Harald Jahner

Vertigo: The Rise and Fall of Weimar Germany

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Expected release date is 25th Jun 2024

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Baillie Gifford-shortlisted author Harald Jähner (Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich) presents a staggering new assessment of the short life of the Weimar Republic between the wars in Germany.

Germany, 1918: a country in flux. The First World War is lost, traditional values are shaken to their core, revolution is afoot and the victory of democracy beckons. Everything must change with the times. The country is abuzz with talk of the 'new woman', the 'new man', 'new living' and 'new thinking'.

What follows is the establishment of the Weimar Republic, an economic crisis and the transformation of Germany. A triumphant procession of liberated lifestyles emerges. Women conquer the racetracks and tennis courts, go out alone in the evenings, cut their hair short and cast the idea of marriage aside. Unisex style comes into fashion, androgynous and experimental. People revel in the discovery of leisure, filling up boxing halls, dance palaces and the hotspots of the New Age, embracing the department stores' promise of happiness and accepting the streets as a place of fierce battles. So much of this short burst of life between the wars seems amazingly modern today, including, amidst a frenzy of change, the backlash from those who did not see themselves reflected in this new culture. Little by little, deep divisions in society began to emerge. Divisions that would have devastating consequences, altering the course of the twentieth century and the lives of millions around the world.

Author: Harald Jähner

Paperback Published 25 June 2024 480 pages

'This is one of the most gripping accounts of an era spanning war defeat, humiliation and failed revolution in 1918 to the violence, intimidation and propaganda of the Nazis' rise to power in 1933. It contains many lessons for the world now.' - John Kampfner, bestselling author of Why The Germans Do It Better

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