The volume edited by von Beyme and Zimmermann, with extensive references and an excellent bibliography, is intended more for the professional political scientist than for the general reader. The contributors, West German experts on the GDR, cover the institutional structure and the way it functioned in the 1970s in political decisions, military policy, economics, social policy, and other fields, pointing out adaptations and reforms but always keeping in view the limits of change. The McCauley book is a useful factual history, supplemented by a detailed chronology, covering a great deal of ground in rather hurried fashion. It is strongest on internal events and less expansive, and less reliable, on intra-German relations and the international background.
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