Fallen Elites

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-03-09
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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Military officers are often the first to be considered politically dangerous when a state loses its authority. Overnight, actions once considered courageous are deemed criminal, and men once praised as heroes are redefined as villains. In Fallen Elites, Andrew Bickford examines how states make soldiers and what happens to fallen military elites when they no longer fit into the political spectrum. Gaining unprecedented entry into the lives of former East German officers in unified Germany, Bickford relates how these men and their families have come to terms with the shock of unification, capitalism, and citizenship since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Often caricatured as unrepentant, hard-line communists, former officers recount how they have struggled with their identities and much-diminished roles. Their disillusionment speaks to global questions about the contentious relationship between the military, citizenship, masculinity, and state formation today. Casting a critical eye on Western triumphalism, they provide a new perspective on our own deep-seated assumptions about "soldier making," both at home and abroad.

Author Biography

Andrew Bickford is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologue: The Anthropologist Who Came In from the Coldp. xiii
Abbreviations and Termsp. xvii
Becoming Militarized: My Brother, My Enemyp. 1
The Military Imaginary: Soldiers, Myths, and Statesp. 3
Emotions, Generations, and Death Cults: Militarization and the Creation of Socialist Military Personalitiesp. 37
Coming of Age in the NVA: The Master Narratives of Militarizationp. 71
Being Militarized
The Writing on the Wall: The NVA Surrendersp. 99
A War of Signs, Images, and Memories: German Militaries in the Cold War and Unificationp. 104
˘Unification Has Ruined My Life÷: The Political Economy of the Military Otherp. 134
As Germans Among Germans: Life in the Kameradschaftp. 162
˘We're the Jews of the New Germany÷: Heroic Victimhood, Fallen Elites, and the Slipperiness of History and Memoryp. 193
Death and Allegiance: Toward an Anthropology of Soldieringp. 215
Notesp. 229
Works Citedp. 247
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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