Smyser, one of the wisest German hands in the foreign service when it still had such, wrote before the dramatic events of last autumn, but his focus on the possibility of real change in German-American relations is still apt. His overview essay poses the dilemma Germans now confront: "They have not yet calculated how to conduct an opening to the East without losing their backing in the West." One of Smyser's themes-the instances of miscommunication when the interests of the two countries were not sharply opposed-is the subject of Barbara Heep's detailed account of Helmut Schmidt and three American administrations. Heep is one of America's best young students of Germany, and she thoughtfully assesses West Germany's influence on American security policy. The assessment poses the puzzle of why Schmidt's relations were so much better with conservative U.S. administrations than with the one, Jimmy Carter's, that an observer might have thought most congenial to his politics.
Get the latest book reviews delivered right to your inbox.
More Reviews on Military, Scientific, and Technological From This Issue