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Nature of the Miracle Years: Conservation in West Germany, 1945-1975

By: Sandra Chaney

272 pages, 6 maps

Berghahn Books Ltd

Hardback | May 2008 | #175149 | ISBN-13: 9781845454302
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.50 $52/€48 approx

About this book

After 1945, Germans responsible for conservation resumed their work with a high degree of continuity in terms of laws and personnel. Yet conservationists had little choice but to modernize their views and practices in the challenging postwar context. Forced to change by necessity, those involved in state-sponsored conservation institutionalized and professionalized their efforts, while several private groups became more confrontational in their message and tactics. Through their steady, often conservative presence within the mainstream of West German society, conservationists ensured that by 1970 the map of the country was dotted with hundreds of reserves, dozens of nature parks, and one national park. And in doing so, they assured themselves a strong position to transition--rather than vanish--during the shift to left-leaning environmental protection (Umweltschutz) in the 1970s.

This well-structured study of conservation during the miracle years is a concise, readable, and thematically profound analysis of trends in the Federal Republic of Germany.A" * Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, London Chaney's overview of the West German conservation movement is to be recommended, not least because it is the first of its kind; no one who is dealing with this topic can afford to ignore it.A" * Neue Politische Literatur - the first book-length study in English of the ideas, aims, and actions of conservationists in West Germany between 1945 and 1975, placing conservation in the mainstream of German political and cultural history - This fully researched and readable narrative, interspersed with three illustrative case studies, provides an excellent account of conservation in West Germany.A" * Choice Chaney's book is a welcome addition to the scholarship on German environmental history. The first English-language study of German conservation after World War II, her work is also a model of painstaking research and careful argument. It will appeal to students of German history and global environmental history for years to come.A" * H-German What makes Chaney's study stand out from other studies of its kind is its focus on the backgrounds and philosophies of key players in the various national and regional conservation organizations as they navigated the early years of West German democracy.A" * German Studies Review


List of Maps List of Abbreviations Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1. The Inheritance: A Mixed Legacy for Postwar Conservation Chapter 2. Defending Nature under the Allied Occupation, 1945-1955 Chapter 3. Preserving the Wutach Gorge in the 1950s Chapter 4. Ordering Landscapes and Living SpaceA" in the Miracle Years, 1955-1967 Chapter 5. Landscaping the Mosel Canal, 1956-1964 Chapter 6. Inventing the Environment and Rediscovering Nature, 1967-1975 Chapter 7. Designing the Bavarian Forest National Park, 1966-1975 Conclusions Bibliography Index

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Sandra Chaney is Professor of History at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, where she teaches courses in European and women's history and contemporary global issues.

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