany has been widely praised since its publication in 1943 for its account of German political and economic development.

Changing Boundaries of the Political by Charles Maier Changing Boundaries of the Political, Hardback (August 1987)

This investigation of the political in Europe since the 1960s newly illuminates advanced industrial economies.

Recasting Bourgeois Europe by Charles Maier Recasting Bourgeois Europe, Paperback (August 1975)

Presents an analysis of the crucial decade in Europe after 1918. Based on archival research in each of the three countries, this book examines how European societies progressed from a moment of social vulnerability to one of political and economic stabilization. It also talks about the political structure of the European interwar period.

» View all books by Charles Maier


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Bread and Democracy in Germany by Charles Maier
Changing Boundaries of the Political by Charles Maier
Recasting Bourgeois Europe by Charles Maier
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