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Daniel Gergely 10/19/01 His 223 Jensen First Paper The Significance of Modernity Throughout time, nations have attempted to become independent from one another by discovering means, which would help their citizens experience more fulfilling lives. The dilemma that troubled each of these countries is whether or not innovations, in technology and society, led to a higher quality of life. Modris Eckstein and Marshall Berman examine both, the damages and benefits of modernity. Eckstein looks at individual changes that lead to the overall acceptance of modernity. He examines Germany, and how the lives of every citizen was altered following the revolutionary changes of the first half of the 20th century. Marshall Berman, on the other hand, assesses modernity as an all-encompassing characteristic of certain societies. He analyzes whether or not large-scale changes that societies made, improved the well being of their inhabitants.

Rites of Spring, by Modris Eckstein, gives an overview of all the modifications Germany experienced, in the first half of the 20th century.

Eckstein considers these individual alterations to be an attempt, by German society to modernize itself. General beliefs in German nationalism, and the treatment of homosexuals, are two of the several topics Eckstein uses to describe the aforementioned change in German livelihood. These two subjects encompass Ecksteins belief of a national German movement towards a unified culture. "It is a book about the emergence, in the first half of this century, of our modern conscious".

At the turn of the century Germany was a divided nation that did not have a sense of national pride. In the forthcoming years, the convictions of all German citizens changed and the nation became unified. Eckstein attributes this massive modernization of German nationalism to the ongoing threat of war. The citizens of Germany relinquished their internal feuds, and centered their attention...