Performance Anxiety: Sport and Work in Germany from the Empire to Nazism
Performance Anxiety analyses the efforts of German elites, from 1890 to 1945, to raise the productivity and psychological performance of workers through the promotion of mass sports. Michael Hau reveals how politicians, sports officials, medical professionals, and business leaders, articulated a vision of a human economy that was coopted in 1933 by Nazi officials in order to promote competition in the workplace. Hau’s original and startling study is the first to establish how Nazi leaders’ discourse about sports and performance was used to support their claims that Germany was on its way to becoming a true meritocracy. Performance Anxiety is essential reading for political, social, and sports historians alike.
- Series: German and European Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 384 pages
- Illustrations: 25
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
‘Hau has written an extremely astute, well-researched study about the use of sport to promote performance enhancement in Germany from 1890 to 1945…. Highly recommended.’
Choice Magazine vol 55:02:2017
"[Performance Anxiety’s] thoughtful analysis of various discourses surrounding performance bears both broad and very specific conclusions that many scholars will find valuable."
David Imhoof, Susquehana University
European History Quarterly, Vol. 48 no 4, 2018
"Sophisticated, original, and richly detailed, Hau’s work sheds new light on the histories of sports, performance, health, state coercion, gender, and modernity in Germany."
Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker, Indiana University, South Bend
Journal of Modern History, March '19
"This monograph examines the relation between sports and work as well as their meaning and exploitation in the German Empire in an impressive way…very successful and readable."
Marcus Coesfeld, Archäologisches Freilichtmuseum Oerlinghausen
Journal of Social History, Summer 2019
"Performance Anxiety will be of particular benefit to those interested in the histories of German business, labor, and the wartime economy, as well as those interested in the history of sport and of biopolitical regimes more generally."
Erik Jensen, Miami University
Monatshefte, vol 110 no 4, 2018
“Michael Hau does an excellent job of highlighting the tension between Nazi eugenics and Nazi performatics. This is a fascinating and important topic.”
Erik Jensen, Department of History, Miami University
“Performance Anxiety is concerned with a crucial topic of modern German history. Michael Hau demonstrates a fine grasp of English and German historiography and he incorporates a range of interesting published and archival sources.”
Moritz Föllmer, Department of History, University of Amsterdam
Author InformationMichael Hau is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University.
Table of contents
1 Wehrkraft and Volkskraft: The “Human Economy” and Performance Enhancement during the Empire
2 Conditioning Bodies and Minds during the Weimar Republic
3: Conditioning People’s Comrades
4 The Olympics of Labor: The Reich Vocational Competitions, 1934-1939
5 The Performance Community at War
Subjects and Courses