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France and the German Question, 1945–1990

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France and the German Question, 1945–1990

Edited by Frédéric Bozo and Christian Wenkel

308 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-226-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (July 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-227-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“These impressively researched chapters persuasively demonstrate that France was a leader in addressing postwar concerns with West Germany. Furthermore, the authors argue that France sought a constructive relationship with West Germany as early as 1945. From the economic rebuilding of the 1950s through de Gaulle’s desire to transform the continent and negotiations with the Eastern bloc following Ostpolitik to Mitterand’s support for German reunification within a European framework, this collection makes clear that the fates of the two countries were often inextricably linked. Highly Recommended.” • Choice

“This volume is an unmissable reference work for all those interested in French foreign politics and the German question. Concise and exhaustive, it offers an overview of the subject and a perspective that is useful as well as necessary regarding current research but remaining accessible to the larger public at the same time. One has to conclude that this publication attests to the scholarly vitality of a topic that is ever-evolving.” • Francia

“This is a valuable collection of articles that illuminates French policy towards Germany, a key issue in Cold War European and transatlantic politics. The goal of emphasizing France’s influential role is certainly to be welcomed.”  • H-France

“The editors have assembled an excellent team of internationally established and renowned historians for the purposes of this book. Its central focus and arguments remain in view throughout – no mean feat amongst fifteen chapters in six parts – and the cohesion o the collection is maintained from start to end. At the same time, and of crucial importance, the contributions are of uniformly high quality… The result is an impressive and authoritative collection offering an original perspective on an under-investigated topic. Into the bargain, it is a pleasure to read… Without doubt, it is a significant work which should be widely read, and the editors should be commended for its clarity and perspective.” • Diplomacy & Statecraft

“This volume can be seen as a handbook that is warmly recommended to whoever would like to work on the book’s basic topic.”  • Sehepunkte

“Finally, this book also presents problematic issues more rarely analysed, but rich in information, like the Franco-German differences about a possible common currency in the 1970s, or as well the relationships and exchanges between François Mitterrand and Willy Brandt. For an understanding of all the dimensions of French attitudes regarding the German issue, the work of Frédéric Bozo and Christian Wenkel is indispensable.” • Politique étrangère

“This volume is written by accomplished scholars and intended for university audiences. It offers new interpretations of French policy vis-a-vis Germany based on the latest available archival evidence. As such, it is essential reading for professional academics and students interested in European politics and the dynamics of European integration during the Cold War.” • History: Reviews of New Books

France and the German Question is an outstanding, superbly edited volume with contributions by leading scholars in the field. For anyone interested in an up-to-date history of the Franco-German relationship, this is now the go-to volume.” • Christian Ostermann, Woodrow Wilson Center


In the immediate aftermath of World War Two, the victors were unable to agree on Germany’s fate, and the separation of the country—the result of the nascent Cold War—emerged as a de facto, if provisional, settlement. Yet East and West Germany would exist apart for half a century, making the "German question" a central foreign policy issue—and given the war-torn history between the two countries, this was felt no more keenly than in France. Drawing on the most recent historiography and previously untapped archival sources, this volume shows how France’s approach to the German question was, for the duration of the Cold War, both more constructive and consequential than has been previously acknowledged.

Frédéric Bozo is Professor of Contemporary History at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Paris III, Institute of European Studies. He is the author of numerous books, including Mitterrand, the End of the Cold War, and German Unification (2009) and French Foreign Policy since 1945 (2016), and the editor of such collections as Europe and the End of the Cold War: A Reappraisal (2008).

Christian Wenkel is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at Artois University. His research interests cover the Franco-German relationship, French foreign policy, the Cold War and European integration. His publications include Auf der Suche nach einem anderen Deutschland. Das Verhältnis Frankreichs zur DDR im Spannungsfeld von Perzeption und Diplomatie (2014) and La diplomatie française face à l’unification allemande. Archives inédites réunies (with Maurice Vaïsse, 2011).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: FranceGermany


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