Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Crime Stories: Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of Crisis in Weimar Germany

View Table of Contents

Volume 22

Monographs in German History

See Related
History Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Crime Stories

Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of Crisis in Weimar Germany

Todd Herzog

182 pages, 15 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-439-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (April 2009)

eISBN 978-1-84545-905-5 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Herzog’s book uses a wonderful array of texts, from films to crime fiction, and his arguments are provocative. While English, French, and US crime novelists placed detectives at the center of their tales, he reveals, their Weimar counterparts focused on the criminal.  ·  The Journal of Modern History

Herzog’s arguments are insightful and persuasive. This seminal book is a valuable contribution to the interdisciplinary field of German Studies and should be incortporated in courses on the Weimar Republic.  ·  Focus on German Studies

Convincingly argued, the book combines socio-historical, literary and media analyses for an astonishing and fascinating depiction of Weimar culture.”  ·  European History Quarterly


The Weimar Republic (1918–1933) was a crucial moment not only in German history but also in the history of both crime fiction and criminal science. This study approaches the period from a unique perspective - investigating the most notorious criminals of the time and the public’s reaction to their crimes. The author argues that the development of a new type of crime fiction during this period - which turned literary tradition on its head by focusing on the criminal and abandoning faith in the powers of the rational detective - is intricately related to new ways of understanding criminality among professionals in the fields of law, criminology, and police science. Considering Weimar Germany not only as a culture in crisis (the standard view in both popular and scholarly studies), but also as a culture of crisis, the author explores the ways in which crime and crisis became the foundation of the Republic’s self-definition. An interdisciplinary cultural studies project, this book insightfully combines history, sociology, literary studies, and film studies to investigate a topic that cuts across all of these disciplines.

Todd Herzog is an Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He is editor of A New Germany in a New Europe (Routledge 2001, with Sander Gilman) and Rebirth of a Culture: Jewish Identity and Jewish Writing in Germany and Austria Today (Berghahn Books, 2008, with Hillary Hope Herzog and Benjamin Lapp). He is currently working on A Critical Filmography of German Cinema to 1945.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentLiterary StudiesFilm and Television StudiesSociology
Area: Germany


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Crime Stories Criminalistic Fantasy and the Culture of Crisis in Weimar Germany for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.