Capitalism, Politics and Railroads in Prussia 1830-1870, by James M. Brophy
Published by Ohio State University Press in 1998, 273 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket, ISBN 9780814207512 (S8295B)
From the rear side cover: This work examines the politics of money making in the railroad industry and the relationship of railroad entrepreneurs with the conservative Prussian state during the industry's critical phase of growth and consolidation. James M. Brophy explores the pivotal role the business politics of the railroad industry played in Prussian industrialization, state building, and bourgeois political culture.
Orthodox interpretations maintain that the bourgeois defeat in the Revolution of 1848 led to an alliance between business and government in which entrepreneurs capitulated to a pre industrial order, trading political docility for economic concessions. This alliance is claimed to have laid the foundation for Germany's flawed political and economic modernization, providing the socioeconomic cement that solid ified the position of the old order against change in the new age of industrial capitalism.
Brophy reveals the inadequacies of the alliance thesis, especially its treatment of bourgeois economic and political agency, and presents instead a new interpretation of the relationship between early capitalism and the changing conservatism of Prussia. Using the railroad industry as the basis on which to construct a larger argument about the role of the capitalist class in reconstituting the Prussian-Gerrnan state, Brophy breaks new ground in locating the informal, bureaucratic, and parliamentary political spheres business men infiltrated and the legislative issues they influenced.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The dust jacket has one or two minor scuffs and some light wear along the edges and corners, as well as a couple of scratches on the rear side, but the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.