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‘The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic’ explores a once-thriving scene

"Film." Berlin (independently published, 1926). Cover by Paul Leni.

“Film.” Berlin (independently published, 1926). Cover by Paul Leni.

(Taschen)

The Weimar Republic is often associated with hedonism and excess, but the years between the First and Second World Wars in Germany also saw an unprecedented artistic and cultural blossoming. This trend is the subject of a new coffee-table book from Taschen, “The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic.”

Compiled and edited by German antiquarian book dealer Jürgen Holstein, “Weimar Republic” features 1,000 book covers published between 1919 and 1933 by more than 250 publishing houses in Berlin.

The jacket art is notable for its creativity, often edgy imagery and innovative typography. Highlights include covers for American classics such as Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” This thriving literary scene, accompanied by a vast expansion in publishing houses, was crushed in the turmoil that followed the rise of the Third Reich.

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