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Dr. Gabriel Publishes Book

Elun Gabriel, associate professor of History, has published Assassins and Conspirators: Anarchism, Socialism, and Political Culture in Imperial Germany with Northern Illinois University Press. Tracing public debates about anarchism over the course of the German Empire (1871-1918), the book offers a unique vantage point on the construction of political legitimacy in the German Empire. Since members of other political camps considered anarchist violence fundamentally illegitimate, anti-anarchist rhetoric helped demarcate the parameters of legitimate politics. Using a diverse array of primary sources from newspapers and political pamphlets to Reichstag speeches and police reports on anarchist and socialist activity, Gabriel sets the history of Social Democracy within the context of public political debate about democracy, the rule of law, and the appropriate use of state power. Gabriel also places the history of German anarchism in the larger contexts of German history, and explores the role of anarchist terrorism in shaping European politics in the 19th century. Gabriel shows that heated debates about anarchism’s character were never only about anarchism, but also raised questions about which social and political groups properly represented German values and whose ideas would enable the nation to thrive.