Author In-conversation: Germany’s Hidden Crisis | City Lights Books
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Submitted by the Event Organizer
City Lights inconjunction with the Goethe Institut and Verso Books present Oliver Nachtwey in conversation with Adrian Daub discussing the subject of Oliver Nachtwey’s new book Germany’s Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe from Verso Books.
Translated by Loren Balhorn and David Fernbach
Recipient of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation 2016 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis for Economic Writing.
Upward social mobility represented a core promise of life under the “old” West German welfare state, in which millions of skilled workers upgraded their Volkswagens to Audis, bought their first homes, and sent their children to university. Not so in today’s Federal Republic, where the gears of the so-called “elevator society” have long since ground to a halt. In the absence of the social mobility of yesterday, widespread social exhaustion and anxiety have emerged across mainstream society. Oliver Nachtwey analyses the reasons for this social rupture in postwar German society and investigates the conflict potential emerging as a result. He concludes that although the country has managed to muddle through thus far, simmering tensions beneath the surface nevertheless threaten to undermine the German system’s stability in the years to come.