New Books Network

Mathias Haeussler

Helmut Schmidt and British-German Relations

A European Misunderstanding

Cambridge University Press 2019

New Books in British StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in National SecurityNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & Society March 19, 2020 Charles Coutinho

The former West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt grew up as a devout Anglophile, yet he clashed heavily and repeatedly with his British counterparts Wilson,...

The former West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt grew up as a devout Anglophile, yet he clashed heavily and repeatedly with his British counterparts Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher during his time in office between 1974 and 1982. Helmut Schmidt and British-German Relations: A European Misunderstanding (Cambridge University Press, 2019) looks at Schmidt’s personal experience to explore how and why Britain and Germany rarely saw eye to eye over European integration, uncovering the two countries’ deeply competing visions and incompatible strategies for post-war Europe. But it also zooms out to reveal the remarkable extent of simultaneous British-German cooperation in fostering joint European interests on the wider international stage, not least within the transatlantic alliance against the background of a worsening superpower relationship. By connecting these two key areas of bilateral cooperation, Mathias Haeussler of the University of Regensburg offers a major revisionist reinterpretation of Anglo-German bilateral relationship under Schmidt, relevant to anybody interested in British-German relations, European integration, and the Cold War.


Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.