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The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and…
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The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth, and Mobilization in Germany

by Jeffrey Verhey

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This apparently well researched book is an analysis of the so called 'Spirit of 1914' in Germany. This refers to the percieved elation, enthusiasm and unity in Germany during the July, 1914 crisis and continuing through the declarations of war beginning WWI. The author reviews numerous German and other nation's related documents including newspapers, government reports, post-WWI studies, etc. His goal is to explain if there in fact had been such a thing or movement as the 'Spirit of 1914'. If so, what segments of the population were involved, to what extent did this spirit effect the course of the war, how was it used militarily and politically in Germany, and so on. Mr. Verhey even contiues his analysis into the post war years dealing with the Weimar Republic through Nazism and WWII.

Very interesting book. The author comes to sound conclusions. I gave the work only 4 stars because virtually all the source data came from German documents and sources in the German language. This prohibited any further reading on my part since I do not read or understand German. Be that as it may, I still found the book enlightening. It dealt with a little published aspect of WWI. ( )
  douboy50 | Oct 29, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521771374, Hardcover)

This is the first systematic analysis of German public opinion at the outbreak of the Great War. Jeffrey Verhey's powerful study demonstrates that the myth of war enthusiasm was historically inaccurate. He also examines the development of the myth in newspapers, politics and propaganda, and the propagation and appropriation of this myth after the war. His innovative analysis sheds new light on German experience of the Great War and on the role of political myths in modern German political culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

"This book is the first systematic analysis of German public opinion at the outbreak of the Great War and the first treatment of the myth of the 'spirit of 1914,' which stated that in August 1914 all Germans felt 'war enthusiasm' and that this enthusiasm constituted a critical moment in which German society was transformed. Jeffrey Verhey's powerful study demonstrates that the myth was historically inaccurate. Although intellectuals and much of the upper class were enthusiastic, the emotions and opinions of most of the population were far more complex and contradictory. Jeffrey Verhey further examines the development of the myth in newspapers, politics, and propaganda, and the propagation and appropriation of this myth after the war. His innovative analysis sheds new light on the German experience of the Great War and on the role of political myths in modern German political culture."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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