West Germany: The Buoyant Mood

It was only political-science fiction, but The German Confederation, written by Rudiger Altmann, a publicist who has been a consultant to Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, rapidly became a national topic of conversation when it was televised last month. And why not? Its scenario is nothing if not heady.

The story begins in late 1966. Erhard forms a "grand coalition" with the opposition Social Democrats to promote a daring new policy for the reunification of Germany. Lyndon Johnson approves, takes the occasion of a visit to Berlin in 1967 to offer a U.S. guarantee of...

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