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Gorbachev And The German Question

Overview

Traces the transformation of Soviet relations with West Germany from 1985 to 1990 while challenging views that Gorbachev caved in to the West on German reunification. The author gives fullest account to date of how Gorbachev translated new political thinking into actual policy change examines how internal and external factors interacted in the development of Soviet policies that helped transform postwar Europe and describes the importance of public diplomacy. Graduate students, scholars, experts, and policymakers...

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Overview

Traces the transformation of Soviet relations with West Germany from 1985 to 1990 while challenging views that Gorbachev caved in to the West on German reunification. The author gives fullest account to date of how Gorbachev translated new political thinking into actual policy change examines how internal and external factors interacted in the development of Soviet policies that helped transform postwar Europe and describes the importance of public diplomacy. Graduate students, scholars, experts, and policymakers interested in Soviet and European politics will find this analytical history and its use of English, Russian, and German-language sources and newly available memoirs of key Soviet participants invaluable.

Upon taking office in 1985, Gorbachev inherited a Soviet foreign policy intent on punishing West Germany for its support of U.S. security policy. The Soviet elite generally viewed the Federal Republic of Germany as irresponsible and inherently aggressive. But by 1990 Gorbachev acceded to the veritable incorporation of East Germany into West Germany. Upon his promotion to leadership Gorbachev began to struggle and connive to construct a foreign policy consensus around his evolving new vision of international relations. With each political victory he and his supporters advanced more profound changes in MoscoW's external behavior. As a result, powerful conservative forces centered in the party apparatus grew increasingly opposed to GorbacheV's reforms and especially MoscoW's new Germany policy. Yet despite the domestic political costs, Gorbachev eventually agreed to unification on terms favorable to the West because he no longer viewed this outcome as a threat to Soviet interests. Students of Soviet and European politics, Cold War historians, and international relations specialists will find this analytical history and its use of English, Russian, and German-language sources and newly available memoirs of key Soviet participants invaluable.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Traces how the apparently abrupt reversal of the 40-year Soviet policy on divided Germany was actually an outgrowth of a world view entirely different from that of his predecessors which Gorbachev already held when he came to power in 1988. Challenges the view that he remained convinced in the success of communist reform and supported reunification only from fear of military intervention, and argues instead that the action was consistent with his overall policy, though carried out sooner than he wanted because of the pace of events. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275950286
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/1995
  • Pages: 216
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID H. SHUMAKER, research associate at the Center for Russian and East European Studies of the University of Virginia, specializes in Russian/Soviet foreign policy and international relations theory.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Continuity and Change 9
3 Charting a New Course 41
4 Building a Reserve of Trust 71
5 The Collapse of the GDR 101
6 Moscow's Acceptance of German Unification 123
7 Conclusion 143
Notes 151
Selected Bibliography 187
Index 195
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