After The Wall: East Meets West In The New Berlin

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After The Wall: East Meets West In The New Berlin

By John Borneman
Basic Books, 1991
258 pp. $21.95

Borneman has strong misgivings about the headlong rush to German unification, suggesting that East Germans simply sold out to consumer capitalism and that there was something viable in East German society that could have been preserved. But exactly what that something is remains elusive; Borneman is no admirer of socialism as it "actually existed" in the GDR. The main interest of the book lies in stories told by East Germans that graphically demonstrate just how the SED regime, over four decades, lost the allegiance of people who initially supported it or were not actively hostile to it. An excellent study in the mechanics of political alienation.

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