MetadataShow full item record
The long-standing, family-owned travel guidebook business founded by Karl Baedeker has gone down in European history for the famous Baedeker Guidebooks. The Baedeker guidebooks enjoyed notable popularity soon after their debut in the 1830s, attaining international recognition as comprehensive, objective, and thoroughly reliable guidebooks (Koshar 330). The present project will put the alleged objectivity of the Baedekers to the test by comparing the 1923 and 1965 English guidebooks for the city of Berlin. These two editions of the Berlin Baedeker are a particularly interesting corpus: as they present "what is worth seeing in Berlin" to a foreign audience, these subsequent editions also confront how to present the capital (or ex-capital) of a nation in great need of new images after its central, devastating role in the two World Wars. Published soon after the nation stabilized postwar, and thus when tourism might reasonably be expected to reestablish itself, I argue that the 1923 and 1965 Berlin Baedekers attempt to produce a political intervention, presenting a particular version of Berlin that has immeasurable national and European value in order to improve Germany’s image in times of crisis. Connecting these Baedekers to their historical contexts and examining how they respond to their respective circumstances can point to new, productive directions for scholarship on travel literature and other types of tourist media.