The Postwar Challenge: Cultural, Social, and Political Change in Western Europe, 1945-58

Hardcover | December 18, 2003

EditorDominik Geppert

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This volume charts the cultural, political, and social changes which took place in Western Europe during the first thirteen years after the Second World War. It brings together seventeen essays by experts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the USA. Western European nations faced manychallenges during this period: the psychological and material aftermath of the war; the need for economic and social restructuring; and the impact of the Cold War on domestic political, social, and cultural developments. To explore the responses to these challenges, transnational and nationalperspectives need to be combined. Thus the first two sections compare key developmental processes in Britain, France, West Germany, and Italy. They ask how these nations came to terms with their most recent history, and how they addressed the problems of economic and social restructuring. A solelycomparative approach along national lines, however, does not do justice to the historical reality of these societies. After all, they were not hermetically sealed national units, but connected by individual and institutional contacts and the transfer of goods and ideas. The third section examinesthe area in which these links had become most obvious after 1945-the debates about the beginnings of European integration. The fourth section focuses on the influence of the USA on the social and cultural re-organization of Western Europe. It abandons national subdivisions altogether and examinessome agents of American influence in Western Europe.

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This volume charts the cultural, political, and social changes which took place in Western Europe during the first thirteen years after the Second World War. It brings together seventeen essays by experts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the USA. Western European nations faced manychallenges during this period: the psychologic...

Dominik Geppert is a Research Fellow, German Historical Institute London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:414 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.04 inPublished:December 18, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199266654

ISBN - 13:9780199266654

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Table of Contents

1. Dominik Geppert: IntroductionI: Coming to Terms with the Past2. Norbert Frei: Coping with the Burdens of the Past: German Politics and Society in the 1950s3. Filippo Focardi: Reshaping the Past: Collective Memory and the Second World War in Italy, 1945-554. Pieter Lagrou: Beyond Memory and Commemoration: Coming to Terms with War and Occupation in France after 19455. Nick Hewitt: A Sceptical Generation? War Memorials and the Collective Memory of the Second World War in Britain, 1945-2000II: Blueprints for Change6. David Gilgen: Socialism and Democracy: The Debate about a New Social and Econonic Order in West Germany after the Second World War7. Luciano Segreto: The Importance of the Foreign Constraint: Debates about a New Social and Economic Order in Italy, 1945-558. Gerard Bossuat: The Modernization of France: A New Economic and Social Order afer the Second World War?9. Jose Harris: 'War Socialism' and its Aftermath: Debates about a New Social and Economic Order In Britain, 1945-50III: Beyond the Nation-State10. Wilfried Loth: From the 'Third Force' to the Common Market: Discussions about Europe and the Future of the Nation-State in West Germany, 1945-5711. Leopoldo Nuti: An Instrumental and Atlantic Europe: Discussions about Foreign Policy and the Future of the Nation-State in Italy, 1945-5512. Elisabeth du Reau: Integration or Co-operation? Europe and the Future of the Nation-State in France, 1945-5513. N. Piers Ludlow: Paying the Price of Victory? Postwar Britain and the Ideas of National IndependenceIV: The Transatlantic Dimension14. Carlo Spagnolo: Reinterpreting the Marshall Plan: The Impact of the European Recovery Programme in Britain, France, Germany, and Italy (1947-52)15. Volker R. Berghahn: A Public-Private Partnership? The Cultural Policies of the US Administrations in Western Europe and the Role of the Big American Foundations16. Michael Hochgeschwender: A Battle of Ideas: The Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) in Britain, Italy, France, and West Germany17. Dominik Geppert: 'Proclaim Liberty Throughout all the Land': Berlin and the Symbolic Language of the Cold War18. Toby Thacker: 'Playing Beethoven like an Indian': American Music and Reorientation in Germany, 1945-55

Editorial Reviews

`This is a useful set of articles, generally well-disciplined, on a post-war reconstructionthat worked.'History