It is impossible to understand the history of modern Europe without some knowledge of the Weimar Republic. The brief fourteen-year period of democracy between the Treaty of Versailles and the advent of the Third Reich was marked by unstable government, economic crisis and hyperinflation and the rise of extremist political movements. At the same time, however, a vibrant cultural scene flourished, which continues to influence the international art world through the aesthetics of Expressionism and the Bauhaus movement. In the fields of art, literature, theatre, cinema, music and architecture - not to mention science - Germany became a world leader during the 1920s, while her perilous political and economic position ensured that no US or European statesman could afford to ignore her. Incorporating original research and a synthesis of the existing historiography, this book will provide students and a general readership with a clear and concise introduction to the history of the first German Republic.