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Modernizing Bavaria: The Politics of Franz Josef Strauss and the CSU, 1949-1969

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Volume 15

Monographs in German History

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Modernizing Bavaria

The Politics of Franz Josef Strauss and the CSU, 1949-1969

Mark Milosch

216 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-123-3 $135.00/£99.00 / hb / Published (March 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78920-604-3 eBook

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“Milosch has written a well-researched monograph that places a crucial period of recent history into its proper political and economic context. This work should be required reading for anyone interested in late twentieth-century German and European history.”  ·  German Studies Review

“…provides a very helpful interpretation of the Christian Social Union’s role in general, and Franz Josef Strauß’s role in particular, in Bavaria’s political and economic modernization up to 1969…Underlying Milosch’s narrative account of Bavaria’s technical, scientific, and economic modernization…lay an important contribution to our theoretical understanding of the modernization process itself.”  ·  Central European History


In 1949 Bavaria was not only the largest and best known but also the poorest, most agricultural, and most industrially backward region of Germany. It was further its most politically conservative region. The largest political party in Bavaria was the Christian Social Union (CSU), an extremely conservative, even reactionary, regional party. In the ensuing twenty years, the leaders of the CSU's small liberal wing (in particular Franz Josef Strauss, long-time party chair and the most colorful and polarizing politician in postwar Germany) broke with the anti-industrial traditions of Bavarian Catholic politics and made themselves useful to industry. With tactical brilliance the politicians pursued their individual political ambitions, rather than a coherent modernization strategy, which, by 1969, had turned Bavaria into a prosperous Land, the center of Germany's new aerospace, defense, and energy industries, with a disproportionate share of its research institutes.

Mark Milosch currently works as a Special Advisor to the U.S. Congress.

Subject: History (General)History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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