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Geoff Eley (born 1949) is a British-born historian of Germany. He received his D.Phil from the University of Sussex in 1974, and has taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor since 1979. He now serves as the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor at that institution.

Eley's early work focused on the radical nationalism in Imperial Germany, but has since grown to include theoretical and methodological reflections on historiography and the history of the political left in Europe.

Eley is particularly well-known for his early study, The Peculiarities of German History (first published in German as Mythen deutscher Geschichtsschreibung in 1984), co-authored with David Blackbourn (a fellow Briton, who now teaches at Harvard University), which challenged the new orthodoxy in German social history known as the Sonderweg thesis.


(This list does not include edited volumes or articles.)

  • A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.
  • Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Reshaping the German Right: Radical Nationalism and Political Change after Bismarck. London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980; new ed. 1991.
  • Wilhelminismus, Nationalismus, Faschismus: Zur historischen Kontinuität in Deutschland. Münster: Verlag Westfälisches Dampfboot, 1991.
  • From Unification to Nazism: Reinterpreting the German Past. London: Routledge, 1986.
  • The Peculiarities of German History (with David Blackbourn). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.


Faculty pages on Eley at the University of Michigan:


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