1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics)

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9780691152417: 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics)


There are unique periods in history when a single year witnesses the total transformation of international relations. The year 1989 was one such crucial watershed. This book uses previously unavailable sources to explore the momentous events following the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago and the effects they have had on our world ever since.


Based on documents, interviews, and television broadcasts from many different locations, including Moscow, Berlin, Bonn, Paris, London, and Washington, 1989 describes how Germany unified, NATO expansion began, and Russia got left on the periphery of the new Europe. Mary Sarotte explains that while it was clear past a certain point that the Soviet Bloc would crumble, there was nothing inevitable about what would follow. A wide array of political players--from leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, George H. W. Bush, and James Baker, to organizations like NATO and the European Community, to courageous individual dissidents--all proposed courses of action and models for the future. In front of global television cameras, a competition ensued, ultimately won by those who wanted to ensure that the "new" order looked very much like the old. Sarotte explores how the aftermath of this fateful victory, and Russian resentment of it, continue to shape world politics today.


Presenting diverse perspectives from the political elite as well as ordinary citizens, 1989 is compelling reading for anyone who cares about international relations past, present, or future.


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From the Back Cover:


"Mary Sarotte's 1989 reinterprets, in a striking manner, the end of the Cold War in Europe. Based on extensive multiarchival research, it suggests a Bismarckian preeminence for West German chancellor Helmut Kohl in driving the course of events. All students of this subject will henceforth have to grapple with this provocatively persuasive argument."--John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University, author of The Cold War


"Sarotte makes an essential contribution to the literature on the revolutions of 1989. Her focus is on Europe and Germany, East and West, in the context of the international system. The research is stunning, including new archival sources and revealing interviews with the historical figures involved. Her narrative is fast-paced--like the events themselves--and highly readable. Scholars, students, and the informed public at large will enjoy and learn a lot from this impressive book."--Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University, author of Fires of Hatred


"The first international history of the diplomacy that produced the miracle of German reunification, this will be the starting point for all research on the international history of reunification from now on."--O. A. Westad, London School of Economics and Political Science, author of The Global Cold War


"Challenging conventional wisdom, Mary Sarotte questions why the West opted to extend existing Euro-Atlantic structures east in the wake of German unification, instead of creating a new system that would have included Moscow. Based on new archival material and extensive interviews with participants in these events, she argues convincingly that the United States and its partners missed a one-time opportunity to devise a post-Cold War architecture that would have made Europe more secure."--Angela Stent, Georgetown University, author of Russia and Germany Reborn


"Sarotte has written a major book about one of the most important events at the end of the Cold War--the international negotiations which culminated in the unification of Germany. Notably, she has managed to get access to primary sources that would be the dream of any historian. She vividly describes the efforts of powerful individuals to create order out of fast-moving and chaotic circumstances. This is a terrific book."--A. James McAdams, University of Notre Dame, author of Germany Divided


About the Author:

Mary Elise Sarotte is professor of history and of international relations at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of "Dealing with the Devil" and "German Military Reform and European Security". She has served as a White House Fellow and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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