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Review of Monod, David. 2005. Settling Scores: German Music, Denazification, and the Americans, 1945-1953. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Tompkins, David

David Monod's engaging and thorough monograph offers a largely
convincing if at times overstated rebuttal to such negative assessments
of the American role in the musical realm of postwar Germany. Through
his focus on cIassical music, he argues that American influence helped to
lay the foundations for a new and democratic cultural life. Perhaps most
controversially, Monod claims that the modest cultural regeneration of the
early postwar years was possible because of the "revolutionary and transformative"
power of denazification, the policy to remove Nazi influences from
public life (9). While he agrees with most scholars that denazification was
implemented poorly and ended too quickly, he nonetheless maintains that
American influence was positive in limited but essential ways, through the
actions of individual cultural officers as well as in the structural reform of arts
administration. Although many individual initiatives failed, he maintains
that the denazification policies-both those designed to remove Nazis from
public life as well as those intended to punish and rehabilitate individual
Nazis and sympathizers-indeed implemented core democratic values and
that, as a result, German musical life changed for the better.



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Columbia University
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October 29, 2014