This major interpretation of the Revolution of 1848-1849 in Germany stresses its character as a mass political phenomenon. Building skillfully on the theme of the interaction of self-conscious radicalism and spontaneous popular movements, Jonathan Sperber analyzes the social and religious antagonisms of pre-1848 German society and shows how they were politicized by the democratic political opposition.
"Rhineland Radicals displays clearly the same scholarly virtues that made Sperber's first book, Popular Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Germany (1984), such an impressive achievement. The research is thorough, the writing uniformly clear and graceful, the analysis powerful and persuasive."--James J. Sheehan, The Times Literary Supplement
"A substantial work.... One of its strengths lies in the detailed description of economic and social conditions in the pre-1848 period as background to events during the revolution."--American Historical Review
"One of the most important books on modern German history to emerge from the United States recently and probably the most important to emerge on the pre-Bismarck era."--Geoff Eley, University of Michigan