The Consuming Temple : : Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880-1940 / / Paul Lerner.

Department stores in Germany, like their predecessors in France, Britain, and the United States, generated great excitement when they appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. Their sumptuous displays, abundant products, architectural innovations, and prodigious scale inspired widespread fascin...

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Superior document:Title is part of eBook package: De Gruyter Cornell University Press Complete eBook-Package 2014-2015
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Place / Publishing House:Ithaca, NY : : Cornell University Press, , [2015]
©2015
Year of Publication:2015
Language:English
Online Access:
Physical Description:1 online resource (280 p.) :; 46 halftones
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Other title:Frontmatter --
Contents --
Acknowledgments --
Introduction --
1. Jerusalem's Terrain: The Department Store and Its Discontents in Imperial Germany --
2. Dreamworlds in Motion: Circulation, Cosmopolitanism, and the Jewish Question --
3. Uncanny Encounters: The Thief, the Shopgirl, and the Department Store King --
4. Beyond the Consuming Temple: Jewish Dissimilation and Consumer Modernity in Provincial Germany --
5. The Consuming Fire: Fantasies of Destruction in German Politics and Culture --
Conclusion --
Notes --
Selected Bibliography --
Index
Summary:Department stores in Germany, like their predecessors in France, Britain, and the United States, generated great excitement when they appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. Their sumptuous displays, abundant products, architectural innovations, and prodigious scale inspired widespread fascination and even awe; at the same time, however, many Germans also greeted the rise of the department store with considerable unease. In The Consuming Temple, Paul Lerner explores the complex German reaction to department stores and the widespread belief that they posed hidden dangers both to the individuals, especially women, who frequented them and to the nation as a whole.Drawing on fiction, political propaganda, commercial archives, visual culture, and economic writings, Lerner provides multiple perspectives on the department store, placing it in architectural, gender-historical, commercial, and psychiatric contexts. Noting that Jewish entrepreneurs founded most German department stores, he argues that Jews and "Jewishness" stood at the center of the consumer culture debate from the 1880s, when the stores first appeared, through the latter 1930s, when they were "Aryanized" by the Nazis. German responses to consumer culture and the Jewish question were deeply interwoven, and the "Jewish department store," framed as an alternative and threatening secular temple, a shrine to commerce and greed, was held responsible for fundamental changes that transformed urban experience and challenged national traditions in Germany's turbulent twentieth century.
Format:Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
ISBN:9781501700125
9783110606744
DOI:10.7591/9781501700125
Access:restricted access
Hierarchical level:Monograph
Statement of Responsibility: Paul Lerner.