GERMANY: ILLUSIONS AND DILEMMAS by Carl Landauer

GERMANY: ILLUSIONS AND DILEMMAS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Landauer convincingly argues a need for more time to heal the wounds of Nazism and defeat. But his book remains unnecessarily long and frequently dull, even if one accepts the limitations of an approach which refers to West Germany as ""Germany"" and treats East Germany simply as a hated regime (despite recent studies with a more balanced and empirical approach like Dornberg's The Other Germany, 1968). The author is a professor of economics whose economic analyses--of the 1966 recession, the labor movement, the budget question, state planning, U.S. investment--are missing or superficial. With respect to West German politics, Landauer notes the programmatic pallor of both the student radicals and the Social Democrats; but his smugness diminishes the force of his criticism. He sees the ruling coalition as a ""lesser evil."" His comments on the influence of the expellees from beyond the Oder-Niesse line, on ultra-nationalism and on anti-Semitism (""certainly less than in the U.S."") are more interesting than his central disquisitions on issues like recognition, reunification, and NATO. Apart from the war's aftereffects and tendencies toward ""conformism"" and ""emulation of the U.S.,"" the quality of West German life doesn't often come across: specifically, there is little description of educational or regional differences. And the final impression is disappointing.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World