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Michael B. Gross argues that a liberal culture of anti-Catholicism shaped the modern development of Germany including capitalist economics, industrial expansion, national unification, and public and private gender roles. The book shows that anticlericalism and anti-Catholicism, themes long relegated to the margins, are, in fact, of central importance to the history of modern Germany. Gross shows how the portrayal of priests, monks, nuns, and Catholics as medieval, superstitious, and sexually deviant asserted the liberal middle-class claim to social authority. He pays particular attention to the ways anticlericalism, Jesuitphobia, and antimonasticism expressed deeper fears of democracy, mass culture, socialism, women, and the women's movement in the liberal imagination. In doing so, he identifies the moral, social, and cultural imperatives behind the Kulturkampf, the liberal -- and state-sponsored attack against the Catholic Church in the 1870s. The research is based on a wide range of sources including archival materials, journals, newspapers, religious and political books and pamphlets, poetry, literature, illustrations and caricatures, popular petitions, and parliamentary debates. Michael B. Gross is Assistant Professor of History at East Carolina University.