Books: The Well-Tempered Clavier

MEMOIRS 1945-53 by Konrad Adenauer. 477 pages. Regnery. $10.

Memoirists are the musicians of history. Churchill's English eloquence thumped the drumhead of World War II into a heroic thunder with his wartime memoirs. Charles de Gaulle drew a dry bow over the taut strings of French postwar political chaos to produce his searching remembrance of things past. Now Konrad Adenauer is onstage with the first volume of his memoirs, covering the period from 1945, when Germany lay in ruins, to 1953, when the postwar Wirtschaftswunder dawned. Adenauer's instrument, not surprisingly, is a brisk and...

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