Summary of Parting Ways

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Parting Ways book summary


8 Overall

3 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Stephen F. Szabo presents a balanced if subjective look at the factors leading to the rift between Washington and Berlin over Iraq. He adroitly portrays how Sept. 11, 2001, was the shotgun in the marriage between U.S. conservative nationalists (Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney) and neo-conservatives (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearl). The neo-cons seek to ensure American security by spreading democracy to every inch of the globe. Szabo ably profiles the historical and cultural circumstances that contributed to the German perception that Bush is a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Hussein. He also uncovers the underlying geopolitical fault lines causing the diplomatic temblors that are rattling the dishware on both sides of the Atlantic. His book is an excellent tactical portrayal of how a vital, longstanding diplomatic relationship can disappear virtually overnight. strongly recommends this volume to any serious student of international relations, the Atlantic Alliance and the Bush Administration, particularly in regard to its response to 9/11.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the personal relationship between Gerhard Schröder and George W. Bush contributed to a diplomatic crisis;
  • How strategic and perceptual divides add to the schism;
  • Why German voters oppose U.S. action in Iraq; and
  • What issues must be addressed for U.S.-German diplomatic relations to thaw and progress.

About the Author

Stephen F. Szabo is a professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He holds the Steven Muller Chair in German Studies at the University's SAIS Bologna Center. He specializes in European security and politics as well as contemporary German politics. He is also the author of The Diplomacy of German Unification among other books.



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