Fields of Interest:
Modern Germany; European women; social
My writing has focused on the social history of modern Germany. In my book on the German peasantry in the First World War and the 1920s, I was primarily interested in the political behavior of groups in the middle-- between capital and labor-- in a period of sustained crisis. This study also allowed me to pursue my longstanding concern with the reasons for the triumph of the Nazis and the collapse of the Weimar Republic. The politics of the agrarian sector in the nineteenth- and twentieth- centuries were also at the focus of a collection of essays that I compiled and edited.
More recently, I completed a book that explores the social, economic, and political status of women in West Germany in the period of post-World War II recovery by focusing on the reformulation of state policies affecting women's lives. By examining the extensive discussion and implementation of specific measures, the book illuminates how established conceptions of gender difference influenced public policy, and how social policy in turn shaped the objective conditions of women's social and economic status. I am continuing work on the history of the Federal Republic of Germany in the fifties, focusing in particular on how West Germans defined the basis for social solidarity and legitimate political identities in the aftermath of Nazism and defeat in war.
Complete List of Publications
» "The Kaiserreich Recast? Continuity and Change in Modern German Historiography," Journal of Social History (1984).
» German Peasants and Agrarian Politics, 1914-1924: The Rhineland and Westphalia (1986)
» Editor, Peasants and Lords in Modern Germany: Recent Contributions to Agricultural History (1986)
» "Reconstructing the Family in Reconstruction Germany: Women and Social Policy in the Federal Republic, 1949-1955," Feminist Studies (1989)
» Protecting Motherhood: Women and the Family in the Politics of Postwar West Germany (1993)
» "The Homosexual Man is a 'Man,' the Homosexual Woman is a 'Woman': Sex, Society, and the Law in Postwar West Germany," Journal of the History of Sexuality (1994)
» "War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany," American Historical Review (1996)
» Editor, West Germany Under Construction: Politics, Society and Culture in the Adenauer Era
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (1997)
» "The Last Soldiers of the Great War' and Tales of Family Reunions in the Federal Republic of Germany," Signs 24, no. 1 (Autumn 1998): 126-46.
» War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany (University of California Press, 2001).
» "Germans as Victims? Thoughts on a Post-Cold War History of the Second World Wars" Legacies, History and Memory 17:1/2 (2005): 147-94.
» "On the History of Man-made Destruction: Loss, Death, Memory, and Germany in the Bombing War", History Workshop Journal, Issue 61 (2006): 103-34.
» "Kmpfen fr den Frieden: 08/15 und westdeutsche Erinnerungen an den Zweiten Weltkrieg," Militrgeschichtliche Zeitschrift 64:2 (2005): 359-389.