Modern Germany
by Wendell G. Johnson and Katharina Barbe
March 2022, 435pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6453-7
$100, £75, 87€, A136
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6454-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Berlin, Germany’s capital, is geographically nine times larger than the city of Paris, but much less densely populated.

Modern Germany explores life, society, and history in this comprehensive thematic encyclopedia, spanning such topics as geography, pop culture, the media, and gender.

Germany and its capital, Berlin, were the fulcrum of geopolitics in the twentieth century. After the Second World War, Germany was a divided nation. Many German citizens were born and educated and continued to work in eastern Germany (the former German Democratic Republic).

This title in the Understanding Modern Nations series seeks to explain contemporary life and traditional culture through thematic encyclopedic entries. Themes in the book cover geography; history; politics and government; economy; religion and thought; social classes and ethnicity; gender, marriage, and sexuality; education; language; etiquette; literature and drama; art and architecture; music and dance; food; leisure and sports; and media and pop culture. Within each theme, short topical entries cover a wide array of key concepts and ideas, from LGBTQ issues in Germany to linguistic dialects to the ever-famous Oktoberfest. Geared specifically toward high school and undergraduate German students, readers interested in history and travel will find this book accessible and engaging.


  • Provides examples of how the post-war division of Germany continues to play a role in German society
  • Discusses German politics as well as the nation's role in the European Union
  • Contains contemporary, first-person accounts of everyday life in Germany in a "Day in the Life" appendix
  • Illuminates the text through photos that illustrate key topics
  • Provides fun facts and anecdotal information in sidebars, helping to engage readers
Wendell G. Johnson, PhD, EdD, is head of reference and research for the University Libraries at Northern Illinois University. He edited ABC-CLIO's End of Days: Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse.

Katharina Barbe, PhD, professor emerita, was chair of the department of world languages and literatures at Northern Illinois University. She is coauthor of Prüfungstraining DaF: AP German Language and Culture.

Understanding Modern Nations

The Understanding Modern Nations series profiles individual nations that are of interest to high school students and undergraduates, focusing on countries that are often studied in school as well as countries that have made major headlines in recent years.

With coverage of topics such as geography, history, politics and government, economy, society, culture, social media, pop culture, and personal accounts of daily life, these volumes serve as ideal resources for students of geography, social studies, anthropology, political science, and more. Additional topics examine religion, social classes and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, education, language, etiquette, literature and drama, art and architecture, music and dance, food, and leisure and sport.

General overviews of each topic provide students with a basic foundation on the subject, and entries pertaining to the topic—such as biographies of significant people in the field, iconic events, and key ideas—follow each overview. Sidebars and photos, facts and figures that are integral to better understanding the countries, a glossary of key terms, and a holidays chart round out the coverage in each of these accessible, engaging volumes.
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