Examining how West German 1968 arose out of transnational connections, from the presence of Third World student radicals, to exchanges with European avant-garde movements and the appropriation of Anglo-American cultural forms like rock and roll, this study explores the interplay of radical politics and popular culture in the explosion of '1968'.
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'As the West German '1968' finally becomes claimed for history, many fresh perspectives come into play. In Tim Brown's excitingly original account, the unruly, boundary-crossing complexities of anti-authoritarianism appear in [a] refreshingly new light. West Germany [and] the Global Sixties brings the rhetoric of transnational history compellingly down to the ground.' Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
'With impressive analytical depth and comprehensiveness, Brown's insightful book situates West Germany's 1968 in an enormously rich tapestry of transnational connections, utopian visions, and cultural and political transformations spanning almost two decades. Vividly capturing the hopes and tensions of the period, this landmark study of the Sixties will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the significance of 1960s/70s grassroots politics for German history and the global Cold War.' Martin Klimke, New York University, Abu Dhabi
'All politics is local, as Timothy Brown proves, transcending stale debates to deliver new complexity and fresh perspective on the 'global '60s', as this played out within the borders of West Germany. An absorbing story, well told.' Belinda Davis, Rutgers University
'… a major contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the '60s. It fills a sizeable gap by providing, in English, a detailed account of the origins, motivations, mindsets and achievements of the West German 'active transnationals' who set out to change the world. Brown's central argument is persuasive: skilfully interlocking the local and the global within cold war, third world, and generational narratives, as well as radical political and countercultural affinities, he is able to delineate complex patterns of influence and metamorphoses along vectors of space, time, sound, vision, word, power, sex and death. What makes the book stand out is the sheer depth to which Brown analyses the political, social and cultural impact of the West German anti-authoritarian revolt upon all who came in contact with it. A tour de force in its inclusiveness, and a triumph of deeply reflective scholarship.' Ingo Cornils, University of Leeds
'This is a brilliant book, including the whole range of events and developments, political as well as cultural, that altogether shaped what today is known as '1968'. Thoroughly researched, Tim Brown's book masterfully overlooks the coincidence of circumstances that changed West German society so fundamentally in the 'Global Sixties'.' Detlef Siegfried, University of Copenhagen
The anti-authoritarian revolt of the 1960s and 1970s was a watershed in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The rebellion of the so-called '68ers' - against cultural conformity and the ideological imperatives of the Cold War, against the American war in Vietnam, and in favor of a more open accounting for the crimes of the Nazi era - helped to inspire a dialogue on democratization with profound effects on German society. Timothy Scott Brown examines the unique synthesis of globalizing influences on West Germany to reveal how the presence of Third World students, imported pop culture from America and England, and the influence of new political doctrines worldwide all helped to precipitate the revolt. The book explains how the events in West Germany grew out of a new interplay of radical politics and popular culture, even as they drew on principles of direct-democracy, self-organization and self-determination, all still highly relevant in the present day.
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