Rehearsals for fascism: Populism and political mobilization in Weimar Germany

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Abstract

In this compelling and ambitious study, Peter Fritzsche analyzes the dramatic transformation of bourgeois politics before the Nazi breakthrough in 1930. Examining the local texture of civic life--market square protests, small town patriotism, and social clubs--as well as political parties and interest groups, Fritzsche provides a crucial perspective for understanding the fate of the Weimar republic, one which has been largely neglected by German historians. Even before the Great Depression the traditional bourgeois parties were eclipsed by a new breed of populist politicians who not only resisted the left but also embraced public activism and attacked big business, German conservatism, and the Weimar state itself. It was this populist sentiment to which the Nazis appealed with such consummate skill, not so much seizing power as assuming the ambitions and prejudices of middle class voters while transcending the limitations of the political organizations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York City
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages301
ISBN (Print)978-0195057805
StatePublished - 1990

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