The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties (America in the World Series)

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Overview

Using previously classified documents and original interviews, The Other Alliance examines the channels of cooperation between American and West German student movements throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, and the reactions these relationships provoked from the U.S. government. Revising the standard narratives of American and West German social mobilization, Martin Klimke demonstrates the strong transnational connections between New Left groups on both sides of the Atlantic.

Klimke shows that the cold war partnership of the American and German governments was mirrored by a coalition of rebelling counterelites, whose common political origins and opposition to the Vietnam War played a vital role in generating dissent in the United States and Europe. American protest techniques such as the "sit-in" or "teach-in" became crucial components of the main organization driving student activism in West Germany--the German Socialist Student League--and motivated American and German student activists to construct networks against global imperialism. Klimke traces the impact that Black Power and Germany's unresolved National Socialist past had on the German student movement; he investigates how U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department's Interagency Youth Committee, advised American policymakers on confrontations with student unrest abroad; and he highlights the challenges student protesters posed to cold war alliances.

Exploring the catalysts of cross-pollination between student protest movements on two continents, The Other Alliance is a pioneering work of transnational history.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
The Other Alliance takes the protest movements in West Germany and the United States . . . as a case study of how activists in different countries shared political ideas and forms of protest an in doing so influenced and inspired each other. But unlike some other analyses, his focuses on the 'exact processes' by which the two movements constructed a 'collective identity'. . . . What emerges from Klimke's study is an impressively nuanced picture.
— Hans Kundnani
Journal of American History
Martin Klimke's new study, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany & the United States in the Global Sixties, represents an important attempt to go beyond vague generalizations about the 'global' to find ways of accessing and analyzing the pronounced interconnectedness that characterized the rebellion of the 1960s. . . . Klimke makes excellent use of a range of sources, including classified American government documents that open up a fascinating perspective on how intelligence agencies viewed the threat of student unrest. . . . [W]e can be grateful for Martin Klimke's excellent study, which represents an important addition to the vast and growing historical literature on the global sixties.
— Timothy Scott Brown
Choice
This logically organized, persuasive study of the transnational character of the 1960s student protest movement focuses on the relationship between New Left groups in the US and West German. Klimke, utilizing an impressive array of sources ranging from official archives to oral history interviews, examines the interaction between Students for a Democratic Society and its West German counterpart, the German Socialist Student League, as he makes his case for the significance of a student-led 'other alliance' that emerged in response to the perceived inadequacies and inanities of the official Western transatlantic partnership that evolved after 1945. . . . Klimke's examination of one aspect of the international protest movement that took shape during this era is impressive.
Central European History
Klimke brings important new information about international connections that concretizes the often (overly) general discussions of the international student movement. . . . Klimke has produced a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on 1968. He has contributed to the effort to rescue 1968 from the 68ers and to specify what happened as opposed to what people 'remember.'
— Michael L. Hughes
Mobilization
The Other Alliance is a great read. It is an ambitious work that performs the valuable service of forcing us to think in new ways about the sixties as an aspect of globalization. Not only scholars of the sixties, but also those interested in transnational aspects of protest movements will need to take this work seriously. It is a valuable book for scholars well beyond the boundaries of German and American studies. I recommend it strongly, and have already begun to incorporate it into my work.
— Lorenzo Bosi
H-Soz-u-Kult
Klimke succeeds admirably in documenting the emergence and complex transnational entanglement of [the] 'other' alliance, using carefully crafted prose to support his exhaustive and painstaking research. . . . The Other Alliance is a bold and exciting work that will remain relevant for some time.
— Michael Stauch
American Historical Review
Klimke successfully walks a fine line between emphasizing the importance of international connections and recognizing the constraints upon them. This invaluable account will be a springboard for further research.
— Nick Thomas
Diplomatic History
[A] pioneering book on the student revolts of the 1960s and an excellent work of diplomatic history.
— Stuart Hilwig
German Studies Review
Klimke's account adds nuance to a historiography that has tended to neglect the response of the establishment beyond acts of police brutality.
— Quinn Slobodian
Canadian Journal of History
The product of truly prodigious research, The Other Alliance offers an amazingly complex and well-documented examination of the transnational political state of affairs of the 1960s, brilliantly detailing the historical and cultural determinism of the interaction between the student movements in West Germany and the United States in a global context.
— Georgia Tres
Journal of Transatlantic Studies
[T]his book is a model of groundbreaking scholarship.
— Klaus Schwabe
Times Literary Supplement - Hans Kundnani
The Other Alliance takes the protest movements in West Germany and the United States . . . as a case study of how activists in different countries shared political ideas and forms of protest an in doing so influenced and inspired each other. But unlike some other analyses, his focuses on the 'exact processes' by which the two movements constructed a 'collective identity'. . . . What emerges from Klimke's study is an impressively nuanced picture.
Journal of American History - Timothy Scott Brown
Martin Klimke's new study, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany & the United States in the Global Sixties, represents an important attempt to go beyond vague generalizations about the 'global' to find ways of accessing and analyzing the pronounced interconnectedness that characterized the rebellion of the 1960s. . . . Klimke makes excellent use of a range of sources, including classified American government documents that open up a fascinating perspective on how intelligence agencies viewed the threat of student unrest. . . . [W]e can be grateful for Martin Klimke's excellent study, which represents an important addition to the vast and growing historical literature on the global sixties.
Central European History - Michael L. Hughes
Klimke brings important new information about international connections that concretizes the often (overly) general discussions of the international student movement. . . . Klimke has produced a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on 1968. He has contributed to the effort to rescue 1968 from the 68ers and to specify what happened as opposed to what people 'remember.'
Mobilization - Lorenzo Bosi
The Other Alliance is a great read. It is an ambitious work that performs the valuable service of forcing us to think in new ways about the sixties as an aspect of globalization. Not only scholars of the sixties, but also those interested in transnational aspects of protest movements will need to take this work seriously. It is a valuable book for scholars well beyond the boundaries of German and American studies. I recommend it strongly, and have already begun to incorporate it into my work.
H-Soz-u-Kult - Michael Stauch
Klimke succeeds admirably in documenting the emergence and complex transnational entanglement of [the] 'other' alliance, using carefully crafted prose to support his exhaustive and painstaking research. . . . The Other Alliance is a bold and exciting work that will remain relevant for some time.
American Historical Review - Nick Thomas
Klimke successfully walks a fine line between emphasizing the importance of international connections and recognizing the constraints upon them. This invaluable account will be a springboard for further research.
Diplomatic History - Stuart Hilwig
[A] pioneering book on the student revolts of the 1960s and an excellent work of diplomatic history.
German Studies Review - Quinn Slobodian
Klimke's account adds nuance to a historiography that has tended to neglect the response of the establishment beyond acts of police brutality.
Canadian Journal of History - Georgia Tres
The product of truly prodigious research, The Other Alliance offers an amazingly complex and well-documented examination of the transnational political state of affairs of the 1960s, brilliantly detailing the historical and cultural determinism of the interaction between the student movements in West Germany and the United States in a global context.
Journal of Transatlantic Studies - Klaus Schwabe
[T]his book is a model of groundbreaking scholarship.
European Legacy - Francis D. Raska
Martin Klimke has produced a fascinating narrative coupled with extensive analysis. . . . Klimke's work teaches us that the global consciousness of young people predates the information age, in which we presently live. The seventh decade of the twentieth century clearly deserves further scholarly attention yet future efforts should also focus on other global relationships and their significance. This treatise will be an important source for students and scholars alike, and I certainly look forward to upcoming books by Martin Klimke.
From the Publisher

"The Other Alliance takes the protest movements in West Germany and the United States . . . as a case study of how activists in different countries shared political ideas and forms of protest an in doing so influenced and inspired each other. But unlike some other analyses, his focuses on the 'exact processes' by which the two movements constructed a 'collective identity'. . . . What emerges from Klimke's study is an impressively nuanced picture."--Hans Kundnani, Times Literary Supplement

"Martin Klimke's new study, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany & the United States in the Global Sixties, represents an important attempt to go beyond vague generalizations about the 'global' to find ways of accessing and analyzing the pronounced interconnectedness that characterized the rebellion of the 1960s. . . . Klimke makes excellent use of a range of sources, including classified American government documents that open up a fascinating perspective on how intelligence agencies viewed the threat of student unrest. . . . [W]e can be grateful for Martin Klimke's excellent study, which represents an important addition to the vast and growing historical literature on the global sixties."--Timothy Scott Brown, Journal of American History

"This logically organized, persuasive study of the transnational character of the 1960s student protest movement focuses on the relationship between New Left groups in the US and West German. Klimke, utilizing an impressive array of sources ranging from official archives to oral history interviews, examines the interaction between Students for a Democratic Society and its West German counterpart, the German Socialist Student League, as he makes his case for the significance of a student-led 'other alliance' that emerged in response to the perceived inadequacies and inanities of the official Western transatlantic partnership that evolved after 1945. . . . Klimke's examination of one aspect of the international protest movement that took shape during this era is impressive."--Choice

"Klimke brings important new information about international connections that concretizes the often (overly) general discussions of the international student movement. . . . Klimke has produced a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on 1968. He has contributed to the effort to rescue 1968 from the 68ers and to specify what happened as opposed to what people 'remember.'"--Michael L. Hughes, Central European History

"The Other Alliance is a great read. It is an ambitious work that performs the valuable service of forcing us to think in new ways about the sixties as an aspect of globalization. Not only scholars of the sixties, but also those interested in transnational aspects of protest movements will need to take this work seriously. It is a valuable book for scholars well beyond the boundaries of German and American studies. I recommend it strongly, and have already begun to incorporate it into my work."--Lorenzo Bosi, Mobilization

"Klimke succeeds admirably in documenting the emergence and complex transnational entanglement of [the] 'other' alliance, using carefully crafted prose to support his exhaustive and painstaking research. . . . The Other Alliance is a bold and exciting work that will remain relevant for some time."--Michael Stauch, H-Soz-u-Kult

"Klimke successfully walks a fine line between emphasizing the importance of international connections and recognizing the constraints upon them. This invaluable account will be a springboard for further research."--Nick Thomas, American Historical Review

"[A] pioneering book on the student revolts of the 1960s and an excellent work of diplomatic history."--Stuart Hilwig, Diplomatic History

"Klimke's account adds nuance to a historiography that has tended to neglect the response of the establishment beyond acts of police brutality."--Quinn Slobodian, German Studies Review

"The product of truly prodigious research, The Other Alliance offers an amazingly complex and well-documented examination of the transnational political state of affairs of the 1960s, brilliantly detailing the historical and cultural determinism of the interaction between the student movements in West Germany and the United States in a global context."--Georgia Tres, Canadian Journal of History
"[T]his book is a model of groundbreaking scholarship."--Klaus Schwabe, Journal of Transatlantic Studies

"Martin Klimke has produced a fascinating narrative coupled with extensive analysis. . . . Klimke's work teaches us that the global consciousness of young people predates the information age, in which we presently live. The seventh decade of the twentieth century clearly deserves further scholarly attention yet future efforts should also focus on other global relationships and their significance. This treatise will be an important source for students and scholars alike, and I certainly look forward to upcoming books by Martin Klimke."--Francis D. Raska, European Legacy

Times Literary Supplement
The Other Alliance takes the protest movements in West Germany and the United States . . . as a case study of how activists in different countries shared political ideas and forms of protest an in doing so influenced and inspired each other. But unlike some other analyses, his focuses on the 'exact processes' by which the two movements constructed a 'collective identity'. . . . What emerges from Klimke's study is an impressively nuanced picture.
— Hans Kundnani
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691131276
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/21/2009
  • Series: America in the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Martin Klimke is research fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies at the University of Heidelberg.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations vii
Abbreviations ix
Acknowledgments xiii
INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER 1: SDS Meets SDS 10
CHAPTER 2: Between Berkeley and Berlin, Frankfurt and San Francisco: The Networks and Nexus of Transnational Protest 40
CHAPTER 3: Building the Second Front: The Transatlantic Antiwar Alliance 75
CHAPTER 4: Black and Red Panthers 108
CHAPTER 5: The Other Alliance and the Transatlantic Partnership 143
CHAPTER 6: Student Protest and International Relations 194
CONCLUSION 236
Notes 247
List of Sources 325
Index 329
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