My Life in Politics

Willy Brandt, Author, William K. Brandt, Author
Willy Brandt, Author, William K. Brandt, Author Viking Books $35 (544p) ISBN 978-0-670-84435-7
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West German statesman Brandt came to prominence after WW II as mayor of Berlin. He was elected chairman of the German Social Democratic Party in 1964, was appointed foreign minister in Kurt Kiesinger's coalition government in '66 and became chancellor of the Federal Republic in '69. Brandt initiated a policy of conciliation with Eastern European countries, signing the Warsaw-Moscow Treaties in 1970, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize the following year. (``To have helped in causing the German name to be linked with the concept of peace and the prospect of European freedom is the true satisfaction of my life.'') He resigned as chancellor in '74 after the revelation that his personal staff included an East German spy; Brandt gives his version of the spy affair here for the first time. For nonspecialist readers the most satisfying section of this political memoir is that dealing with Brandt's wartime exile in Norway and Sweden, when he supported himself as a correspondent for Scandinavian journals and was active in the anti-Nazi resistance. But otherwise, his memoir is so modestly told as to render the account bland, generalized and colorless. (Nov.)
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