Berlin Since the Wall's End: Shaping Society and Memory in the German Metropolis since 1989

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9781847185358: Berlin Since the Wall's End: Shaping Society and Memory in the German Metropolis since 1989
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In the nearly nineteen years since the destruction of the Wall that divided East from West Berlin, Germans have struggled with the challenges of reunification. The task has been dauntingunifying two countries with a common language but mutually hostile political and economic systems. Contrary to the optimistic predictions of 1989/1990, reunification has aggravated many of Germany's problems within the larger context of globalization. Berlin, divided epicenter of the Cold War, Germany's largest city and the capital since 1999, has been forced to confront the challenges of reunification with particular urgency. This book presents the work of six scholars who met at Bradley University's annual Berlin seminar in June, 2006 to discuss the recent past and the future prospects of the German metropolis. Two broad concerns - society and historical memory - emerged during the seminar and are reflected in these scholars' writings. The first section of the book assesses how Berliners have reunified the city through urban planning and social, economic and cultural policies. These chapters also speak to pressing contemporary issues of immigration, citizenship and cultural diversity. The essays in the books second part trace how historical memory has been shaped and politically contested in German culture, both in the divided nation and since 1989. Berlin Since the Walls End casts light on a metropolis that has been scarred, but not destroyed, by the upheavals of recent history.

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About the Author:

John Alexander Williams is a Professor of European History at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. His other books are Turning to Nature in Germany: Hiking, Nudism, and Conservation, 1900-1940 (Stanford University Press, 2007) and, as editor, Weimar Culture Revisited (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 hardback/2013 paperback).

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