Theses Doctoral

Kurt Birrenbach and the Evolution of German Atlanticism

Baurkot, Jr., Samuel Joseph

This dissertation explores the multifaceted life of Kurt Birrenbach as a window into the historical evolution of a Liberal German Atlanticism during the post-World War II era. While tracing the development of this Atlanticism into a "mature," establishment phenomenon, themes addressed include the founding and financing of an elaborate infrastructure, the creation of extensive political networks also stretching abroad, the execution of ambitious public relations actions, and distinct tendencies towards geographic and thematic expansion. Those challenges confronting Atlanticism in the Federal Republic, among them the persistence of Conservative Abendland perspectives and, later, the rise on the Left of interrelated pacifist, anti-nuclear and environmental movements, are touched upon as well. The broader historiographical issues examined encompass postwar continuity and discontinuity in the Federal Republic, processes of Americanization, the functioning of transnational networks, the impact of generational change, and the political engagement of West German business.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Berghahn, Volker R.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 19, 2014