Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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The End of the Cold War in Europe: Conversation with William Pfaff, columnist, International Herald Tribune, May 7, 1990, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation on International Affairs. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is William Pfaff. William Pfaff is an American writer living in Paris. His syndicated column appears regularly in the International Herald Tribune and in newspapers throughout the world. He is the author of several books, most recently Barbarian Sentiments: How the American Century Ends. For that book he was nominated for the National Book Award, and has just won Geneva's Jean Jacques Rousseau Literary Prize for 1990.

  1. Background ... be careful what you pray for ... Commonweal magazine ... travel ... Free Europe Committee ... Hudson Institute
  2. Writing ... cumulative value ... Southeast Asia ... polarized Vietnam War debate
  3. Foreign Policy Ideas ... intellectual basis in the fifties ... American myth and intellectual laziness ... impoverished debate ... running behind events ... playing a less active role
  4. The Soviet Union ... Gorbachev and the discrediting of Marxism ... his disparate levels of legitimacy in foreign vs. internal politics ... dire economic conditions ... Soviet leadership through Brezhnev era ... new generation's wider view ... rejoining Europe ... the problem of technological growth
  5. Central and Eastern Europe ... public ignorance of region ... loss of legitimacy of Communist Party ... Moscow's failure to inspire cultural emulation ... Eastern European artists' contributions to Modernism ... predicting a new flowering of culture
  6. Thoughts on Western Europe ... successful societies ... ethnic tensions ... the problem of Germany
  7. Thoughts on America ... preoccupation with self ... press's indifference to foreign affairs ... continuing prevalance of clichés ... no external references

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