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Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media

Peter von Zahn's Cold War Broadcasts to West Germany

Assessing America

Authors: Nathans, Eli

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  • Provides an intellectual biography of television and radio broadcaster Peter von Zahn in the mid-twentieth centuryExamines the strengths and weaknesses of American government, society, and culture in the 1950s 
  • Analyses significant debates to help explain the transformation of postwar West Germany
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eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50615-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50614-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-84443-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book examines the pioneering radio broadcasts and television documentaries about the United States made in the 1950s by the influential West German journalist Peter von Zahn. Part intellectual biography, part analysis of significant debates in West Germany, part study of an intensive encounter with the United States, the book helps explain the transformation of postwar West Germany. As a soldier in the Wehrmacht in World War II, Zahn held the militantly elitist views typical of young men in Germany’s educated middle class. He reconsidered these positions in his postwar broadcasts. At the same time he coldly assessed the capacity of the United States to win the Cold War. His broadcasts examined McCarthyism, the African-American civil rights movement, and numerous aspects of American culture and politics. Zahn’s broadcasts were one important voice in West German debates about the defects and virtues of modern democratic societies and especially of the United States, debates whose intensity reflected recent German experiences with the failure of the Weimar Republic and with Nazism.  Zahn’s analyses of the United States remain startlingly relevant today. 

About the authors

Eli Nathans is Associate Professor of European History at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. He has previously published books on the history of German citizenship policies and the career of a senior official in the Nazi administration of justice.

Reviews

“Nathans’s book is written with great sympathy for Zahn. It is convincing to interpret Zahn as an intermediary between the U.S. and West Germany—and between elitist intellectuals and a mass audience—who picked up conservative perceptions about America and tried to undermine stereotypes. The merit of this book is a case study of an outstanding journalist.” (Frank Bösch, University of Potsdam, Germany)

“With his portrait of Peter von Zahn, Nathans presents us with a picture of the postwar period of the Federal Republic that was determined neither by consensus on political subjects nor by a society primarily focused on consumer goods.  Instead, he illustrates the processes of Westernization and liberalization of Germans through the example of an early and critical foreign correspondent.  The book is worth reading” (Reinhild Kreis, H-Soz-Kult, (March 2019))


Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50615-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50614-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-84443-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Peter von Zahn's Cold War Broadcasts to West Germany
Book Subtitle
Assessing America
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-50615-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-50615-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-50614-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-84443-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 334
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations
Topics