Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century

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When historians examine 20th Century German history, they generally focus on the people in power and the impact they had on the continent. Rarely do we get the view of what it was like in Germany during this time for the average person. This new book should change that. Konrad Jarausch examines the lives of ordinary Germans who were born in the early part of the 20th Century and how they experienced the major events that would rock their country. From World War I to the Weimar Republic, Hitler, World War II, etc., Mr. Jarausch examines in-depth unpublished memoirs and autobiographies, and some that have been published, to give us a view of how people came to live through this era.

Hopefully this book will encourage students to further explore this topic, as it is something that can be examined in-depth, most books of this nature tend to focus on the Allied countries. What makes this even more fascinating is the way ordinary people come to life—people who would never make it into a textbook or into the classroom. We get their experiences, hopes, dreams, and disillusionment. While a little dense at times, this is still well worth reading.

Reviewed By:

Author Konrad Jarausch
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Princeton University Press
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9780691174587
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category History


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