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Picture of Berlin Since the Wall's End

Berlin Since the Wall's End

Shaping Society and Memory in the German Metropolis since 1989

Editor(s): John Alexander Williams

Book Description

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 daunting—unifying 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 book’s 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 Wall’s End casts light on a metropolis that has been scarred, but not destroyed, by the upheavals of recent history.


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8535-8
ISBN-10: 1-84718-535-5
Date of Publication: 01/12/2008
Pages / Size: 175 / A5
Price: £29.99


John Alexander Williams is an Associate Professor of modern European history at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He has directed Bradley’s annual summer seminar in Berlin since 2000. Williams is the author of several articles on twentieth-century German history as well as Turning to Nature in Germany: Hiking, Nudism, and Conservation, 1900-1940 (Stanford University Press, 2007). He spends every summer in Berlin.