In an era of transatlantic migration, Germans were fascinated by the myth of the frontier. Yet, for many, they were most likely to encounter frontier landscapes of new settlement and the taming of nature not in far-flung landscapes abroad, but on the edges of Germany's many growing cities. Germany's Urban Frontiers: Nature and History on the Edge of the Nineteenth-Century City (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020) is the first book to examine how nineteenth-century notions of progress, community, and nature shaped the changing spaces of German urban peripheries as the walls and boundaries that had so long defined central European cities disappeared. Through a series of local case studies including Leipzig, Oldenburg, and Berlin, Kristin Poling reveals how Germans on the edge of the city confronted not only questions of planning and control, but also their own histories and futures as a community.
Kristin Poling is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Michigan—Dearborn, where she teaches modern European and global history and received the 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award.
Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
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