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Gorbachev and the German question : Soviet-West German relations, 1985-1990 /
David H. Shumaker.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1995.
description
xii, 202 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
027595028X (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1995.
isbn
027595028X (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1207280
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [187]-194) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-11:
This book analyzes and explains the reasons for the acceptance of German reunification by the Soviet Union and Gorbachev in 1990. The author (Center for Russian and East European Studies, Univ. of Virginia) bases his work on impressive use of primary and secondary sources and on a methodology testing three general and four leader-centered assertions. Posing questions in an introductory chapter as to why Moscow accepted German reunification in 1990, and whether Gorbachev planned such an outcome, Shumaker's six other chapters analyze Gorbachev's role in the formulation of Soviet-West German relations. Chapter 2 examines Gorbachev's emergence as General Secretary and his initial continuation of the Germany policy he inherited, which he attempted to alter only with the first phase of the political succession behind him. Chapter 3 discusses Moscow's reevaluation of its policies toward West Germany and the exploration of various political, security, and economic opportunities for improving bilateral relations. Chapters 4 and 5 treat the summit meetings of Chancellor Kohl and Gorbachev, the revolutionary changes in Eastern Europe, and Moscow's reaction to the collapse of the GDR. Chapter 6 focuses on the Soviet role in German reunification. Chapter 7 points out deficiencies in existing accounts of Soviet-West German relations and describes how new thinking, domestic politics, and the interaction of internal and external factors explain the evolution of Gorbachev's view of the German question. A valuable contribution to the understanding of Gorbachev's diplomacy. Graduate; faculty. R. M. Bigler; University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œA valuable contribution to the understanding of Gorbachev's diplomancy.'' Choice
'œThese two volumes add to the growing literature on the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Like the best studies in this field they make extensive use of memoirs of the participants, available documents, and newspaper accounts.'' Slavic Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
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. Gives fullest account to date of how Gorbachev translated new political thinking into actual policy changes that helped transform postwar Europe. 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.
Long Description
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.
Unpaid Annotation
Challenges views that Gorbachev caved in to the West on German reunification. Analyzes his new thinking and shows how internal and external factors interacted to develop Soviet policies that helped transform postwar Europe.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Continuity and Change
Charting a New Course
Building a Reserve of Trust
The Collapse of the GDR
Moscow's Acceptance of German Unification
Conclusion selected
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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