Was It Important? The United States in Alan Milward’s postwar reconstruction
Title: Was It Important? The United States in Alan Milward’s postwar reconstruction
Author: ROMERO, Federico
Citation: Fernando GUIRAO, Frances M. B. LYNCH, and Sigfrido M. RAMÍREZ PEREZ (eds), Alan S. Milward and a Century of European Change, London, Routledge, 2012, c2011, Routledge Studies in Modern European History, 351-364
The essay discusses a critical aspect of Alan Milward’s seminal work on post-war European reconstruction and integration: his interpretation of the political and economic role of the U.S. in the reconstruction of Western Europe. Often criticised for having neglected or downplayed them, especially in relations to the economic necessity of the Marshall Plan and the effectiveness of American plans for integration, Milward in fact considered Washington’s policies as very relevant. Even though U.S. power and influence were not at the centre of his two books on post-war Europe, and his main historiographical thrust was a re-evaluation of the agency of European states, the US was very relevant in his argument as the power that defined the battleground, designed the framework, and influenced many of the forces the Europeans had to contend with. The essay analyzes Milward’s main works and argues that his view of post-war reconstruction entailed a perceptive, critical and innovative view of the role of the US.
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