ABOUT THIS BOOK
It is often asserted that West German New Leftists "discovered the Third World" in the pivotal decade of the 1960s. Quinn Slobodian upsets that storyline by beginning with individuals from the Third World themselves: students from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who arrived on West German campuses in large numbers in the early 1960s. They were the first to mobilize German youth in protest against acts of state violence and injustice perpetrated beyond Europe and North America. The activism of the foreign students served as a model for West German students, catalyzing social movements and influencing modes of opposition to the Vietnam War. In turn, the West Germans offered the international students solidarity and safe spaces for their dissident engagements. This collaboration helped the West German students to develop a more nuanced, empathetic understanding of the Third World, not just as a site of suffering, poverty, and violence, but also as the home of politicized individuals with the capacity and will to speak in their own names.
"The topic is fascinating; the core thesis is provocative; the research is stellar; and the writing is wonderful. This is a bold, exciting book that will get a lot of attention."—Jeremy Varon, author of Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies
"This carefully researched and well written book convincingly brings the foreign students and international influence back into the story of the 1960s in Germany."—Peter C. Caldwell, author of Love, Death, and Revolution in Central Europe
“Foreign Front is an important contribution to our understanding of the place that the Third World occupied in the imagination of the West German student movement. In particular, Slobodian provides an excellent account of the role that students from Africa, Asia and Latin America played in the West German New Left in the 1960s as he discusses the complex relationship between intellectuals in the West and revolutionaries in the Third World.”
-- Hans Kundnani TLS
“[T]his is an excellent addition to the ever-expanding canon of 1960s studies. Slobodian breathes life into the relationship between West German and Third World students as it existed not in the imagination, but on the ground. . . . He is able to recover Third World students, who have been written out of West German national history, and demonstrate the central role that they played in challenging the West German state.”
-- Zachary Scarlett H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews
“To this body of scholarship [on the ‘Third World Politics’ of 1968 in Germany] Quinn Slobodian now adds an important contribution.”
-- Detlef Siegfried American Historical Review
“Slobodian’s book is a welcome corrective to the traditional narratives of the West German student movement and West German history writ large, as well as a fascinating example of the importance of international events, ideologies, and texts, to national histories.”
-- Julia Sittmann H-Soz-u-Kult, H-Net Reviews
“Foreign Front takes activists’ support for anticolonial struggles in the 'Third World' seriously and, in doing so, manages to refocus our attention on aspects of West Germany’s turbulent sixties that had been buried under subsequent interpretations. It is a beautifully written and timely addition to a thriving research field that deserves a wide readership.”
-- Anna von der Goltz German Politics and Society
“Foreign Front is a superb contribution to scholarship on the German sixties and highly recommended for any scholar of the global sixties or recent German history.”
-- Caroline Hoefferle Journal for the Study of Radicalism
“Some of the freshest moments in Slobodian’s book point beyond the student movements themselves, highlighting the dangers of distant strife for Germany’s own civil peace...This is exemplary transnational history and essential reading for today’s graduate students.”
-- William Glenn Gray Central European History
“Foreign Front is a lucid, well-researched work that calls attention to an oft-ignored but critical component of the New Left in West Germany. In doing so, Slobodian adds an important dimension to our view of the student movement, making his book a significant contribution to our understanding of West Germany's 1968 and postwar history more generally."
-- Thomas W. Goldstein International Social Science Review
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