The rapprochment between France and the Federal Republic of Germany five years after the end of World War II was the cornerstone of all subsequent Western European history. Their previous hostility was a basis for arms races and wars--their friendship, the foundation for continually widening European economic and now political community. The unexpected reunification of Germany in 1990 sent shock waves through the French political class. Friend explains the present French-German relationship, first investigating the recent past, then laying out the problems of the present and foreseeable future.
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