HARVARD HISTORICAL STUDIES
Cover: Dictatorship and Demand: The Politics of Consumerism in East Germany, from Harvard University PressCover: Dictatorship and Demand in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 147

Dictatorship and Demand

The Politics of Consumerism in East Germany

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$68.50 • £54.95 • €61.50

ISBN 9780674016989

Publication Date: 03/31/2005

Short

310 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Harvard Historical Studies

World

An investigation into the politics of consumerism in East Germany during the years between the Berlin Blockade of 1948–49 and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Dictatorship and Demand shows how the issue of consumption constituted a crucial battleground in the larger Cold War struggle.

Based on research in recently opened East German state and party archives, this book depicts a regime caught between competing pressures. While East Germany’s leaders followed a Soviet model, which fetishized productivity in heavy industry and prioritized the production of capital goods over consumer goods, they nevertheless had to contend with the growing allure of consumer abundance in West Germany. The usual difficulties associated with satisfying consumer demand in a socialist economy acquired a uniquely heightened political urgency, as millions of East Germans fled across the open border.

A new vision of the East–West conflict emerges, one fought as much with washing machines, televisions, and high fashion as with political propaganda, espionage, and nuclear weapons. Dictatorship and Demand deepens our understanding of the Cold War.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos, by Tom Siegfried, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Tom Siegfried, author of The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos

In The Number of the Heavens, Tom Siegfried, the award-winning former editor of Science News, shows that one of the most fascinating and controversial ideas in contemporary cosmology—the existence of multiple parallel universes—has a long and divisive history that continues to this day. We spoke to him about the possible existence of a multiverse and the co

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.