THE WEST GERMANS: How They Live and Work by Reginald Peck

THE WEST GERMANS: How They Live and Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Better integrated and articulated than others in the series, this consequently suffers less from the inadequate indexing that plagues the group since the detailed table of contents can substitute (and the internal cross references partially compensate). Also relevant is relatively less concentration on statistics and other data, more on developments and implications--which contribute to making this a book and not just a handbook. Within the prescribed outline are consideration of the ""militarist and aggressive"" attribution, of the constant impingement of religious differences; a cogent thematic condensation of history; spotting of the ""constructive opposition"" clause and effectual limitation of the number of parties as attempts to achieve the political stability absent from the Weimar Republic; explanation of the ""continental"" type of judicial system vis a vis the Anglo-Saxon (and of the administrative courts as safeguards against arbitrary acts of the executive, as in the Nazi period). British and American institutions provide a touchstone also for the Social Security system (a distinction is made between Arbeiter, manual workers and Angestellte, office staff and universities (German students enjoy less contact with their professors but more administrative power, particularly over their own affairs). Also featured are profiles of the regions (i.e. states and city-states); entries on each of the significant industries (and handicrafts, where the apprentice system persists); discussion of living conditions, modes of transport, forms of amusement (they're nowhere so grim as assumed); and ""Hints for Visitors."" Really enough to prompt several papers (why reading polls first among spare-time occupations, for instance) as well as answer any assigned question.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1970
Publisher: Praeger