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Strength through Joy Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich by Shelley (University of Akron, Ohio) Baranowski
  

Strength through Joy Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich

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Synopsis

Strength through Joy Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich by Shelley (University of Akron, Ohio) Baranowski

Based on extensive archival research, this book was the first major one on the Nazi leisure and tourism agency, Strength through Joy (KdF). The Third Reich aimed to unify Germans in preparation for war and the acquisition of 'living space'. Strength through Joy became the Nazi regime's most determined attempt to ease the tension between collective goals and individual desires, as well as between 'guns and butter'. Its factory beautification, organized sports, cultural events, and mass tourism, sought to raise the status of workers and integrate them in the nation, while keeping its costs low so that its clientele could afford its programs. Although the motivations of Strength through Joy's constituencies often diverged from the Nazi ideal of a united, politicized 'racial community', KdF's accommodation to consumer expectations made it the regime's most popular institution. KdF mitigated present sacrifices while presenting visions of a prosperous future once 'living space' was acquired.

Reviews

All in all, this is a very useful book, particularly for those who seek an introductory overview. It convincingly extends the subject well beyond its classic boundaries by opening up new perspectives on the relation between consumption and National Socialism.

American Historical Review Anyone interested in the history of Nazi Germany, in mass-market tourism, and in an account of a twentieth-century attempt to create a balance between work and life should read Baranowski's thorough and provocative study.

Business History Review, Hans-Liudger Dienel, Berlin University of Technology Shelly Baranowski provides us with a clear and careful assessment of the impact of Fordism on the changing patterns of German consumption. Journal of Modern History Christopher Kopper, Universitat Bielefeld Overall, this is a book that historians will welcome as the first major, scholarly assessment of KDF, from a seasoned scholar who crafts her discussion from fresh perspectives currently engaging the profession.

Geoffrey J. Giles, University of Florida, German Studies Review


About the Author

Shelley Baranowski is Professor of History at the University of Akron. Her previous books include The Confessing Church: Conservative Elites and the Nazi State (1986) and The Sanctity of Rural Life: Nobility, Protestantism and Nazism in Weimar Prussia (1995). She has also co-edited Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture and Identity in Modern Europe and North America (2001), with Ellen Furlough.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th May 2007

Author

Shelley (University of Akron, Ohio) Baranowski

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Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Format

Paperback
274 pages

Categories

European history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000

ISBN

9780521705998

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