Review by Choice Review
Ash, the well-respected observer of East and Central European affairs, has written his best book to date. In Europe's Name is a monumental, often revealing study of West Germany's Ostpolitik from its inception until the unification of Germany. Ash is concerned foremost with examining the controversial issue of whether Ostpolitik and the larger policy of d'etente helped to sustain the communist regimes of Europe for longer than necessary, or on the contrary, whether the policy undermined the political power of the communist rulers in Eastern Germany and elsewhere in East Europe. Although the author's answer is ambiguous since Ostpolitik cut both ways, the evidence amassed in the book is extraordinary; the work is rich in details and insights and thorough in its approach. The organization of the work involves a three-layered analysis of West German policies and relations with Moscow, the East German regime, and the Eastern European states. The historical account is then followed by a look at the contemporary effects of German unification and its impact on European affairs. The book, unusually readable as well as informative, is a must for all libraries. All levels. J. Bielasiak; Indiana UniversityDSBloomington
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
How a divided Germany achieved reunification in 1990 is a story fraught with ironies and paradoxes in Ash's searching, magisterial study. West German policymakers, argues this distinguished British historian, built up a reserve of trust and good will by acceding peacefully to the ``golden handcuffs'' slapped on by the Western alliance, limiting Germany's sovereignty and curtailing its military power. Ash ( The Uses of Adversity ) investigates Bonn's precarious balancing act between NATO and the Soviet Union, as West German leaders convinced Moscow that it was the U.S.S.R's most promising economic partner. Meanwhile, suggests Ash, West Germany's failure to protest Communist East Germany's diehard policy of stabilization without reform inadvertently led East Germany to ruin. His study draws on memoirs, interviews with key players and on the declassified files of East Germany's secret police and Communist Party. Author tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
This well-documented and detailed account of German reunification spans the period from Yalta right up to 1990 when the Berlin Wall crumbled and East Germans poured through the crack to the West. Ash, author of numerous books on Central Europe, uses mostly German source documents, many of which became available only recently with the collapse of East Germany. The centerpiece of his book is the history of ``ostpolitik'' and how it fit into West German foreign policy goals, especially toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Ostpolitik is also analyzed as a strictly German response to the so-called German question. West Germany's relations with the United States take a back seat to Bonn's relations with the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Europe as a whole. A scholarly book that will also be of interest to the informed lay person, this is a superb choice for all academic libraries and larger public libraries.-- Stephen Green, Auraria Lib., Denver (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.