Who Has the Youth, Has the Future : the Campaign to Save Young Workers in Imperial Germany

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Virtually all discussions of the problematic character of youth and society in twentieth-century Germany begin with the middle class Wandervogel and end with the Hitler Youth. In this revisionist study Derek S. Linton argues that youth emerged as an important social problem around 1900 without any reference to the Wandervogel. Instead, fears of socialism, urban disorder, mass culture, and youthful independence prompted liberal social reformers to constitute young workers as a social problem. Linton traces the 'natural history' of this social problem from recognition to institutional reform. He especially explores such institutions as mandatory evening vocational schools and adult sponsored youth clubs designed to integrate young workers into Wilhelmine society. Based on his analysis of youth reform, Linton ends by discussing some of the debates between historians over the reformability of Imperial Germany and relations between the Empire and the Nazi regime.