Zatlin, The Currency of Socialism Feb 08.pdf (39.28 kB)

Jonathan R. Zatlin, The currency of socialism: money and political culture in East Germany [review]

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posted on 04.08.2014, 15:44 by Jeremy Leaman
This is a terrific book, scholarly but at the same time elegantly written and entertaining. Zatlin succeeds in fulfilling a number of varied objectives, which include a detailed history of the political economy of the German Democratic Republic and an innovative account of its ultimate failure during the 1980s. He achieves this, first, by making the theory of money and the contradictions of its implementation the entry point from which the reader is asked to observe the 40 years of economic history in the exotic and artificial construct that was the GDR. Zatlin then crystallizes his analysis of the GDR’s failure, by asserting that one (key) deficiency was the monetization and commodification of economic relations in a society which was supposed to achieve precisely the opposite; by setting itself up as a (poor) competitor to the more efficiently monetized and commodified Federal Republic and, more dramatically, by using the DM as a parallel trading currency in the Intershops and exploiting official and black market exchange rates in the Exquisit and Delikat chains, the GDR condemned itself in ideological terms and in practice.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW

Volume

61

Issue

4

Pages

1028 - 1029 (2)

Citation

LEAMAN, J., 2008. Jonathan R. Zatlin, The currency of socialism: money and political culture in East Germany [review]. Economic History Review, 61 (4), pp. 1028-1029.

Publisher

Blackwell (© Economic History Society)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2008

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: LEAMAN, J., 2008. Jonathan R. Zatlin, The currency of socialism: money and political culture in East Germany [review]. Economic History Review, 61 (4), pp. 1028-1029., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2008.00447_25.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

ISSN

0013-0117

eISSN

1468-0289

Language

en

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