Is this unduly optimistic or are we, in the immortal words of Gustav Stresemann
, German foreign minister in 1928, 'dancing on a volcano'?
Many European statesmen--Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann
, and Austen Chamberlain, for example--staked their careers on the project of rehabilitating Germany and stabilizing European economic relations (which is what "appeasement" amounted to in the 1920s), and although their gamble failed, this reviewer is not persuaded (nor does Zara Steiner's The Lights that Failed agree) that it was doomed from the start.
The grant receiver is German Gustav Stresemann
Karl Pohl's essay on Gustav Stresemann
, who has been the subject of six biographies in recent years, justifies yet another biography with new questions and interpretations.
Thus was established the oreward for good deal-makingo category, and there have been a lot since then: Woodrow Wilson (1919) for his pro-League of Nations diplomacy; Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann
(1926) for their Franco-German reconciliation at Locarno in the previous year; Willy Brandt (1971) for his Ostpolitik efforts to thaw the Cold War; Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho (1973) for their Vietnam War negotiations; Mikhael Gorbachev (1990) for being so kind as to actually end the Cold War; Anwar al-Sadat and Menachim Begin (1978) for the Egyptian-Israeli peace settlementuplus a number of others.
Marks's view of Gustav Stresemann
, so often depicted as a "good German," is rather negative.
In the difficult years of the Weimar Republic, Mann penned a famous open letter in October 1923 to Germany's chancellor, Gustav Stresemann
, calling for a 'dictatorship of reason' (Diktatur der Vernunft), a demand which, Gunnemann argues, deserves to be understood 'more as a moral imperative in a desperate situation than as an order to transfer political leadership to an intellectual power elite' (p.