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Paper and iron : Hamburg business and German politics in the era of inflation, 1897-1927

Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Cambridge, England ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Few economic events have had a more profound or enduring impact than the German hyperinflation of 1923, still remembered popularly as a root cause of Hitler's rise to power. Yet in recent years many historians have argued that inflationary policies were, on balance, advantageous to post-1918 Germany, both boosting growth and helping to reduce reparations. The scholarly consensus is that there was no viable  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Niall Ferguson
ISBN: 0521470161 9780521470162
OCLC Number: 30108584
Description: xiv, 539 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Golden years --
2. The sinews of war --
3. The political economy of revolution --
4. Versailles and Hamburg --
5. Relative stabilisation --
6. The failure of 'fulfilment' --
7. Dissolution and liquidation --
8. The legacy of the inflation --
Epilogue: Hitler's inflation.
Responsibility: Niall Ferguson.
More information:

Abstract:

Few economic events have had a more profound or enduring impact than the German hyperinflation of 1923, still remembered popularly as a root cause of Hitler's rise to power. Yet in recent years many historians have argued that inflationary policies were, on balance, advantageous to post-1918 Germany, both boosting growth and helping to reduce reparations. The scholarly consensus is that there was no viable alternative to inflation. In Paper and iron Niall Ferguson takes a different view. Focusing on the influential Hamburg business community, he exposes the flaws in the contemporary justifications for inflationary policies. The inflation, he argues, did severe damage to the German economy by eroding the foundations of bourgeois society and discrediting Weimar's welfare state. Above all, it did nothing whatever to reduce reparations. Alternative policies might in fact have stabilised the German currency in 1920. To explain why such policies were not adopted, the author points to long-term defects in the political economy of the Reich. He suggests that there was a thirty-year 'era of inflation' after 1897 in which the inadequacy of the Reich's fiscal and monetary institutions allowed economic interest groups to wield excessive power. This internal imbalance of power was reversed only in the 1930s. Thus Paper and iron reveals not only the Wilhelmine origins of Weimar's failure; it also casts new light upon the origins of the Third Reich.

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