The End of Alliance: America and the Future of Europe
Atlantic Dilemma: Partnership or Community?
The Politics of the Atlantic Alliance
Europe Ascendant: The International Politics of Unification
The Common Market: Progress and Controversy
Western Integration and the Future of Eastern Europe
Britain and the European Community 1955-1963
A New Europe?
Four of the nine books here under review have for their subject the present state of what is usually called the Atlantic Alliance; four are centered on Western Europe; one tries (rather unsuccessfully) to come to grips with East-West relations and the Soviet sphere. If one likes one can treat this division as a rough guide to the current state of public opinion, though a continental European would probably give more weight to West European integration, and less to trans-Atlantic repercussions. But the term “European” already introduces a sizeable bone of contention. Who belongs to Europe and who doesn’t? Are the British part of it in any sense except the obvious one of geography? Do their Commonwealth ties mean more to them than their proximity to the Continent? Is there in fact, as there certainly is in rhetoric, an Anglo-American world? For that matter, what part does rhetoric play in determining these alignments?
If we knew the approximate answers to these questions, we might be better able to judge the long-term significance of political rifts such as that introduced by last year’s blocking of the British application to enter the Common Market. Was this just a temporary hitch, or has it deflected the current of history (supposing there to be such a water) into different channels? It certainly was not ordained, since it represented the outcome of a political crisis which might have gone the other way. But chance events may have lasting consequences. The manner in which Bismarck unified Germany left its mark on the national consciousness. Just conceivably the newly emerging Western Europe may come to bear the Gaullist stamp. If it does, the crisis of January 1963 will be seen in retrospect to have determined the political character of whatever common institutions the West Europeans manage to set up over the coming decade. Again, the British may decide, so far as in them lies, to turn their backs on the Continent. If they do, it is going to take more than economic logic to draw them back. (The economic argument anyhow is by no means compelling.)
Mr. Kleiman, who was stationed in Europe as a correspondent for over fifteen years and is now on the editorial staff of The New York Times, attends to the political side of the matter. As a good reporter should, he sticks closely to the facts, including some of the less publicized ones, such as the virtual breakdown in Anglo-French relations which occurred during the final Macmillan-de Gaulle meeting in December 1962: one month before the General rang the curtain down on Britain’s attempt to join the Six. The public was never told very clearly what happened when de Gaulle and Macmillan met at Rambouillet. Silence was preserved, so far as the British were concerned, for good reason, since the incident cast a new light on the British Government’s tortuous approach to “Europe.” As Mr. Kleiman…
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