German unification evoked ambivalent reactions outside its borders: it revived disquieting memories of attempts by German big business during the two world wars to build an economic empire in Europe in conjunction with the military and the government bureaucracy. But there are also high hopes that German finance and industry will serve as the engine of reconstruction in eastern Europe, just as it played this role in the postwar unification of western Europe.
Volker Berghahn is the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University where he moved in 1998 from Brown University, after a longer spell of teaching at the University of Warwick in England. The author of more than a dozen books, he has long been interested in the challenges of modern biography. In 1993, he published a study of the industrialist Otto A. Friedrich and his role in the reconstruction of West German industry after 1945. His America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe uses Shepard Stone-renowned journalist, Ford Foundation officer in charge of its European and international programs, and the first director of the Berlin Aspen Institute-as a window to the trans-Atlantic world of American and European intellectuals and scholars, many of whom were associated with the Congress for Cultural Freedom during the Cold War.