The German Question and Other German Questions

In This Review

The German Question and Other German Questions

By David Schoenbaum and Elizabeth Pond
St. Martin's Press, 1996
250 pp. $39.95

Schoenbaum, a well-known social historian, and Pond, the Christian Science Monitor's expert on Germany, have painted a basically realistic and reassuring picture. Yes, national interests are back, but today's Germany sees itself as a European player and a firm NATO supporter. With no dreams of grandeur or thoughts of expansion, it is more "European" -- especially insofar as the institutions of the European Union are concerned -- than Britain or France, and endowed with stable and democratic institutions. The authors recommend that Germany recognize that it is a destination for immigrants, that it regain "a work ethic," and that "dynamism . . . replace entropy." Above all, and rightly, they celebrate its "new normality." Given Germany's past, which they summarize in the first chapters, this orientation is quite an achievement.

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