I was looking though the stacks at Borders Books some years ago.  Remember Borders Books?  I got to Germany in the history section.  As you can imagine, there was a lot on Hitler and the Third Reich.  That is appropriate, but in all the years of going to Borders, I only saw one biography of Konrad Adenauer.  The events and personalities leading to Germany becoming a democratic, prosperous, and free state after World War II doesn’t seem to get enough attention.  It is a very impressive political refounding and I’ve only seem Paul Johnson give a sense of the scale of the achievement.

It is the same thing with Italy.  There was plenty on Mussolini, but nothing on the post-WWII Italian democratic politicians.  The partial exception was Charles de Gaulle.  He didn’t match Napoleon’s presence in the France section, but there was enough on de Gaulle that you had a sense of his importance. 

 

Articles by Pete Spiliakos

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