Draft Reviews as Submitted 1995, published in
European Studies Journal, 13(1):78-88, Spring 1996
By Jeremy Lewis.

| Winand | Cafruny and Rosenthal, eds | De Groot | Pelling | Jenkins |


Pascaline Winand, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the United States of Europe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. xvi + 366 pp. $45.

Considering current tensions between the North Atlantic alliance and struggles for European cooperation, Professor Winand's thoroughly researched volume on the postwar history of these creative tensions is most welcome. Holding posts at the Free University of Brussels and the European University in Florence, she has also benefitted from extensive cooperation from former U.S. policy advisers, Yale University and American presidential libraries. Part of the Roosevelt Institute's series on diplomatic and economic history, the work was supported by a grant from the European Commission. Her chapters cover: setting the stage of American policy towards Europe from Roosevelt to Truman; the European Defense Community, Political Community and the Coal and Steel Community Loan; the sensitive Euratom agreement; European disagreements and the OECD; the Kennedy team and its inheritance; the Multi-Lateral Force failure; De Gaulle's conflicting world view; and the Atlantic partnership, Nassau meeting and Gaullist veto. It concludes with an Epilogue on the Johnson administration. Backed by 66 pages of notes, bibiliography and index -- plus two pages of glossary -- it will prove satisfying to scholars and graduate students. Despite her lucid organization, however, Winand's penchant for lengthy detail will likely frustrate her hope (p.x) to reach "a larger public outside of academe".

Based on personal interviews and privileged access to their papers, her thesis is that Atlanticist leaders of postwar U.S. administrations not only supported but helped to shape the emergent European institutions. The Dulles brothers, for example, had a friendship with Jean Monnet long before they acceded to power. Reminded painfully by the second world war of the dangers of a divided Europe, they sought stability and security through cooperation with an increasingly federal western Europe. Owing to a lack of progress and a thinning of their ranks, this informal cooperation between "the Euro-American intelligentsia for the uniting of Europe" (p.xv) faltered late in the Johnson administration. Winand's revival of great men theory, however, concedes that increasing U.S. - European economic competition and European criticism of certain American initiatives did tend to eclipse American suppport.

Professor Winand is sensitive to U.S. - French differences of vision and American missteps in supporting both the European defense proposals (EDC, MLF) and the British request to enter the EEC. She provides valuable reminders of the transatlantic connections of events: the French collapse at Dien Bien Phu (pp.54 ff) killed the EDC; the Cuban missile crisis distracted the Kennedy administration from preparations for the Nassau summit and hence weakened the MLF proposal; and Vietnam and the Great Society distracted Johnson from cooperation with Monnet long enough for MLF failure. She writes as the Maastricht treaty awaits ratification by the member states; hence, following the unexpected difficulties in consolidating the EU in 1993-1995, a postscript in 1995 would on European integration presumably be less optimistic.

The most serious question about her thesis is whether the book convinces us of "the decisive impact the United States has had in shaping post-war Europe ..." For this the author needs to show more than a community of values between American and West European leaders. Unfortunately, much of the discussion covers the repeated failures of the United States to persuade the French of anything -- hardly evidence of decisive impact. A serious disappointment is the lack of a thematic concluding chapter; an intelligent but brief Introduction is a poor substitute. A secondary question lies in the behavioralist lead line of the Introduction: if it is "men, not merely the stated policies that [count in] ... foreign policy," a non-academic reader would expect them to emerge as lively characters rather than good eminence grise diplomats. However, Winand's absorption of personal papers and oral history and her conducting of interviews does frequently pay off: for example, showing that individual American advisers such as Paul Nitze and Carl Kaysen (p.246) supported giving France equal access with the British to nuclear weapons. (In this, the administration was frustrated by Congress). In places, (pp.216-217) the common acronyms (NATO, SACEUR, MRBM, POLARIS, MLF, NSC) might befog the action for non-academic readers.

Nonetheless, this powerful academic work -- through a challenging thesis and thorough original research -- will become a standard source on the transatlantic relationship. It may remind us of the persistence of "cross-fertilization" of European visions with those of the Kennedy and Johnson advisers as well as the Dulles and Acheson generation. It reasserts the value of seeking to clear transatlantic misunderstandings in order to strengthen international stability and order. Ultimately, it finds that European unity and American interest in international order are more compatible than ephemeral differences suggest. In an area sometimes characterized by descriptive national visions rather than careful analysis of the motives of each adviser and decisionmaker, Winand is to be congratulated on her painstaking and tenacious research.
 
 
 

Jeremy R.T. Lewis

 


Alan W. Cafruny and Glenda G. Rosenthal, eds, The State of the European Community, Vol. 2: The Maastricht Debates and Beyond. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner /Longman, 1993. x + 435 pp. $49.95.

The second in a biennial anthology series on the state of the EC, following a work edited by Hurwitz and Lequesne, this volume covers 1991 and 1992. It was supported by funds from Hamilton College, Columbia University and the Ford Foundation, as well as European university sources. Of the 27 authors (of 23 chapters), 17 are based at least partly in the United States; with two each currently based in Britain, France, Germany, Belgium; and one each from Ireland and the Netherlands. Five of the Americans are graduate students; the rest of the contributors are professors of all ranks; though there is one European parliamentary administrator. There are two pages of acronyms in the glossary, copious notes following each chapter, and sixteen pages of index. Clearly one expects a volume bristling with varied research and ideas, rather than thematic clarity and consistency.

Part 1 covers the architecture of Europe in the post-Maastricht era: legitimation, regulation and monetary union. Two chapters tackle the treaty itself, followed by those on referendums, interest intermediation, new model social democracy, and two on monetary union. In this section, the Single European Act is seen as permitting a minor expansion of supranational authority in the cause of liberalization rather than the previously fashionable Keynesianism. Thus, limiting her arguments to adjustment of negotiators' terms, even Mrs. Thatcher supported the developments. Here the Maastricht treaty is characterized (by Nicoll) as creating a Europe of cooperating states rather than of citizens. The editors tend to disagree with this emphasis, instead pointing to the provisions for majority voting in the Council on significant issues led of course by monetary policy. They do, however, agree with complaints of a democratic deficit and the characterization (by Laffan) of the European Parliament as remote from citizens. Their defense of the EU is that this deficit exists also at the national level: the narrowly won 1992 French referendum on Maastricht was essentially a confidence vote on Mitterand's presidency. (EP elections function nationally much like nationwide municipal elections or parliamentary by-elections.) The EU, despite support from national leaderships, continues to experience difficulty (Luthardt) in obtaining popular approval in referenda.

The editors appear to lament the ability of firms but not of trade unions to operate at the EU level: indeed, firms are relocating (Gorges) as in the United States to regions with favorable regulatory regimes while trade unions are stuck in national parochialism. They find little prospect for "macro-corporatism" in view of the lack of national implementation of the Social Charter. Social Democrats (Geyer) may even have harmed their cause by their enthusiasm for internationalism, thereby losing their national bases. Reviewing the sorry story of the collapse of the ERM in 1992, the editors join Andrews and Sandholtz in a realist (i.e. intergovernmental rivalry) approach. They predict emergence of a two- or multi-tiered monetary union, but they do not expect a turning back.

Part 2 considers national interests and European Union, with chapters on relations with France, Germany and Britain. (Unfortunately, chapters on Italy and the smaller countries are lacking.) Contrary to the editors' introduction, De la Serre and Lequesne find that the French referendum exposed a deep, underlying antipathy to the EU concentrated in working class and rural areas. They conjure a specter of German political and monetary power -- but not so vividly as certain Thatcherites, who were overcome (George) by a majority of British Conservatives in the 1990 replacement of Thatcher with Major. High interest rates set by the Bundesbank forced the pound and other currencies out of the ERM in September 1992. Chancellor Kohl's decision to offer Eastern Germans parity of currency (Welfens) ruined Germany's budget balance and triggered ripple effects throughout the EU. The British genius for shading language to paper the cracks of disagreement resulted in removing the term "federalism" in favor of "subsidiarity" at Maastricht, implying that decisions should be taken at lower levels of government. The editors call for rescue by cooperation among the big three.

Part 3 covers the prospects for a European foreign policy: chapters cover Fortress Europe; extending EC membership; political cooperation; relations with the U.S. and the Uruguay round; and defense integration. The book covers the thorny issue of immigration (Betz) but the chapter on expansion of membership (Redmond) was written before the close of the entry question for Austria, Finland, Sweden and Norway. As it points out, the Eastern entrants will be more problematic than the EFTA group: the assessment is based on net benefit to the EU, the GDP of the applicant, and the impact of its agricultural economy.

The gulf war (Wood) showed nation states at work on policy, the French falling into line reluctantly when their mediation failed. In recognizing Slovenia and Croatia, Germany actually repudiated cooperation with France and Britain. United States pressure (Laursen) on the GATT aggravated tensions between CAP reformers (Germany and Britain) and the French beneficiaries of the traditional system. The French had partly conceded by the time of publication. Although there are tensions over the direction of European defense efforts (Birch and Crotts), defense firms are allying much faster than governments.

Part 4 covers the single market, with chapters discussing: merger control; capitalism versus dirigisme; integration of telecommunications; environmental policy; winners and losers from 1992; the budget; and multilevel governance. The optimism of the Cecchini report on the single market' contribution to growth was soon belied by the recession and record unemployment. But barriers to markets have been eroded, the centralization of merger policy (Partan) being emblematic. This has not been accompanied (Goldstein) by an industrial policy. The French and Italian governments in particular retain massive nationalized industrial workforces. Most have substantial budget deficits. The argument over free markets versus external tariff is largely illusory because American and Japanese companies have already set up operations within the EU that produce multiples of the value of their exports to the EU. Both the telecommunications market (Dizard) and the environmental policy market (Sbragia) show the single market's impact on national policies. (Since publication, of course, Deutsche Telekom has been sold and there have been Euro-American multinational mergers as well as de-regulation). Lobbying is following power-broking on some issues to the Commission from national capitals. Trade expansion (Smith and Wanke) has been uneven: the single market has benefitted Germany most, but damaged the weaker economies. In another sign of the shift from corporatism to liberalism, the EU budget increase (Shackleton) was severely limited to less than 3 per cent of the expenditure of members.

As is the current anthology fashion, there is no concluding chapter; but the editors provide an introductory chapter on theory and research post-Maastricht. Here they conclude that a "guarded pessimism" running through the chapters during the current "crise de conscience" -- is not fatal to prospects for the EU. Pessimism -- bringing with it renewed interest in theory -- is caused by global economic and political changes and local recession with severe unemployment. In other words, the strategic logic of integration stands fast amid the shifting sands of tactical institution building. Even the more pessimistic contributors who emphasize national interests at play do not reduce all events to neorealism, intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism. They expect the EU to grow politically and economically as well as by adding member states. There is plenty of concern with the leading EU constitutional problem of the 1990s: the democratic deficit by which national leaders in France, Britain, Denmark (and Norway) have experienced great difficulty in persuading their populations to value the Community and even to take part in EU questions.

It is difficult to summarize such a complex volume in a brief review, but suffice it to say that while general readers and undergrads will find this volume less than exciting, it should find itself on the desk of every specialist researcher in Western European integration. The authors have transcended a two-year snapshot of EU activity to ponder the major prospects for the next decade.

Jeremy R.T. Lewis

 


Gerard De Groot, Liberal Crusader: The Life of Sir Archibald Sinclair. New York: New York University Press, 1993. viii + 224 pp. $35.
 

This official biography of a Churchill confidant, brave cavalryman, Air minister and Liberal Leader of the second world war is surprisingly witty, engaging and informative. With an index and bibliography including references to corrrespondence this volume will satisfy the scholar; with a readable style and collection of photographs and letters, it will equally delight the non-academic reader. There are numerous footnotes to the significant statesmen encountered on the pages, a virtual roster of the powerful in the interwar period. The author, commissioned by the Sinclair family while engaged on his biography of Haig, became lecturer in Modern History at St. Andrews. Pointing out his subject's talent and attractive demeanor to his peers, De Groot nonetheless promises to avoid the perils of hagiography. He does not spare Sinclair's libertine and puerile father, Clarence, who led a misspent youth in the Scots Guards and the boudoirs of Paris, dying of syphilis shortly after the birth. Poor mother Mabel of New York was treated snootily by Clarence's family, conceived Archie while honeymooning, then died of peritonitis shortly after giving birth. Sir Tollemache, Archibald's guardian, was a classic Victorian eccentric given to building a ghastly folly castle and triggering blasts of Wagnerian phonograph records. Irritable, a failed husband and provider, in his old age he became financially dependent on Sinclair.

From such devastating infancy (soothed by Edwardian relatives and considerable wealth) emerged a handsome, brave and dashing young cavalryman. He had much in common with Churchill: American mother, father dead of syphilis, nanny who aided emotional development, Sandhurst rather than university, military experience, Liberal party politics -- and a penchant for the dangerous sport of flying.

Peacetime polo and social life was to be his lot as aide-de-camp in India, but war intervened. When cavalry action bogged down in the 1914 trenches, Sinclair was plucked out as ADC to the commander, Canadian cavalry brigade. He distinguished himself in rallying the unit among captured trenches. Commiserating with Churchill over the older man's exclusion from the Asquith government following the Dardanelles fiasco, he exchanged letters about the frustrations of military life and -- eternal optimist -- the hope of success in the Balkans. Churchill claimed him as second in command of his Scottish Fusiliers, and soon they cheerfully endured repeatedly shelling of their quarters. Upon Churchill's return to the cabinet in the conscription crisis, Sinclair nobly remained in uniform -- only to be invalided out by complications from appendicitis. He had a whirlwind courtship and married Marigold, daughter of a charming but unhappy and selfishly cruel canteen owner in Le Touquet. They remained devoted.

Sinclair likewise remained devoted to gentlemanly Liberal principles, a contrast with Lloyd George and Churchill who pursued their own career interests single-mindedly ahead of party. Sinclair's party partnered the fledgling Labour government of 1924-1925, but by 1929 found itself overshadowed by Labour. From 1929 to 1940 he faced the misery of the Labour and National governments with some distinction, becoming Chief Whip (an almost impossible task), Scottish Secretary (briefly) and Liberal Leader when the older generation ran out of steam. It was a difficult time when Lloyd George's "coupon" and funding was required for a Liberal to stand in a Coalition constituency, and this implied a frustrating political cartel that slowly strangled the party. Sinclair stood up for free trade against the farming interest in his constituency, resigning his brief tenure of the coalition's Scottish Office in protest at the tariff. Sinclair's vision of an independent Liberal party led him to dampen proposals for a Popular front with Labour. But free trade would prove a tough sell to new working class voters.

Despite a pleasing loyalty unwarranted by the futility of Chamberlain's appeasement, he spoke out for defense (but not expensive rearmament) and joined the Focus group of influential anti-appeasement dissenters. His wartime experiences in the ludicrously outmoded cavalry had alerted him to the need for new military technology, and the practical need for rearmament eventually for him overrode any idealism about multilateral (never unilateral) disarmament. He sought collective security through the League of Nations, but in the sense of robust international action rather than naive idealism. Like many Liberals, he remained opposed to conscription. He was a party to Churchill's parliamentary protests about the parlous state of air defenses, based on inside information. For this sin Chamberlain had his telephone tapped and harangued him for discussing military information over the phone.

His crowning partisan achievements were: rebuilding the Liberal organization nationwide with energetic prewar administration; and restoring party respect in the Commons with articulate debating. He represented a new generation of interwar Liberal leadership replacing the tired old men of the Asquith generation -- but always hamstrung by the selfish and egotistical David Lloyd George. De Groot gives weight to all the explanations of Liberal decline (Lloyd George's coalition strategy, weak leadership and organization, inability to motivate the new working class voters) except the failure of nonconformist religion. On policy, he argues that free trade and anti-imperialism seemed uninteresting to interwar voters, while Beveridge's 1942 liberal welfare state report was hijacked by Labour in 1945. Sinclair was thrown by Churchill onto the defensive, forcing him to try to explain that the Liberals were distinct from the Conservatives yet not disloyal to the wartime prime minister. This tactical error however was of minor importance given the Labour landslide.

The rebuilding of the party he undid by lengthy wartime seclusion in his most important work: as Air Minister in Churchill's wartime coalition (but not of full Cabinet rank) he engaged a formidable workload that wore him out over the five years. He proved attractive and popular with RAF ranks when he had time to meet them, but his greatest challenges were production and bombing policy. He defended the RAF's spare parts and training aircraft as best he could against the aggressive depradations of Beaverbrook's Ministry of Aircraft Production. Beaverbrook, a fierce rival and duplicitous intriguer who brandished MAP production figures, defeated Sinclair frequently in government -- but showed respect for Sinclair after the war to the point of offering editorial support for his campaign. With Beaverbrook out, the Air ministry worked smoothly.

Sinclair's Scots enlightenment attitude -- despite his insufficient education -- led him to appreciate the scientific evidence of inaccurate bombing in the great area-versus-spot bombing debate. For a time he was misled by faulty intelligence that German oil targets were being severely damaged, but once the over-optimistic intelligence was corrected he supported the logical shifts of policy to bombing factories and then the cities around them. Eventually he argued for area bombing of cities at night, his practical understanding overriding the moral arguments. He was at least more honest in publicly defending this route than were some around him. When bombing cities was shown not to break civilian morale in Germany, and when with new technology bombing accuracy improved, he correctly argued for post-D-Day tactical support bombing of railways. This caused fewer French civilian casualties than had been feared.

His diplomatic skills were instrumental in dampening the rows between wartime egos (including Churchill, Cherwell, Beaverbrook and "Bomber" Harris) and holding the coalition together. Churchill liked him personally but mistakenly sided with others. Although he notes that Sinclair lacked aggression in committee, De Groot concludes periodically that these rejections of Sinclair were Churchill's fault.

Exhausted postwar, he like most Liberals lost his seat (but narrowly, to Churchill Conservatism in his case) and saw the national party wiped out in a rush to Labour. In 1950-1951 as Labour became electorally tarnished, Liberals failed to field a full team of experienced candidates, to recover seats, or even to retain their deposits. Sinclair retired from politics (in favor of postwar mediocrities) only to suffer a debilitating fall, two strokes -- and elevation by Churchill to join a larger group of Sinclairites in the Lords. Chapter 10 is appropriately labelled "A Casualty of War" -- perhaps a reference to the party as well as to its leader.

The Postscript sums up his career and place in British party history. In some ways he was (like his party) anachronistic: Edwardian dress, principled decency, elegant rhetoric, and distaste for the cruder politics of wartime and postwar. He was energetically devoted to family, party and constituency (Caithness and Sutherland, the most far-flung in Britain) and it was not his fault that wartime forced neglect of all three. His loyalty to Churchill and steadfast shrinking from machination left him pale by comparison with the ruthlessness of his predecessor Lloyd George. His belief in social improvement was outflanked easily by Attlee's Labour party. His party optimism helped keep the Liberals alive -- but deluded him into believing they had a future. His policies on free trade, anti-imperialism and the (moderate) welfare state seem more widely shared in the 1990s than in his day.

This official biography is a delightful example of the genre: highly readable, well researched and attuned to the times as well as the life. Praise for the subject is not overdone, and at least muted (but fair) criticism can be inferred. The book illuminates a statesman hitherto not as well known as his contemporaries, while ably filling a gap in our understanding of the long term decline of the Liberal party.
 
 
 

Jeremy R.T. Lewis

 


Henry Pelling, A Short History of the Labour Party. Tenth Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. vii + 216 pp. $45.
 

This review can be mercifully brief: to any scholar of British political parties, Pelling's classic history needs no introduction. Brief, authoritative and lively, it has been beloved by undergrads and scholars since 1961. Written in a quaint style, it lacks endnotes but provides an index and at the end of each chapter a paragraph on further reading. Any student of the subject needs this book. On the other hand, anyone with a previous edition will find precious new in the tenth edition, bar four pages on events from 1991 (the ninth edition) to 1993. The table on party membership extends now to 1991, that on general election results to 1992, and the list of leaders to John Smith.

Chapter XII covers the revival under Kinnock (and victory over Militant Tendency), the 1990 constitutional changes in Labour and the downfall of Mrs Thatcher. Section (4) on page 198 begins the new coverage with the 1992 election and ends on page 201 with John Smith leading and Tony Blair arriving on the front bench. Pelling's conclusion retains its emphasis on the organic nature of the Labour party: placing modern disturbances comfortably in its factional tradition. By the time this review appears, the publisher will no doubt be printing another edition with a new page 202 devoted to Blair's leadership. It might at least improve the print quality, rather variable in this reviewer's copy.
 
 
 

Jeremy R.T. Lewis

T.A. Jenkins, The Liberal Ascendancy, 1830-1886. New York: St. Martin' Press, 1994. xi + 252 pp. $45.
 
 
 
Jeremy R.T. Lewis