Many books have been written about the presidents, secretaries of state, ambassadors, and "wise men" who fostered the transatlantic partnership over the past half century. Weisbrode retells the story from the bottom up, focusing on the diplomats in the State Department's European Bureau. Until recently, many of the bureau's members viewed themselves as more politically astute and culturally refined than average diplomats. Yet this carefully documented study reveals that they made their share of mistakes, from questioning EU integration to encouraging the United Kingdom to join the EU a few years later to promoting NATO's nuclear-armed Multilateral Force. Still, none of this mattered, because -- despite Weisbrode's effort to show the contrary -- the presidents, secretaries of state, ambassadors, and "wise men" determined policy after all. For over 50 years, they may have complained that Europe lacked unity, military might, and resolve, but they had no choice but to acknowledge Europe as the United States' most important and powerful ally.
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