Synopses & Reviews
The age of revolution challenged the ancien régime's political world, introducing Europeans to fresh ideals of citizenship. German society was no less affected. Following the Napoleonic era, a political culture of partisan choice undermined the official restoration of absolutism. Bourgeois and popular classes took part in the political landscape of civil society, producing an impressive social base for participatory politics by the 1830s. Because of severe restrictions on speech and assembly, ordinary Germans formed political opinions in irregular ways. This book looks at the sites and forms of culture that facilitated political communication. With chapters devoted to reading, singing, public space, carnival, violence and religion, James Brophy argues that popular culture played a critical role in linking ordinary Rhinelanders to the public sphere. Moving beyond conventional explanations of opinion formation, he exposes the broad cultural infrastructure that enabled popular classes to join the political nation.
"...this is an extraordinarily well-researched and finely argued book." --Jeffrey K. Wilson, University of New Orleans: Canadian Journal of History
"...a wonderful book likely to be highly useful to anyone interested in modern social history generally, and particularly to those especially focused on the growth of civil society and popular mobilization in 19th-century Europe...Highly recommended." --CHOICE
"...impressively combines social and political theory with empirical research, ably weaving and organizing the results of years of work in the archival trenches into a well-crafted monograph... This is certainly an informative case study that should be read and studied by all scholars of modern Germany." -Journal of Modern History
A study of the politicisation of 'ordinary people' in western Germany in the 1850s.
An innovative study of the politicisation of 'ordinary people' in western Germany during the first half of the nineteenth century. With chapters devoted to reading, singing, public space, carnival, violence and religion, James Brophy argues that popular culture played a critical role in linking ordinary Rhinelanders to the public sphere.
Table of Contents
Introduction: popular culture and the public sphere; 1. Reading; 2. Singing; 3. Public space; 4. Carnival; 5. Tumult; 6. Religion; Conclusion: joining the political nation; Bibliography; Index.