This introductory chapter underlines the importance and originality of the book as a contribution to our understanding of the fate of Weimar democracy. It reflects on the connection between media consumption and electoral behaviour, and challenges previously held assumptions about the role of the press in the political process. It provides a discussion of the difficulties of using newspapers as a historical source, and of the methodological problem of assessing something as complex as media effects. It summarizes key historical debates on the rise of Nazism, and places them in the context of media theory.
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