Books on Weimar

This is a somewhat belated response to a recent request for a list of the books used in German 200 “Weimar Germany.” Most of the readings were from these books:

Isenberg, Noah, ed. Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era. New York, Columbia UP, 2009.
Assembling a who’s who of Weimar Film Studies, Isenberg’s volume offers a wonderful overview of the interdisciplinary range of research on Weimar cinema.

Kaes, Anton. Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2009.
Kaes is something like the “father” of Weimar film studies in the United States. His most recent book reviews some of Weimar cinema’s most wellknown films–including Metropolis, M, and Nosferatu–and analyses them in the context of “shell shock,” or, post traumatic stress syndrome as it is known today. The result is a wonderfully innovative look at a series of classic films as well as a demonstration what interdisciplinary analysis can offer.

McCormick, Richard W. Gender and Sexuality in Weimar Modernity: Film, Literature, and “New Objectivity.” New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
An expert on the representation of gender and sexuality in Germany 20th-century cinema, McCormick analyses films and literary texts of the Weimar period and their relation to discourses of gender and sexuality. Working in recent developments in the theories of gender and queer analysis, McCormick’s book is a highly readable example for the state-of-the-art in Weimar cultural studies.

Weitz, Eric. Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2009.
While all of the above mentioned books focus on somewhat limited areas of Weimar culture, Weitz, a historian by trade, delivers an overview of the political, cultural, and social worlds that constitute what we call Weimar Germany. His engaging and fascinating book includes the rise of the right-wing factions, a look on architecture and city planning, the role of the modern woman, etc. This is probably the best book for those who wish to gain an overview of the period.

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