Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Detente & Ostpolitik, 1969-1973

Article excerpt

DEALING WITH THE DEVIL: East Germany, Detente & Ostpolitik, 1969-1973, M.E. Sarotte, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2001, 295 pages, $55.00.

International treaties are often in the news, such as recent headlines about the antiballistic missile and Kyoto treaties. But how are they really created? For answers, read Dealing with the Devil, which is a detailed look at East and West German relations and treaty negotiations from 1969 to 1973. M.E. Sarotte deftly shows how the events that occurred during that narrow span of time affected and were affected by the United States, the Soviet Union, and China. England, France, NATO, Poland, and the Warsaw Pact also had roles, and the Vietnam war produced broad repercussions.

Sarotte's view of Soviet control is one of the book's many strong points. The Soviet Union controlled and slowed East Germany's improved relations with the West so the Soviets could improve their own relations with the West. Sarotte's work in East German archives enabled him to report on the documents and directions the Soviets provided to East German communist leaders. …

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