WILLY BRANDT: Portrait of a Statesman by Terence Prittie

WILLY BRANDT: Portrait of a Statesman

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book manages to make something quite dull out of a moving period and a politician more intriguing than the average. Prittie, a journalist of Brandt's age who smiles upon the Social Democrats from a ferociously anti-Communist point of view, has an admiration for Brandt himself which goes beyond puffs into sincere saccharinity, and becomes rather poignant in light of the recent scandal of the ""overly trusting"" Chancellor. The book offers scant utility for figuring out the significance of the S.A.P. split-off from the Social Democrats before 1933, which Brandt joined, or British agents' influence on exiles like Brandt during and after the war. What Prittie does convey is Brandt's affinity with pragmatism in general and the ""undogmatic"" Scandinavian variety of Social Democracy in particular. Brandt's mayoral term in West Berlin and his chancellorship axe documented through bathetic anecdotes about demonstrations and images; it is noteworthy that the Right and Center sought electoral profit by charging that Brandt was unpatriotic to leave the country during World War II. As for the Left, Prittie has little sympathy for its distress when Brandt formed an unprincipled coalition with the Christian Democrats in 1966. Unsatisfying; library demand hard to predict.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1974
Publisher: Schocken