"Uncertain Allies" by Klaus Larres

Uncertain Allies Nixon, Kissinger, and the Threat of a United Europe Klaus Larres

Publication date:
22 Feb 2022
Yale University Press
440 pages: 235 x 156mm
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An unusually clear and comprehensive examination of transatlantic relations during the Nixon/Kissinger era

The United States has been conflicted between promoting a united western Europe in order to strengthen its defense of the West and the fear that a more united Western Europe might not submit to American political and economic leadership. The era of wholehearted support for European unity was thus limited to the immediate postwar era. The attitudes of the last three U.S. presidents—Bush’s unilateralism, Obama’s insistence on “leading from behind,” and Trump’s overtly hostile attitude toward the European Union—were prefigured during Washington’s economic and geopolitical strategies of the 1960s and 1970s. Concentrating on the policies of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, Klaus Larres argues that their years in office were the major turning point for when “benign hegemony” gave way to a long-lasting attitude toward Europe that was seldom better than lukewarm, and returned in kind. This book offers an unusually clear and comprehensive examination of transatlantic relations during the Nixon era.

Klaus Larres is the Richard M Krasno Distinguished Professor of History & International Affairs at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously, he held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, was a Senior Policy Adviser at the German embassy in Beijing, China, and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.