Driving Germany

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Thomas Zeller. Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930–1970. Translated by THOMAS DUNLAP. (Studies in German History, number 5.) New York: Berghahn Books. 2007. Pp. 289. $85.00.

Summary

Contents:

1. Introduction: Germany and Its Autobahn

- A growing overlap: history of technology and environmental history

- Transportation history: the system of mobility

2. Landscape: the Dual Construction

- Physically altered landscapes

- Culturally altered landscapes

3. The Historical Habitat of Landscape-Friendly Roads

- The autobahnen in environmental history

- Building technological landscapes on the Rhine and Neckar

- Reconciling nature and technology in the interwar period

- Albert Seifert and Fritz Todt: a biographic constellation

4. Planning the Autobahn before and after 1933

- The failed autobahn project of the interwar period

- Building the Nazi autobahn

- The place of the autobahn in the Nazi dictatorship

- Propogandizing the Reichsautobahn

- German Technology (Deutche Technik) and the Reichsautobahn

5. Conflicts over the Harmonious Road

- Finding a niche for landscape architects

- Searching for a job description

- Pitting landscape architects against civil engineers

- Marginalizing conservation and spatial planning on the autobahn

- Legalizing the exclusion of conservation

6. The Myth of the Green Autobahn

- Road alignment as a subject of controversy

- "One drives faster than I can write": visual consumption on the Reichsautobahn

- The flora of the Nazi autobahn: contesting native plants

- An ideology disintegrates: technology in the crisis of 1937

- The value and cost of landscaping

- The landscape advocates seek power beyond the autobahn

7. Reinterpretations: the West German Autobahn, 1949-1970

- Autobahnen and the politics of the Bonn Republic

- Building a federal highway system

- The postwar trust in numbers

- "An autobahn is not a hiking path": roadside plantings as safety devices

- Roadside greenery as a bone of public contention

8. Conclusion

Commentary

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