New Books Network

Edith Sheffer, “Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain” (Oxford UP, 2011)
If Edith Sheffer‘s excellent Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain (Oxford UP, 2011) has a single lesson, it’s that dividing a country is not as easy as you might think. You don’t just draw a line and tell people that it’s now the “border,” for... Read More
Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, “The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany” (University of California Press, 2010)
This past summer Germany hosted the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 32 matches drew more than 800,000 fans, while the total number of foreign tourists visiting Germany increased by nine per cent over the previous summer. The German government’s commissioner for tourism proudly declared that the success of the... Read More
Elizabeth Heineman, “Before Porn Was Legal: The Erotica Empire of Beate Uhse” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
When I was in college in the 1980s, I liked to listen to Iggy Pop (aka James Newell Osterberg, Jr.). I was always mystified, however, by his song “Five Foot One,” with its odd and catchy refrain “I wish life could be/Swed-ish mag-a-zines!” What in the heck did that mean?... Read More
Konrad H. Jarausch, “Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front” (Princeton University Press,  2011)
Konrad H. Jarausch, whose varied and important works on German history have been required reading for scholars for several decades, has published Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front (Princeton University Press, 2011), a collection of his father’s missives from Poland and Russia during the early years... Read More
Christopher Krebs, “A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich” (Norton, 2011)
Being a historian is a bit of a slog: years in graduate school, more years in dusty libraries and archives, and even more years teaching students who sometimes don’t seem interested in learning what you have to teach. But the job does have its pleasures, and one of the greatest–and... Read More
Matthias Strohn, “The German Army and the Defense of the Reich: Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle, 1918-1939” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Matthias Strohn‘s The German Army and the Defense of the Reich: Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle, 1918-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) is an important challenge to the existing literature on interwar German military doctrine. The stunning German victories in 1939 and 1940 have usually been attributed... Read More
Jonathan Steinberg, “Bismarck: A Life” (Oxford UP, 2011)
What is the role of personality in shaping history? Shortly before the beginning of the First World War, the German sociologist Max Weber puzzled over this question. He was sure that there was a kind of authority that drew strength from character itself. He called this authority “charismatic,” a type... Read More