The German Chemical Industry in the Twentieth Century

The German Chemical Industry in the Twentieth Century

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In the twentieth century, dyes, pharmaceuticals, photographic products, explosives, insecticides, fertilizers, synthetic rubber, fuels, and fibers, plastics, and other products have flowed out of the chemical industry and into the consumer economies, war machines, farms, and medical practices of industrial societies. The German chemical industry has been a major site for the development and application of the science-based technologies that gave rise to these products, and has had an important role as exemplar, stimulus, and competitor in the international chemical industry.
This volume explores the German chemical industry's scientific and technological dimension, its international connections, and its development after 1945. The authors relate scientific and technological change in the industry to evolving German political and economic circumstances, including two world wars, the rise and fall of National Socialism, the post-war division of Germany, and the emergence of a global economy. This book will be of interest to historians of modern Germany, to historians of science and technology, and to business and economic historians.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 474 pages
  • 158 x 238 x 34mm | 839.14g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 2000 ed.
  • VIII, 474 p.
  • 0792364872
  • 9780792364870

Table of contents

Preface. Introduction; J.E. Lesch. I.G. Farben revisited: Industry and ideology ten years later; P. Hayes. Part I: Research and Technological Innovation. The academic-industrial symbiosis in German chemical research, 1905-1939; J.A. Johnson. Scientist and industrial manager: Emil Fischer and Carl Duisberg; D. Stoltzenberg. Losing the war but gaining ground: The German chemical industry during World War I; M. Szoelloesi-Janze. The relationship of I.G. Farben's Agfa Filmfabrik Wolfen to its Jewish scientists and scientists married to Jews, 1933-1939; P. Loehnert, M. Gill. Germany's synthetic fuel industry, 1930-1945; A.N. Stranges. Part II: International Connections and Comparative Perspectives. Business strategies and research organization in the German chemical industry and its role as exemplar for other industries in Germany and Britain; U. Marsch. Dominance through cooperation: I.G. Farben's Japan strategy; A. Kudo. German chemical firms in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the post-World War II period; M. Wilkins. German chemicals and American politics, 1919-1922; K. Steen. Part III: The Industry Since 1945. The Richard Willstatter controversy: The legacy of anti-Semitism in the West German chemical industry; J. Wiesen. Capacity losses, reconstruction, and unfinished modernization: The chemical industry in the Soviet Zone of Occupation (SBZ/GDR, 1945-1965); R. Karlsch. The dynamics of industry structure: The chemical industry in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan in the 1980s; A. Arora, A. Gambardella. Gravity and the Rainbow-makers: Some thoughts on the trajectory of the German chemical industry in the twentieth century; R. Stokes. Index.
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Review quote

`This book is an excellent example of what can be achieved from longitududinal industry studies that integrate the many dimensions of commercial life. It is important reading for anyone interested in the chemical industry, German business or general German and business history.'
Chemical Heritage, 20:2 (2002)
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