Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath

Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath


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Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath by Paul Berman

The student uprisings of 1968 erupted not only in America but also across Europe, expressing a distinct generational attitude about politics, the corrupt nature of democratic capitalism, and the evil of military interventions. Yet, thirty-five years later, many in that radical generation had come into conventional positions of power: among them Bill Clinton (who reportedly stayed up all night reading this book) and Joschka Fischer, foreign minister of Germany. During a 1970s street protest, Fischer was photographed beating a cop to the ground; during the 1990s, he was supporting Clinton in a NATO-led military intervention in the Balkans. Here Paul Berman, "one of America's best exponents of recent intellectual history" ("The Economist"), masterfully traces the intellectual and moral evolution of an impassioned generation and gives an acute analysis of what it means to go to war in the name of democracy and human rights."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393330212
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/17/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Paul Berman writes about politics and literature for The New Republic, the New York Times Book Review, and other magazines. His books have been translated into thirteen languages. He lives in New York City.

Richard Holbrooke was an American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker. Along with Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, he brokered a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords.

Table of Contents

Preface   Richard Holbrooke     xv
Foreword     xxix
The Passion of Joschka Fischer     1
The Fischer Affair Crosses the Ocean     97
The Muslim World and the American Left     151
Dr. Kouchner and Dr. Guevara     193
The '68ers and the Tragedy of Iraq     247
Index     313

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Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer and Its Aftermath 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Berman, a well- known writer for The New Republic and other foundational publications of modern liberal thought has written a history of the Euro- liberal/radical movement by following the career trajectories of three of it's most important leaders: Joschka Fischer, Daniel Bendit-Cohen and Bernard Kouchner. Each of these former radicals evolved toward mainstream politics Fischer in the German Green Party, Bendit- Cohen in the European Parliament, Kouchner in the present-day Sarkozy government to list but a few of their many major accomplishments This book details the evolution of their political thinking. While I consider the book essential reading for those hoping to understand the impact of 1960s radical thought on modern center-left European politics, there were several stylistic traits used by the author that I found irritating. Most annoying amongst these was his 'ingenue' and elliptical expositions of his character's intellectual development: Berman seems stylistically constrained to avoid direct statements. Excepting this, there are many important and often-times overlooked aspects of New Left thinking, including the sometimes banal evocations of multiculturalism, the fellow- traveler adoption of nihilistic Islamic slogans, the limitations of the anti- globalization groups and the constraints imposed on those incapable of adapting their political agenda to the realities of republican societies. Nonetheless, this is an important book and well worth the reader's time.