Using previously classified documents and original interviews, The Other Alliance examines the channels of cooperation between American and West German student movements throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, and the reactions these relationships provoked from the U.S. government. Revising the standard narratives of American and West German social mobilization, Martin Klimke demonstrates the strong transnational connections between New Left groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
Klimke shows that the cold war partnership of the American and German governments was mirrored by a coalition of rebelling counterelites, whose common political origins and opposition to the Vietnam War played a vital role in generating dissent in the United States and Europe. American protest techniques such as the "sit-in" or "teach-in" became crucial components of the main organization driving student activism in West Germany--the German Socialist Student League--and motivated American and German student activists to construct networks against global imperialism. Klimke traces the impact that Black Power and Germany's unresolved National Socialist past had on the German student movement; he investigates how U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department's Interagency Youth Committee, advised American policymakers on confrontations with student unrest abroad; and he highlights the challenges student protesters posed to cold war alliances.
Exploring the catalysts of cross-pollination between student protest movements on two continents, The Other Alliance is a pioneering work of transnational history.
"The Other Alliance takes the protest movements in West Germany and the United States . . . as a case study of how activists in different countries shared political ideas and forms of protest an in doing so influenced and inspired each other. But unlike some other analyses, his focuses on the 'exact processes' by which the two movements constructed a 'collective identity'. . . . What emerges from Klimke's study is an impressively nuanced picture."--Hans Kundnani, Times Literary Supplement
"Martin Klimke's new study, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany & the United States in the Global Sixties, represents an important attempt to go beyond vague generalizations about the 'global' to find ways of accessing and analyzing the pronounced interconnectedness that characterized the rebellion of the 1960s. . . . Klimke makes excellent use of a range of sources, including classified American government documents that open up a fascinating perspective on how intelligence agencies viewed the threat of student unrest. . . . [W]e can be grateful for Martin Klimke's excellent study, which represents an important addition to the vast and growing historical literature on the global sixties."--Timothy Scott Brown, Journal of American History
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations vii
CHAPTER 1: SDS Meets SDS 10
CHAPTER 2: Between Berkeley and Berlin, Frankfurt and San Francisco: The Networks and Nexus of Transnational Protest 40
CHAPTER 3: Building the Second Front: The Transatlantic Antiwar Alliance 75
CHAPTER 4: Black and Red Panthers 108
CHAPTER 5: The Other Alliance and the Transatlantic Partnership 143
CHAPTER 6: Student Protest and International Relations 194
List of Sources 325