The New Germans

In This Review

The New Germans

By Gilles Radice
Michael Joseph, 1995
235 pp. $16.50
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While not an elaborate or particularly subtle study of the new Germany, Radice's book pulls many threads into a coherent, comprehensive, easily grasped strand. The author, a Labour member of Parliament, Germanophile, and longtime participant in the British-German dialogue, interweaves a great many firsthand observations and anecdotes with broad historical reflections to fashion a brief, lucid account of the problems attending reunification. The frustrations and disappointments felt by East Germans in the new Germany, the marks left by a 45-year separation of the Ossis from the Wessis, and the residue of values and attitudes from the (Soviet) ancien régime in the Eastern half are sobering. If turning the page is this hard in Germany, where the economic reserves were considerable and the ethnic divisions modest, what must be the obstacles faced by the other regimes to the east?