Bruce Allen GERMANY EAST REV. ED

ISBN 13: 9780921689973

GERMANY EAST REV. ED

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9780921689973: GERMANY EAST REV. ED
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This book tracks the history of dissent in the German Democratic Republic since its founding. "Well writtendesigned to inform and encourage solidarity among political activists in the west. Provides reliable information on the historical background of dissent."--Choice "A useful survey of dissent in East Germany."--Small Press

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Allen, a Canadian worker and union activist rather than an historian, has nevertheless produced a useful brief survey of dissent in East Germany between the Stalinist Revolution of the 1940s and 1987. He stresses the absence of a "central liberal altemative" in the GDR, arguing that protest has been instead either leftist or Christian in nature. A strong radical tradition with autonomous roots in the workers' movement and the intelligentsia has sought not to abandon Marxism, but to reinvigorate it and put it back on track. Christian protest, for its part, has been characterized by a radical pacifist dynamic and, more recently, by comprehensive ecological and human-rights commitments. Whether leftist or Christian, Allen argues, critics of the GDR are at least as skeptical of the Federal Republic, and increasingly approximate the attitudes of West Germany's dissidents. On both sides of the frontier, ecology, feminism, and anti-nuclearism are the current focal points of protest movements more or less structured by a radical/Marxist ideology. Black Rose Books features anarchist-oriented publications, and Allen is a predictable admirer of far-left jocos. Events since the completion of this work suggest significant limitations in this approach. The mass protests that erupted thorughout the GDR in the autumn of 1989 owed far less to radical politics and radical theology than to the everyday frustrations generated by a system incorporating most of the worst features of Germany, Prussia, and Communism, while reflecting none of their respective virtues. The ascetic activists described in Allen's pages appear at this writing to have been submerged in a movement whose principal goals may seem disappointingly mundane: freedom to speak and travel; opportunity to consume. Yet~ ironically, these modest aspirations may prove to offer a fumer basis for reconstructing East Gem an politics and society than the loffier aims of the men and women who kept dissent alive during the years of darkness described in these pages. -- From Independent Publisher

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Allen, Bruce
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Bruce Allen
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Book Description Consortium Book Sales & Dist, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. revised edition. 191 pages. 9.00x5.75x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0921689977

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