Germany's Rude Awakening depicts the rise and fall of censorship in the age of the Brothers Grimm and Prince Metternich. Focusing on the Grimm's homeland of Hesse-Cassel, Frederik Ohles illustrates how censorship first awakened to the challenge posed by new political forces and literary forms, then lost its effectiveness as more and more Germans read and wrote what they wanted, finding ways to evade both censors and police. Ohles examines actual practices, looking beyond the legislation of the German Confederation and the pronouncements of Prince Metternich. He explores the effects of the laws on the censors' work, analyzes the political influence of Prussia and Austria on the Principality of Hesse (situated at the crossroads of the German Confederation), and interprets the results of censorship on literature, politics, the book trade, and public and private life. In telling the story of a momentous struggle between old and new views of politics and literature, he shows that while censorship became a public issue in eighteenth-century Germany, it failed as a policing institution. Ohles's extensive research includes police archives, early issues of the bookdealers' gazette published in Marburg, recollections of the Brothers Grimm, the Hessian collection of artistic and scholarly memoirs, and travelers' accounts. The result is a work that will appeal to specialists in nineteenth-century German history and literature as well as historians of censorship, publishing, and German political culture. It also complements current historical debates about communications, public culture, and the modernization of bureaucracy.