Thursday, May 13, 2004

wednesday afternoon, at last

my hands smell of garlic. it's most disturbing.

anyway, i'm over the midweek hump, despite having the plague and having read ridiculous amounts of European integration stuff over the weekend for today without dying. =) classes today actually went pretty well, since i did the reading for both classes, and managed to answer Mearsheimer reasonably when he picked on me this afternoon. ("Jeanette, what's the real problem in 1945-1950 in Europe?" "Well, it's really what to do with Germany. Because they didn't know what to do with Germany, the Soviets and the Americans started to piss each other off, and we got the Cold War. Is what Trachtenberg is saying." -approving look- -moves on to pick on some other poor soul-)

in fact, as it turns out, what Trachtenberg is REALLY saying is that if the Americans had gotten their shit together earlier and realised that Byrnes had it right, and the final settlement in Europe should include (a) a divided Germany; (b) no nuclear weapons in Germany (damn you, Ike, why didn't you figure that out BEFORE the Berlin Crisis in 1958?) and (c) the Americans staying for the long haul in Europe ('cos it wasn't just the French who wanted them - the Russians wanted them in to sit on top of the crazy Germans too) then we wouldn't have had all the problems of the 1950s/early 1960s. none of this staring-nuclear-war-in-the-face stuff.

which is also, sort of, what McAllister is saying in "No Exit" - the Americans don't have an exit strategy. they're stuck, they can't get out, despite their efforts at integrating Europe to stand up to the USSR and contain Germany. it can't be done. without the American pacifier, you'll have chaos in Europe.

of course, then you have to raise the question of socialisation and institutionalisation - are institutions strong enough to carry on a Cold War order when the structure underlying the Cold War is gone; and is Germany fundamentally a different country today than it was in the 1930s and 40s?

enough rambling and theorising. it's been a really hot day -i have the fan going- and i even managed to spend lunch outdoors (couldn't sing, so avoided Motet altogether this time) with Trachtenberg and an orange, briefly, before finding Jan and Kevin out on the quad. but it's definitely brain meltdown weather - time to take a nap before dinner, i think.

2 Comments:

At 8:34 AM, May 14, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trachtenberg...related to Michelle? ie Dawn in Buffy?

 
At 10:54 PM, May 14, 2004, Blogger J. said...

that's the first thing that popped into my head when i saw the credits for Buffy last week, actually - that she's somehow related to Marc, the historian. but i think the odds are fairly small. turns out that Trachtenberg isn't as odd a last name as i thought -grin- i've seen at least two others in the last week.

 

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