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The Ambivalent Alliance

The Ambivalent Alliance

Ronald J. Granieri


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Whenever asked to name his most significant accomplishment as West Germany's first Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer would invariably reply: "The alliance with the free West." Scholars have echoed his assessment, citing the Federal Republic of Germany's successful integration into the American-led West (Westbindung) as the key to its postwar economic and political recovery. Behind this simple success story, however,lies a much more complicated history: Adenauer and the CDU/CSU remained ambivalent about the ultimate relationship between Europe, Germany, and the United States within the West, torn between visions of Continental European integration based on Franco-German reconciliation and of an Atlantic community linking Europe and the "Anglo-Saxons." These differences eventually erupted into a damaging public conflict between "Atlanticists" and "Gaullists," which colored Adenauer's last years and, after his retirement in 1963, led directly to the failure of his successor, Ludwig Erhard.

The opening of various personal and party archives over the past few years has now made the entire Adenauer Era accessible for historians. As one of the first efforts to use that material to re-examine existing conventional wisdom about the period, this book traces the roles of Adenauer and the CDU/CSU in shaping Westbindung. Adenauer emerges as a skilled and resourceful (if also mistrustful and devious) politician, and as a distinctly German statesman, maneuvering between allies and adversaries to shape both the Western community and the German role in it, leaving a legacy that still influences contemporary German-American and European-American relations.

"…a splendid book"  ·  Central European History

"Granieri has produced an exceptionally readable political history of Germany’s largest party, underlining the crucial importance of its first leader, Konrad Adenauer, in guiding the party and maintaining its fragile unity. This book helps explain the ambiguities inherent to the Federal Republic's policy of Westbindung, ambiguities that remain to the present day."  ·  Thomas Schwartz

"This book makes a siginificant contribution to the literature of the Adenauer era ... Based on thorough research in American and German sources, The Ambivalent Alliance is a work of unusual depth and brilliant insights."  ·  German Studies Review

"... impressively researched, lucid, and provocative...accessible to scholars and students alike."  ·  American Historical Review

Ronald J. Granieri is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his A.B from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and has also studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Cologne in Germany.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Series Page ii
Title Page iii
Copyright Page iv
Dedication v
Epigraph vi
Table of Contents vii
Preface viii
Acknowledgments xii
Abbreviations xiv
Introduction. Konrad Adenauer and the Paradox of Westbindung 1
Chapter 1. The Chancellor and His Allies, 1949-1953 29
Chapter 2. Sovereignty and Its Discontents, 1953-1957 70
Chapter 3. Adrift in a Wider World, 1958-1961 110
Chapter 4. A Paris-Bonn Axis? 1961-1963 150
Chapter 5. The End of the Adenauer Era, 1963-1966 191
Conclusion. Whose West Is Best? 228
Bibliography 233
Index 247