Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic
Over the course of his long and controversial career, Joschka Fischer evolved from an archetypal 1960s radical-a firebrand street activist-into a shrewd political insider, operating at the heights of German politics. In the 1980s he was one of the first elected Greens and went on to become Germany's foreign minister from 1998 to 2005. His famous challenge to Donald Rumsfeld's case for invading Iraq-"Excuse me, I am not convinced"-won him worldwide recognition, and the Bush administration's contempt. Here is both a lively biography of Joschka Fischer and a gripping history 'from below'of postwar Germany. Paul Hockenos begins in the ruins of postwar Germany and guides us through the flashpoints of the late sixties and seventies, from the student protests and the terrorism of the Baader-Meinhof group to the evolution of Europe's premier Green party, and brings us up to the present in the united Germany. He shows how the grassroots movements that became the German Greens challenged and changed the republic's status quo, making postwar Germany more democratic, liberal and worldly along the way.
Despite the ideological twists and turns of Fischer and his peers, the lessons of the Holocaust and the Nazi terror remained their constant coordinates. Hockenos traces that political journey, providing readers with unique insight into the impact that these movements and the Greens have had on Germany. Informed by hundreds of interviews with key figures and fellow travelers, Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic presents readers with one of the most intriguing personalities on the European scene, and paints a rich picture of the rebellious generation of 1968 that became the political elite of modern Germany.