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.
Martin Klimke is an associate professor of history at New York University Abu Dhabi.
He is also an affiliated researcher at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg and in Transatlantic Cultural History (TCH) at the University of Augsburg, Germany.
His research focuses on the intersection of political and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on diplomatic and transnational history. The increasingly global cultural, political, and military presence of the U.S., especially after World War II, as well as the country's complex entanglement with other forces of globalization, are at the center of his scholarly interests.
He is the recipient of Heidelberg University's Ruprecht-Karls Prize 2006 and the NAACP's Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award 2009.
His latest book is a co-authored history of the experience of African American soldiers in Germany in the 20th century entitled "A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). He is also co-editor of the publication series "Protest, Culture and Society" (Berghahn Books, New York/Oxford).
Klimke is currently working on the nuclear crisis and the cold war of the 1980s, writing a transnational biography of Petra Kelly, an international peace activist and co-founder of the German Green Party.
For more information, visit www.maklimke.com