From Stefan's list on why identity issues are so hot in history.
In the nineteenth century, no class culture was more prominent than the one by German Social Democracy. The German Social Democratic Party topped one million individual members before the outbreak of the First World War and about one-third of the electorate in Imperial Germany vote for its programme of revolution and democratization. This book is about the mental world of the party’s rank and file, their fears, wishes and desires, their dreams, and their beliefs. It talks powerfully about leadership cults, the tensions between nationalism and internationalism, working-class reading habits, and the ideals of republicanism. It is a powerful recreation of a constructed class identity with huge repercussions on politics in Germany.