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German Social Democracy, 1905-1917: The Development of the Great Schism

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  17 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
No political parties of present-day Germany are separated by a wider gulf than the two parties of labor, one democratic and reformist, the other totalitarian and socialist-revolutionary. Social Democrats and Communists today face each other as bitter political enemies across the front lines of the cold war; yet they share a common origin in the Social Democratic Party of I ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Harvard University Press (first published January 1st 1955)
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Neal
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ever wonder how the greatest mass socialist party in history ended up supporting world war in 1914 and imploding shortly thereafter? This is the book for you!

As Schorske documents, divisions in the German Social Democratic Party grew throughout the first fourteen years of the new century. Although the party's radicals (which originally included Karl Kautsky as well as Rosa Luxemburg) were initially aligned with the party's executive (including August Bebel) in preserving the party's commitment t
...more
Dan
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Spoiler: in 1914, the German Social Democratic Party voted war credits to support Germany in World War One. How did a party committed on paper to socialism, revolution, and internationalism, come to support an imperialist war? That's what Schorscke explains in this surprisingly engaging, thoughtful, and sympathetic book, a must-read for all who want to organize for radical social change.

On paper, the SPD was committed to the Erfurt program -- uncompromising class struggle against the existing o
...more
Scott
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
I found the interplay of forces within the German Social Democratic movement to be quite fascinating. Internal battles amongst reformists, centrists, radicals, unions, and genders weakened and divided a party externally facing well-organized employers and an imperial state, ultimately leading to schism and to Social Democratic ministers sending the army and police against their former fellow party members. A major contribution to the split was the inability of the party and broader movement to a ...more
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Carl Emil Schorske was an American cultural historian and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. In 1981 he won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (1980), which remains highly significant to modern European intellectual history. He was a recipient of the first year of MacArthur Fellows Program awards in 1981 and made an honorary ...more
More about Carl E. Schorske