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History Germany

German Social Democracy through British Eyes

A Documentary History, 1870-1914

by (author) James Retallack

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2021
Category
Germany, Communism & Socialism, 20th Century, 20th Century
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487527501
    Publish Date
    Dec 2021
    List Price
    $37.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781487527471
    Publish Date
    Dec 2021
    List Price
    $95.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781487527488
    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price
    $37.95

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Description

On the eve of the First World War, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest and most powerful socialist party in the world. German Social Democracy through British Eyes examines the SPD’s rise using British diplomatic reports from Saxony, the third-largest federal state in Imperial Germany and the cradle of the socialist movement in that country.

 

Rather than focusing on the Anglo-German antagonism leading to the First World War, the book peers into the everyday struggles of German workers to build a political movement and emancipate themselves from the worst features of a modern capitalist system: exploitation, poverty, and injustice. The archival documents, most of which have never been published before, raise the question of how people from one nation view people from another. The documents also illuminate political systems, election practices, and anti-democratic strategies at the local and regional levels, allowing readers to test hypotheses derived only from national-level studies.

 

This collection of primary sources shows why, despite the inhospitable environment of German authoritarianism, Saxony and Germany were among the most important incubators of socialism.

About the author

James Retallack is a professor of History and German Studies at the University of Toronto. His most recent book for the University of Toronto Press was The German Right, 1860–1920.

James Retallack's profile page

Other titles by James Retallack