Matthias Schulz & Thomas A. Schwartz, eds.
The Strained Alliance: U.S.- European Relations from Nixon to Carter
Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2009
Using a wide array of recently declassified archival materials in the United States and Western Europe, this collection offers new insights into the changing dynamics of transatlantic relations during the era of détente (1969–1980). Whereas prior studies of this decade have focused on the end of the Vietnam War or U.S.-Soviet relations, this volume reveals why bitter conflicts developed between the U.S. and its European allies, and how, contrary to conventional wisdom, European integration evolved less as a consequence of Washington’s support than as a result of America’s relative decline and growing U.S.-European discord. Taking into account the developments in various bilateral and multilateral settings, such as the European Community, the Helsinki process, and the G-7 summits, the contributions show that a common alliance strategy has always been a difficult undertaking, often the result of bitter confrontation and painful compromises. With clear overtones to more recent disputes, this collection demonstrates there was never a “golden age” of transatlantic harmony.