November 1989: East Germans danced on the Berlin wall and the Communist regime began to collapse. A unique revolution occurred: changes were brought about by peaceful, spontaneous demonstrations. No group organized the famous gatherings of thousands of people at the Karl Marx Square in Leipzig on October 9, 1989. Why did so many citizens participate although they risked their lives? Why were the demonstrations peaceful? How was it possible that so many people demonstrated without any organization? What part did the church and opposition groups play in the emergence of the revolution? Why didn't the government crack down the demonstrations? How did political events such as the liberalization in Eastern Europe influence the demonstrations? In a readable and accessible style, "Origins of Spontaneous Revolution" provides an explanation of this revolution based in rational actor theory. The authors support their arguments with documents, jokes, and a unique data set: one year after the revolutionary events a representative survey of 1300 Leipzig residents was conducted focusing exclusively on the revolutionary period. This book will be of interest to sociologists and other social scientists such as historians and political scientists. Karl Dieter Opp, Peter Voss, and Christiane Gern are members of the faculty of the Institute of Sociology, University of Hamburg.
The countryside of Devon and Cornwall preserves an unusually rich legacy from its medieval past. This book explores the different elements which go to make up this historic landscape - the chapels, crosses, castles and mines; the tinworks and strip fields; and above all, the intricately worked counterpane of hedgebanks and winding lanes. Between AD 500 and 1700, a series of revolutions transformed the structure of the South West Peninsula's rural landscape. The book tells the story of these changes, and also explores how people experienced the landscape in which they lived: how they came to imbue places with symbolic and cultural meaning. Contributors include: Ralph Fyfe on the pollen evidence of landscape change; Sam Turner on the Christian landscape; Peter Herring on both strip fields and Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor; O. H. Creighton and J. P. Freeman on castles; Phil Newman on tin working; and Lucy Franklin on folklore and imagined landscapes.
Contrary to those who regard the economic transformation of the West as a gradual process spanning centuries, Peter D. McClelland claims the initial transformation of American agriculture was an unmistakable revolution. He asks when a single crucial question was first directed persistently, pervasively, and systematically to farming practices: Is there a better way? McClelland surveys practices from crop rotation to livestock breeding, with a particular focus on the change in implements used to produce small grains. With wit and verve and an abundance of detail, he demonstrates that the first great surge in inventive activity in agronomy in the United States took place following the War of 1812, much of it in a fifteen-year period ending in 1830. Once questioning the status quo became the norm for producers on and off the farm, according to McClelland, the march to modernization was virtually assured. With the aid of more than 270 illustrations, many of them taken from contemporary sources, McClelland describes this stunning transformation in a manner rarely found in the agricultural literature. How primitive farming implements worked, what their defects were, and how they were initially redesigned are explained in a manner intelligible to the novice and yet offering analysis and information of special interest to the expert.
This bookreveals the strain of a moment in American cultural history that led several remarkable writers -- including Emerson, Warner, and Melville -- to render the stark rupture of loss in innovative ways. Pushing Protestant culture's sense of loss into secular terrain, these three key writers rejected Calvinist and sentimental models of bereavement, creating instead the compensations of a mature American literature whose 'originality' stemmed from its capacity to mourn the loss of a common culture and, through such mourning, to assent to new social and cultural realities. Balaam locates this appeal to 'reality' in the analogies antebellum writers drew between their experience of bereavement, and the experiences of uncertainty and disillusionment, that followed the revolutions in science, the winding down of creedal systems and the economic instability typifying the pre-Civil War era.