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Reconciliation Road: Willy Brandt, Ostpolitik and the Quest for European Peace

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Volume 25

Contemporary European History

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Reconciliation Road

Willy Brandt, Ostpolitik and the Quest for European Peace

Benedikt Schoenborn

246 pages, 10 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-700-2 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (September 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-701-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Schoenborn’s writing is concise and uncluttered; the thrust of the book is interpretive rather than expository, and the narrative chapters make ongoing use of theoretical insights outlined at the book’s outset… Schoenborn’s book provides a welcome reminder of how much a well-researched account of high politics—drawing on personal papers, parliamentary records, and the documents of multiple foreign ministries—can contribute to an understanding of postwar West German values and aspirations.” • Central European History

“This is a valuable addition to the literature on Willy Brandt and Ostpolitik. Schoenborn demonstrates that the spectre of the Nazi past was always present, and that reconciliation was a much more ambitious aim than détente.” • Gottfried Niedhart, University of Mannheim

“Schoenborn draws on insights from political science and sociology to convincingly demonstrate how important a conceptual tool reconciliation is for understanding Brandt’s Ostpolitik. At the same time, he illuminates the fascinating ways that human interactions and cultural forces played out in the realm of diplomacy.” • Christian Bailey, Purchase College


Among postwar political leaders, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt played one of the most significant roles in reconciling Germans with other Europeans and in creating the international framework that enabled peaceful reunification in 1990. Based on extensive archival research, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of Brandt’s Ostpolitik from its inception until the end of the Cold War through the lens of reconciliation. Here, Benedikt Schoenborn gives us a Brandt who passionately insisted on a gradual reduction of Cold War hostility and a lasting European peace, while remaining strategically and intellectually adaptable in a way that exemplified the ‘imaginativeness of history’.

Benedikt Schoenborn is an Associate Professor at Tampere University in Finland. His publications include the award-winning book La mésentente apprivoisée: de Gaulle et les Allemands, 1963-1969 (Paris 2007), and, with J.M. Hanhimäki and B. Zanchetta, Transatlantic Relations since 1945: An Introduction (London 2012).

Subject: History (General) History: 20th Century to Present Peace and Conflict Studies
Area: Germany


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