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Jeffrey J. Anderson

The aim of this chapter is to assess the European Commission

under Romano Prodi’s presidency. Prodi took office in September

1999, at a time when both the Commission’s standing within the

European Union (EU) and its internal morale were floundering at

historic lows, the result of months of internal scandal and bruising,

public confrontations with the European Parliament, the media,

and the member governments. It is a testament to Prodi’s political

skills that a mere fifteen months later, the Commission is once

again on an even keel and charting a steady course, moreover playing

an important if not necessarily central role in the major debates

of the day in the European Union.

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Jeffrey J. Anderson

Twenty years after all the excitement, Germans seem to be genuinely of two conflicting minds about unification. One is characterized by awe over the accomplishments of 1989-1990, the other by disappointment and even bitterness over unfulfilled ambitions and promises. These contrasting interpretations and assessments of unification are fluid, but surface repeatedly in the quality print media. This chapter examines the recurring themes, interpretations, and narratives about unification twenty years on, and seeks to trace the interconnections between the social, economic, and political dimensions of unification. As such, these contemporary printed narratives can tell us a great deal about how a people views its recent past, what its priorities are, and how it is facing the future. The analysis reveals that public discourse on unification twenty years after the fact resembles a blind spot—look straight at it, and it disappears, replaced by blank spot—a seemingly irreducible gap between East and West. Avert one's gaze, and the spot fills in, almost seamlessly.

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Laurence McFalls, Jeffrey J. Anderson and Vanessa Beck

Jennifer A. Yoder, From East Germans to Germans? The New Postcommunist Elitesn(Durham: Duke University Press, 1999)

Review by Laurence McFalls

Hölscher, Jens and Anja Hochberg, eds., East Germany’s Economic Development Since Unification: Domestic and Global Aspects (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998)

Review by Jeffrey J. Anderson

Brigitte Young, Triumph of the Fatherland. German Unification and the Marginalization of Women (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999)

Review by Vanessa Beck