In This Review

The Privileged Partnership: Franco-German Relations in the European Community, 1969-1984
The Privileged Partnership: Franco-German Relations in the European Community, 1969-1984
By Haig Simonian
Clarendon Press/Oxford, 1985, 407 pp.

A study of the close ties between Bonn and Paris that made a strong Europe possible, which in turn depended on the closest collaboration between two countries that still had different interests and psychological concerns. Concentrating on the years of Brandt's and Pompidou's cooperation, 1969-74, Simonian sketches the later years as well. Pompidou was nervous about Ostpolitik, and French suspicions of the national ambitions of the Federal Republic persist. Collaboration became a trained act, a recognition of necessity that turned into a habit. The book is a competent, if somewhat repetitive, reconstruction of a central force in postwar politics. As the author notes, French-German relations confirm Jean Monnet's stricture: "Nothing is possible without men and nothing is durable without institutions."