Volker R. Berghahn

Volker R. Berghahn

Research Interest

Professor Emeritus


Habilitation: University of Mannheim, 1970
Ph.D. — University of London, 1964
M.A. — University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1961

Interests and Research

Volker Berghahn, Seth Low Professor of History, specializes in modern German history and European-American relations. He received his M.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1961) and his Ph.D. from the University of London (1964). He taught in England and Germany before coming to Brown University in 1988 and to Columbia ten years later. His publications include: America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe (2001); Quest for Economic Empire (ed., 1996); Imperial Germany (1995); The Americanization of West German Industry, 1945-1973 (1986); Modern Germany (1982); Der Tirpitz-Plan (1971); Europe in the Era of Two World Wars (2006); and most recently Industriegesellschaft und Kulturtransfer, Goettingen (2010).


  • Modern Germany, 1871-2000
  • Europe, 1900-1945
  • European Historiography
  • European-American business relations
  • European-American cultural relations


  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society, England
  • Order of Merit, First Class, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Honorary Professor, University of Warwick
  • Fellow, Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin
  • Helmut-Schmidt Prize of ZEIT Foundation


Selected Books

American Big Business in Britain and Germany: A Comparative History of Two "Special Relationships" in the 20th Century, 2014

Industriegesellschaft und Kulturtransfer, Goettingen 2010

Europe in the Era of Two World Wars, 2006

America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe, 2001

Sarajewo 1914. Der Untergang des alten Europa, 1997

Imperial Germany, 1871-1914, 1995

Otto A. Friedrich. Ein politischer Unternehmer, 1993

The Americanization of West German Industry, 1945-1973, 1986

Militarism. The History of an International Debate, 1863-1979, 1982

Modern Germany. Economy, Society, and Politics in the Twentieth Century, 1982

Germany and the Approach of War in 1914, 1973

Selected Edited Volumes

with Simone Laessig, Between Structure and Agency, 2008

with Sigurt Vitols, Gibt es einen Deutschen Kapitalismus?, 2006

Quest for Economic Empire, 1996

with Wilhelm Deist, Rüstung im Zeichen der wilhelminischen Weltpolitik, 1988

with Martin Kitchen, Germany in the Age of Total War, 1981

Militarismus, 1975