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Degeneration and Revolution

Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany

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Robert Heynen

In Degeneration and Revolution: Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany Robert Heynen explores the impact of conceptions of degeneration, exemplified by eugenics and social hygiene, on the social, cultural, and political history of the left in Germany, 1914–33. Hygienic practices of bodily regulation were integral to the extension of modern capitalist social relations, and profoundly shaped Weimar culture.

Heynen’s innovative interdisciplinary approach draws on Marxist and other critical traditions to examine the politics of degeneration and socialist, communist, and anarchist responses. Drawing on key Weimar theorists and addressing artistic and cultural movements ranging from Dada to worker-produced media, this book challenges us to rethink conventional understandings of left culture and politics, and of Weimar culture more generally.