You are on page 1of 52


The Ambivalent
Michael Ignatieff
Josef Joffe
Hans-Ulrich Wehler
David Rieff
Jeffrey Eugenides
Alex Ross and Kent Nagano
Amity Shlaes
Fritz Stern
Paul Volcker
A Newsletter from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Six | Spring 2003
C3 Ameri can Academy
30218_AmAcad_U1bisU4_AK 11.07.2003 10:48 Uhr Seite C3
Executive Director
Gary Smith
Deputy Director
Paul Stoop
Development Director
Anne-Marie McGonnigal
External Affairs Director
Renate Pppel
Fellows Services Director
Marie Unger
Program Coordinator
Ute Zimmermann
Press Coordinator
Ingrid Mller
Fellows Selection
Lily Saint
A Newsletter from the
American Academy in Berlin
Published semi-annually at the
Hans Arnhold Center
Number Six Spring 2003
Karen Yasinsky, dvd projection
still from the animation
still life w/cows, 2000.
Paul Volcker discusses
current corporate
practices and the urgent
need for reform.
Paul Volcker chairs the
Trustees of the International
Accounting Standards
Committee Foundation.
He served as chairman of the
Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System from
1979 to 1987 and headed the
New York Federal Reserve
Bank between 1975 and 1979.
He has taught economics at
Princeton and nyu. Last fall
he delivered the rst annual
Stephen Kellen Lecture, which
also launched the Academys
JPMorgan Policy Briefs.
Is America Ambivalent
About Empire?
We asked four experts.
Michael Ignatieff is director
of the Carr Center for Human
Rights Practice at Harvards
Kennedy School of Govern-
ment. Josef Joffe is editor and
publisher of Die Zeit and a
trustee of the American
Academy in Berlin. Hans-
Ulrich Wehler is professor of
history at the Universitt
Bielefeld. Haniel Fellow
David Rieff is the author, most
recently, of ABed for the Night:
Humanitarianism in Crisis.
Historian Fritz Stern
cautions against the
misappropriation of
Fritz Stern, emeritus profes-
sor of history at Columbia
University and a founding
trustee of the American
Academy in Berlin, is author,
most recently, of Dreams and
Delusions: The Drama of
German History and Einsteins
German World. This spring,
an annual lecture series at the
Academy was inaugurated
in his honor. Reinhard Meier
is an editor at the
Neue Zrcher Zeitung.
Alex Ross interviews
Kent Nagano about his
friendship with composer
Olivier Messiaen.
Alex Ross is the New Yorkers
music critic and was
Holtzbrinck Fellow at the
American Academy in Berlin
last fall. His book on the his-
tory of twentieth-century
music will be published
next year. Kent Nagano is
chief conductor and artistic
director of the Deutches
Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,
leads the Berkeley Symphony,
and is principle conductor at
the Los Angeles Opera.
Amity Shlaes describes
the commodity curse and
explains why riches some-
times harm, not help.
Amity Shlaes holds the
JPMorgan International Prize
in Finance this spring. She is
a senior columnist on politi-
cal economy at the Financial
Times. Her recent book The
Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive
Americans Crazy and What to
Do About it was a US national
bestseller. Her rst book,
Germany: The Empire Within,
explored German national
identity at the end of the
cold war.
Pulitzer Winner Jeffrey
Eugenides searches for
history beneath the Hans
Arnhold Center.
August Kleinzahler offers a
poem; Newsweeks Europe edi-
tor Michael Meyer proles
Academy trustee Karl von der
Heyden; writer Christine
Brinck lends an ear to
Ambassador Richard
Holbrooke for Die Zeit;
scholar Hayden Whites new
project; and the best
springtime news about the
American Academy in Berlin,
its visitors, friends, alumni,
and current fellows.
Trustees of the
American Academy
Honorary Chairmen
Thomas L. Farmer
Henry A. Kissinger
Richard von Weizscker
Richard C. Holbrooke
Vice Chairman
Gahl Hodges Burt
Robert H. Mundheim
Karl M. von der Heyden
Gahl Hodges Burt
Gerhard Casper
Lloyd Cutler
Jonathan F. Fanton
Thomas L. Farmer
Julie Finley
Vartan Gregorian
Jon Vanden Heuvel
Karl M. von der Heyden
Richard C. Holbrooke
Dieter von Holtzbrinck
Dietrich Hoppenstedt
Josef Joffe
Stephen M. Kellen
Henry A. Kissinger
Horst Khler
Hans ArnholdCenter
John C. Kornblum
Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Nina von Maltzahn
Deryck Maughan
Klaus Mangold
Erich Marx
Wolfgang Mayrhuber
Robert H. Mundheim
Joseph Neubauer
Franz Xaver Ohnesorg
Robert Pozen
Volker Schlndorff
Fritz Stern
Kurt Viermetz
Alberto W. Vilar
Richard von Weizscker
Klaus Wowereit, ex ofcio
The American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 1719
14109 Berlin
Tel. (+ 49 30) 80 48 3-0
Fax (+ 49 30) 80 48 3-111
The Berlin Journal is funded entirely
through advertising and tax-deduct-
ible donations. Contributions are very
much appreciated, either by check
or by bank transfer to:
American Academy in Berlin
Berliner Sparkasse, Account no.
660 000 9908, BLZ 100 500 00
All rights reserved ISSN 1610-6490
Gary Smith
Associate Editor
Miranda Robbins
Susanna Dulkinys and
Erik Spiekermann,
United Designers
Managing Editor
Teresa Go
Original Drawings
Ben Katchor
Renate Pppel
Daniel Huyssen
place for the post-cold-war generation of American
and German intellectual, cultural, and political
leaders. And indeed it has. Fellows find themselves
repeatedly in the shoes of cultural ambassadors.
In the breadth of their views, they embody what
Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Fritz Stern in these pages
admiringly call the American genius for constructive
Thus this spring, some fellows met privately with
politicians including Angela Merkel and Friedrich
Merz of the cdu, Interior Minister Otto Schily (spd),
and Jrgen Trittin and Rezzo Schlauch of the Greens.
The Hans Arnhold Centers well-attended array of
public programs was supplemented by out-of-house
panel discussions with ngos, church groups, and
radio and television audiences. Fellows published
articles and interviews in the German press.
However ideologically fraught the debate on
American power has been in certain sectors of Berlin
and Washington, high priority is given in traditional
Atlanticist quarters to reestablish a common agenda.
The pessimism of many pundits is unwarranted: as
dramatic as the transatlantic rift may seem, it may, in
the end prove to be therapeutic in forcing clarity
about our relations and institutions such as the
Security Council.
Long before the statues of Saddam toppled in
Baghdad, cautionary words about empire were
on the lips of many. In the hopes of bringing a sober
appraisal to bear on current events, we invited four
experts to reflect on the pitfalls and promises of the
American empire. And we also made room for the
poetry, portraits, art, and lively writing that make
each issue of the Berlin Journal something more. All
of this should remind readers of the extent to which
the US and Germany remain culturally, economically
and historically intertwined.
Gary Smith
In These Times
Berlin has seen many changes since its Wall fell in
1989, but the recent shift in attitude toward America
has been particularly jarring. As historians will
remind us, Europe has a distinguished tradition of
looking askance at American cultural, political, and
economic practices. But, for fty years, Berliners har-
bored a special affection for America. Now, in the
city once kept free by the airlift, a new atmosphere of
discomfort and even resentment about the US exer-
cise of power abroad seems to have taken hold. At a
time when attacks on the administrations foreign
policy are conflated with polemics about Americans
in general, the presence of a dozen or more American
scholars, policy experts, and artists just a short drive
from the Bundestag has proven invaluable.
The seasoned negotiator Richard Holbrooke
predicted in the Academys founding tractate that
this institution would become a unique meeting
Number Six | Spring 2003
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:39 Uhr Seite 1
We at Schering know that knowledge creates value. As an expanding pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, we cooperate
with top specialists to create a pool of knowledge to further medical progress. Based on causal research we develop products
of high clinical value and tailored treatments to enhance and sustain the quality of human life. We know our longterm
success depends on reaching this goal. Schering making medicine work.
multiplying knowledge.
The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its fellowships for
the 20042005 academic year. The Academy is a private, non-prot center
for the advanced study of culture and the arts, music, law, public policy,
nance and economics, historical, and literary research. It welcomes
younger as well as established scholars, artists, and professionals who wish
to engage in independent study in Berlin for an academic semester or in
special cases for an entire academic year.
The Academy, which opened its doors in September 1998, occupies the
Hans Arnhold Center, a historic lakeside villa in the Wannsee district of
Berlin. Fellowships have been awarded to writers and poets, painters and
sculptors, curators, anthropologists, German cultural scholars, economists,
historians, theologians, legal scholars, journalists, architectural and
cultural critics, composers and musicologists and public policy experts.
Specially designated fellowships include the Bosch Fellowship in Public
Policy, the George Herbert Walker Bush Fellowship, the Citigroup
Fellowship, the DaimlerChrysler Fellowship, the Gillette Fellowship, the
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellowship, the Haniel Foundation Fellowship, the
Holtzbrinck Fellowship in Journalism, the Anna-Maria Kellen Fellowship,
the JP Morgan International Prize in Finance Policy and Economics, and the
Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship in the Visual Arts.
US citizens and permanent residents (in both cases permanently based in
the United States) are eligible to apply. Fellows are expected to be in resi-
dence at the Academy during the entire term of their awarded semester.
The Academy offers furnished apartments suitable for individuals and
couples, and a very limited number of accommodations for families with
children. Benets include a monthly stipend, round-trip airfare, housing at
the Academy and partial board. Stipends range from $3000 to $5000 per
month (depending on level of attainment).
Application forms are available from the Academy or may be downloaded
from its web site ( Applications for all fellow-
ships (with the exception of applications in the visual arts and music, due in
New York by December 1, 2003) must be received in Berlin by October 31,
2003. Candidates need not be German specialists, but the project descrip-
tion should explain how a residency in Berlin will contribute to further
professional development.
Applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee
following a peer review process. The 20042005 Fellows will be chosen in
January 2004 and publicly announced in early spring.
American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 17-19
D-14109 Berlin, Germany
Telephone +49 (30) 804 83 - 0
Fax +49 (30) 804 83 - 111
The Berlin Prize Fellowships 2004 2005
Hans ArnholdCenter
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 2
Robert H. Mundheim Introduces Paul Volcker
On October 7, 2002, Academy president Robert H.
Mundheim welcomed an audience to the Hans Arnold
Center for the inaugural Stephen Kellen Lecture.
The lecture series was announced last spring on the
occasion of the founding trustees eighty-eighth birth-
day. Mundheim made the following remarks to honor
the man after whom the lecture is named and to intro-
duce the very rst Kellen lecturer, Paul Volcker.
Stephen Kellen is both a Berliner and an American. It
has been his dream to draw together the city of his birth
and his adopted country, and he has done that in a vari-
ety of ways: by bringing the Berlin Symphony Orchestra
to Carnegie Hall, by sponsoring Germans to study in the
United States, and by being a prime supporter, in every
way, of the American Academy in Berlin, housed in the
former home of his wife, Anna-Maria Arnhold Kellen.
The American Academy functions, basically, as a
private cultural embassy to Berlin and to Germany.
The dozen or so Berlin Prize Fellows who live here each
semester are its principal ambassadors. They embody
the richness and diversity of American culture and
values. The Academy is also a forum for exchanging
ideas, linking people, and promoting understanding.
This role is of special signicance at a time when ofcial
relations between our two governments seem to be
under some strain. I have never been more convinced of
the importance to Germans and Americans of the
American Academy, which Richard Holbrooke, Richard
von Weizscker, Henry Kissinger, Gary Smith, and above
all, Stephen Kellen, have built. The creation of the
Stephen Kellen Lectures represents a thank you to
Stephen from the Academy trustees, who contributed
individually to fund them.
The rst Kellen Lecture is given by Paul Volcker, a man
whom Stephen admires enormously. Stephen was
pleased with his theme Protecting the Integrity of the
Markets because he has been a lifelong investment
banker and has adhered to a set of values that protected
market integrity. He has watched, I think, with some dis-
may, as those values have eroded. The topic also marks
a tting occasion to launch the American Academys
new series of JPMorgan Economic Policy Briefs, with
the generous help of JPMorgan Chase.
Economist Paul Volckers forebears were German, from
Westphalia. From Princeton and Harvard, he went on to
a distinguished career in public service. I will mention
some highlights. He served as Undersecretary for
Monetary Affairs in the Nixon Treasury at a time when
the undersecretary had international and domestic
nance, as well as economic policy, within his jurisdic-
tion. Later, he became the president of the New York
Federal Reserve Bank probably the most powerful of
the 12 Federal Reserve Bank districts. One may remem-
ber that the US experienced nancial trouble in the late
1970s. Interest rates reached double digits. Ination was
high; the cost of living increased by 40 percent in
roughly three years. The dollar was weak. The US had to
borrow money in Germany and in Switzerland, the Carter
Notes. The then-chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank,
Bill Miller, had just been appointed Secretary of the
Treasury. The president said, we need someone who can
see into the future clearly and devise solutions to get us
out of the mess were in. And his advisors responded,
we know a perfect candidate! Hes 6-foot 7-inches tall.
Surely he can see into the future better than anyone
else. Well, I dont know if they were right about the
advantages of height, but I do know that Paul Volcker
did help us get out of the nancial mess we were in.
His leadership of the Federal Reserve Bank has been
universally admired.
Paul Volckers post-government service includes
teaching at Princeton and New York University.
He has chaired the committee dealing with Holocaust
claims against Swiss nancial institutions. He has
authored two reports on the reform of the US Govern-
ment, the last of which was submitted in January of
2003. He chairs the International Accounting Standards
Committee Foundation. Even this abbreviated list
indicates that Paul Volckers life is rich with experience.
We are delighted that he shares some of that
experience with the American Academy in Berlin. uu
Protecting the
Integrity of
Capital Markets
A New Priority
Paul A. Volcker
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 3
The present challenge in German-American
relations has brought me to reect on my own
years in government.
I was privileged to work with a long line of dis-
tinguished German central bankers and nance and
economy ministers. Those relationships extending
over thirty years tell their own story. They were
stronger than with any other country. The
US and Germany, with the largest and strongest
economies, have been anchors of the transatlantic
alliance, an alliance that has served the world well.
Perhaps that relationship has been diluted a bit, but
it would be a tragedy for it to break down. I know
the American Academy in Berlin has become one
of the institutions designed to make sure that does
not happen.
Neither that history nor this institution fully
explain why I take such satisfaction in presenting
this lecture. Stephen and Anna-Maria Kellen are a
remarkable couple. I know them as major contribu-
tors to the cultural life of New York City. But all else
pales beside their personal commitment a com-
mitment rising above events that could well have
embittered lesser men or women to strengthening
ties between their native and adopted countries.
The American Academy in Berlin is one reection of
that commitment, and it is an honor to give the rst
Stephen Kellen Lecture. Appropriately, the series
has been established in recognition both of
Stephens professional life in nancial affairs and
his dedication to the interests of his two countries.
It is tting, but also a bit ironic, that my theme
is the need to restore the integrity of capital mar-
kets, not least in the US. That is a subject upon
which we Americans have been fond of lecturing
others, and certainly Stephen Kellen and the rm
of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. have repre-
sented the best of our traditions. We cannot, how-
ever, escape the fact that the truly historic boom in
the American stock market in the 1990s has been
accompanied by weaknesses in our corporate cul-
ture. Ethical breakdowns among nancial market
participants are widely recognized. The procession
of agrant examples beginning even before the
sensational collapses of Enron and the Arthur
Andersen accounting rm has preoccupied busi-
ness reporting for months at a time.
I do not believe that the apparent fraud or
corporate looting of Enron, WorldCom, Global
Crossing, Adelphia, Tyco, and others are at all repre-
sentative of American business practices. But I do
fear they are an extreme manifestation of a more
widespread tendency to push the envelope of
what is acceptable in business practice.
It is not accidental that these developments
took place in the midst of a virtually unprecedented
stock market bubble and subsequent decline. Quite
suddenly in the 1990s unimagined fortunes could
be made on Wall Street. There seemed to be a sense
of the entitlement of wealth. Alan Greenspan
caught the spirit in his phrase infectious greed.
A reection of this has been executive compen-
sation, which has far exceeded earlier norms in rela-
tion to average pay. Somehow, such excesses did not
seem shocking when the escalating stock market
exceeded all expectations. But now, to drive the les-
son home, are examples of payments of tens of mil-
lions of dollars (at times more than one hundred
million dollars) to executives of failing companies
and huge separation arrangements to ethically tar-
nished ofcials in the midst of falling markets.
Much of the anger has been directed at Ander-
sen and other auditing rms for failing to detect and
report the abuses in nancial reporting. But the
responsibility should be spread more widely.
The large investment banks and the big com-
mercial banks, in aggressively diversifying into
lending, trading, stock research, and investment
company conglomerates, have become nests of
conict. A whole new profession of nancial engi-
neering has been invented, with its richly rewarded
practice directed in large part toward nding ways
around accounting standards and tax regulations.
Consultants and advisors are readily available
to promote and justify ever-bigger mergers and
acquisitions and to rationalize a ratcheting up of
executive pay.
One disillusioned Wall Streeter went even
further when he commented to me, What can you
expect? For decades our best business schools have
preached the doctrine that whatever boosts the
stock price is value added.
These troubles have relevance far beyond the
US. The organizations involved are typically inter-
national. No doubt Europeans will be familiar with
the parallels in Europe. What may be more important
and overlooked is the potential impact on opinion
in the emerging and transitional economies. If there
are strong doubts about the integrity of our capital
markets, those who question the acceptability of
global nancial markets will have their doubts rein-
One need only recall the emphasis, after the
Asian nancial crisis, placed by the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank, our governments,
and private nancial institutions alike on the weak-
ness of indigenous nancial practices as a precipitat-
ing and complicating factor. If only, so the refrain
went, the emerging countries had US-style account-
ing standards, disciplined auditing, and transparency
if only they had stronger legal and ethical traditions
and less crony capitalism then they would not have
been so vulnerable.
That message was woefully incomplete. Other
more structural and systemic factors were at work.
The openness and the small size of the nancial sec-
tors of emerging economies made and still make
them especially vulnerable to the inevitable volatility
of free nancial markets. Nonetheless, those coun-
tries cannot nd salvation cannot reach anything
like their potential growth without participating in
global markets and, particularly, without continuous
inow of direct investment. If we cannot make good
on our implicit boast that our capitalist nancial
institutions are honestly and ethically governed
that our business and nancial reporting standards
are worthy of emulation then the willingness to
accept foreign investment and the process of econom-
ic development will be dealt a serious blow.
Of course, it is specically our gaap (Generally
Accepted Accounting Practices), our auditing rms,
our sec (Securities and Exchange Commission), and
our legal system that have been seen as constituting
the model. Given the American weight in the world
economy and the economically strong and technolog-
ically cutting-edge performance of the US in the
1990s, that perception is perhaps natural, whatever
its intrinsic merit.
We in the US must bring our practice more close-
ly into line with what we preach. It is important in our
own interest. It is important to Germany and other
already industrialized countries that have a big stake
in the success of a globalized nancial system. And it
may well be crucial to those countries that aspire to
our economic success but face entrenched interests
that resist change, modernization, and full participa-
tion in the world economy.
The good news is that we have had a wake-up
call. The loss of some eight trillion dollars in stock
market valuations over the past three years has
attracted attention. The examples of gross corporate
malfeasance have provided political impetus for
4 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
A whole new profession of financial
engineering has been invented,
with its richly rewarded practice
directed toward finding ways around
accounting standards and tax
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 4
The Berl i n Journal 5
The bad news is that constructive change will
not be easy. There can be no turning back the tech-
nological changes that have spawned the mind-
bending complexity of todays nancial markets.
Our established accounting and nancial reporting
models were designed for a world of relatively sim-
ple manufacturing and service companies not for
the virtual world of derivatives, options, securiti-
zation, massive intangibles, and trading-dominated
balance sheets and income statements.
Accounting and auditing have, for good reason,
been thrust to the front and center of the reform
effort. An auditors ultimate responsibility is not to
the corporate clients, but to the investor, to the mar-
ket, and, nally, to the general public. Public corpo-
rations in the US have no choice but to follow US
gaap and to have their accounts audited by a
certied professional. This is also true for any com-
pany that wants to raise capital in the US and that
have its securities freely traded there. Increasingly,
similar requirements are in place in other countries
as well.
The rst requirement is a creditable accoun-
ting model, with comprehensive, up-to-date and
enforceable standards. Further, the logic of global-
ized nance requires a set of internationally
agreed and accepted accounting standards. The
existing system in the US meets neither criterion.
The perceived crisis in accounting triggered by
recent events has surely punctured the sense of
sanctity that had surrounded American gaap.
Now, there are pressures for a simpler, more
straightforward, statement of principles better
adapted to todays world. Recognition of the need
for change, for standardization across countries,
and for insulation from national political pressures
has enhanced the prospects of converging on an
international standard.
Those objectives cannot be reached quickly,
however. The intellectual, organizational, and polit-
ical obstacles are substantial. But what seemed
unrealistic and impossibly visionary a few years ago
now seems both possible and necessary.
The consistent application of international
accounting principles will depend upon the disci-
pline and the professionalism of auditors. It is now
apparent that the big American accounting rms
have fallen short, bending too readily to the strong
pressures from clients and an intensely competitive
marketplace. My experience working with
Andersen, though brief, was long enough to conrm
the impression that the rm was distracted and
conicted by the unceasing emphasis on more
remunerative consulting services. Those circum-
stances are not unique to one rm.
Executive compensation is another area in need
of reform. There is little doubt in the US that the
spreading practice of providing stock options has
been the prime instrument driving the process.
Typically, those options take the form of a one-way
option to purchase stock at the price prevailing on
the day of grant, vesting a few years in the future.
Prevailing practice, as the result of political pres-
sure, has been to exclude that form of compensation
as a business expense on income statements, which
increases its attractiveness to management.
(Inconsistently, the difference between the option
price and the higher market price at the time it is
exercised is recognized as an expense for tax
The combination of generous options and
booming stock prices has produced large at times
incomprehensibly large rewards to top executives.
An instrument widely touted as aligning the inter-
ests of management with stockholders is now widely
perceived as capricious in practice. In a bull market,
with the valuations of stocks rising across the board,
not only the best, but also the mediocre and even
sub-par performers are rewarded. Conversely, when
the stock market moves lower for several years, even
the most (relatively) successful managers may bene-
t little or not at all, bringing pressure to reprice
existing options or provide successively more
options at lower prices. To compound the problem,
incentives for managers can be perverse, reinforcing
a focus on short-term results and manipulation of
nancial reports.
Finally, broader questions of corporate gover-
nance are being forcibly raised. A feature of the
American model has been the unique power of the
chief executive ofcer. In theory, a companys board
of directors represents the owners and exercises
oversight and direction over its agent, the ceo and
management. In practice, the American ceo is also
typically chairman of the board and has heavy
inuence over the choice of board members. The
arrangement has been almost sacrosanct in the view
of most ceos, who hold that their authority must
not be diluted and that it protects their ability to
promote innovation and take risks. As many know,
this is not the standard governing pattern in most
other industrialized countries.
Matters of corporate governance, in particular
the organization and modus operandi of boards of
directors, have for some time made up a cottage
industry for American consultants. But only now,
with the pressure of recent events, has this discus-
sion come to take on the basic issues: effective over-
sight of the ceo, compensation practices, and
nancial reporting.
The forces against effective reform in these and
other areas remain strong. Vested interests and vast
sums of money add to the confusion. Arguments
have been pressed regarding the danger of political
and legislative responses, that such responses could
stie the innovation and risk-taking at the heart of
American economic success. And indeed, we have
had experience with the unintended consequences
of legislation passed in haste. There are such
dangers, but there is also a role for legislation today,
just as there was a role for it in the 1930s after the
excesses of the 1920s.
The best defense against political and legislative
overkill is effective reform within the corporate
community itself. In particular, effort is necessary in
the three critical areas of nancial reporting, com-
pensation, and corporate governance.
I chair the International Accounting Standard
Committee Foundation, an organization that
embodies the effort to seek convergence of accoun-
ting standards globally. Our committees particular
responsibility is to appoint the board of profession-
als the iasb charged with developing standards
of broad applicability and high quality.
Our efforts are not entirely free of political pres-
sures or special industry pleading these are ende-
mic but the inherently international composition
of the committee and the board that it appoints
helps neutralize and diffuse those pressures. Europe
and much of the rest of the world, by legislation or
otherwise, has signaled its willingness to adopt inter-
national standards. My sense is that the insularity of
the American view is fading, and the US authorities
are now willing and eager to nd common ground.
The spotlight is now on the capacity of account-
ing professionals around the world to arrive at a
strong consensus on new principles and rules that
are well adapted to the complexities of the twenty-
rst century. We will insist that the iasb decision-
makers consult broadly and follow due process. It is
not an easy task, but the need is urgent.
Good standards are not enough. They must be
applied with consistency and discipline. This is an
The good news is that we have had
a wake-up call the loss of some
eight trillion dollars in stock market
valuations over the past three years.
The bad news is that constructive
change will not be easy.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 5
area in which legislation has been clearly needed,
and now has been achieved. The newly enacted
Sarbanes-Oxley Act will reduce the conicts and dis-
tractions caused by the past emphasis of accounting
rms on their consulting practices. It also provides
for effective oversight of auditing practices by a
body removed from industry control.
The fact that earlier industry-sponsored and -
controlled oversight efforts failed makes a dramatic
case for arrangements that are more analogous to
those long in force in the US securities industry.
What remains is to provide for effective admin-
istration. The appointment of a strong oversight
board is key, but there needs to be cultural change
within auditing rms themselves.
Success will depend, too, upon a new sense of
discipline in the corporate boardroom. For one
thing, a more effective, more disciplined auditing
process entails cost. That applies especially to the
compensation of the outside auditors. Too many
corporations have looked upon auditing fees as a
cost, to be squeezed to the extent practical, espe-
cially when the possibility of protable consulting
assignments is available to the accounting rm.
Today, boards of directors, ceos, and chief nancial
ofcers are more alert to the need to assure accurate
nancial reporting. But will these attitudes persist
after the present crisis passes?
A heavy weight is being placed on audit com-
mittees. They will require more time, more nancial
sophistication, and more authority. Members of
boards of directors are chosen quite rightly to
achieve a variety of perspectives and to bring differ-
ent strengths to the board. They typically develop a
collegial relationship with management. The ques-
tion, however, is how boards as presently consti-
tuted can nd members with the capacity, the time,
and the will to oversee the auditing and accounting
of a large and nancially complicated corporation
effectively. This is especially difcult when a high
value is (understandably) placed upon the collegiali-
ty of a board, whose main responsibility remains
to advise the company and consult on strategic
matters and vital personnel decisions.
One way around the conundrum could be to
rethink the way auditing committees are selected.
Why not ask stockholders themselves to select
members of the auditing committee, electing them
either as a separate committee reporting to the
board of directors or simply as an identiable part
of the board itself? Such an arrangement could pro-
vide better focus for the heavy responsibilities of
audit committees, and in doing so, better match the
responsibilities with those able to discharge them.
In the US, the responsibilities of the auditing
committee are essentially spelled out in the new
Sarbanes-Oxley Act and in most of the writings on
corporate governance. They include hiring the audi-
tor, deciding on an appropriate fee, exercising over-
sight over both the external and internal auditing
processes, and assessing corporate controls. For a
large and complicated public company, these are
substantial responsibilities, requiring both relevant
experience and a lot of time. For most boards, such
resources are scarce.
In a broader context, I am encouraged by the
fact that discussion is underway about separating
the responsibilities of the ceo and board chairman.
Some variation of that approach is common in the
United Kingdom and other English-speaking coun-
tries and on the European continent as well. In
Germany, the chairman of the supervisory board
seems to have a comparable oversight role.
The imperial ceo is strongly entrenched in
the US, however. Few incumbent or aspiring ceos
would want to contemplate giving up any authority
with respect to setting the board agenda and man-
aging board discussions. But recent events have
illustrated the dilemma. There is broad agreement
that, for the stockholders sake, ultimate control of
the corporation should lie with directors independ-
ent of management. If so, should there not be a clear
focus for board leadership beyond the ceo? Who
can act when there are doubts about the ceo him-
self? Who should take the initiative among the inde-
pendent directors? Are those matters better left to a
more spontaneous and informal response to per-
ceived crisis or to a part of established board proce-
I do not suggest that one size should t all. But I
do believe that for large and complicated public
companies, the check and balance implicit in a non-
executive chairman should be the norm. For one
thing, independent board leadership would help
maintain more effective control over executive
remuneration remuneration that, as is now recog-
nized, has in some cases been grotesquely large and
inconsistent with performance. It is also important
to understand that the widely disproportionate
growth in executive compensation is a function of
the widespread use of xed-price stock options
interacting with a bull market for stocks that
exceeded all expectations. The capricious results of
those perverse incentives came from a failure to
align the long-term interests of stockholders with
Of course stock options may well be useful for
small, risky, and cash-starved ventures without
access to public markets. For established public com-
panies, options closely related to relative perform-
ance over extended periods may be designed. But for
broadly owned public companies with active mar-
kets for their stock, there should be strong presump-
tion against the practice of xed-price options for
executives. The temptation for abuse is simply too
great and will remain so even if, contrary to present
practice, they are expensed. If equity ownership by
executives is desirable and I believe it is there are
more effective ways to achieve that end, including
grants of stock with restrictions on sale.
A global economy with the free ow of capital
has the potential of bringing enormous benets to
the emerging as well as the economically developed
world. But, as many know, there is resentment and
resistance. Much of this opposition may rest on false
and specious grounds, but it is also true that much
more needs to be done before many emerging
economies reach their potential. Rhetoric that trum-
pets the benets of international nancial markets
will ring hollow so long as the integrity of the capital
markets of the developed world is challenged.
The weaknesses in corporate governance and in
accounting and nancial reporting in the US have
been exposed for all to see, and the challenge is not
limited to my own country. It is a matter of multi-
national companies, accounting rms that operate
globally, and international markets.
What is happening today in the US offers a cer-
tain degree of comfort and satisfaction. We are act-
ing with a reasonable mixture of private initiative
and legislation to deal forcibly with problems that
have been neglected for too long. There is still a long
way to go to assure reforms are undertaken and
maintained, and it is not, moreover, a challenge for
one country alone, however large and inuential it
may be.
I believe that the end result must bring our prac-
tice more closely into line with our stated principles.
Taking critical steps now to assure the integrity of
our own capital markets will help pave the way for
the acceptance of democratic capitalism the world
over. o
6 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
Rhetoric trumpeting the benefits of
international financial markets will
ring hollow so long as the integrity of
the developed worlds capital markets
is challenged.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 6
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 7
8 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
The Ambivalent
Four Views
Michael Ignatieff Empire Lite
Josef Joffe Lonely at the Top
David Rieff An American Empire
Hans-Ulrich Wehler The Chosen Nation
Last fall, the human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff arrived for a
seminar at the Hans Arnhold Center with a working draft of his
forthcoming book Empire Lite under his arm. Among other
matters discussed that day, Ignatieff pointed out how President
Bushs administration has painstakingly avoided using the
language of empire. He cited a speech from June 2002 in which
the president declared, America has no empire to extend or
utopia to establish.
American foreign policy has a long tradition of being ambivalent
about empire. Sometimes the nation has been adamantly
isolationist, other times, extroverted in its involvement abroad.
The reluctance to serve as the worlds sheriff has often been at
odds with both the Wilsonian image of America making the
world safe for democracy and the more hard-headed pursuit of
national interests.
How circumspect is the US in its exercise of power? How will it
choose to perpetuate its preeminence in the post-cold-war
world? What are the pitfalls and promises of the American
Empire? We asked four friends of the American Academy to
comment: Ignatieff himself; Josef Joffe, one of our founding
trustees; David Rieff, the spring Haniel Fellow; and Hans-Ulrich
Wehler, a noted German historian.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 8
The Berl i n Journal 9
Reconciling Democracy and Empire
t is unsurprising that force projection overseas should awaken
resentment among Americas enemies. More troubling is the hostility
it arouses among friends, those whose security is guaranteed by
American power. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Europe. At a
moment when the costs of empire are mounting for America, her rich
European allies matter nancially. But in Americas emerging global
strategy, they have been demoted to reluctant junior partners. This
makes them resentful and unwilling allies, less and less able to under-
stand the nation that liberated them in 1945.
For fty years, Europe rebuilt itself economically while passing on
the costs of its defense to the United States. This was a matter of more
than just reducing its armed forces and the proportion of national income
spent on the military. All Western European countries reduced the mar-
tial elements in their national identities. In the process, European identi-
ty (with the possible exception of Britain) became postmilitary and post-
national. This opened a widening gap with the US. It remained a nation in
which ag, sacrice, and martial honor are central to national identity.
Europeans who had once invented the idea of the martial nation-state
now looked at American patriotism, the last example of the form, and no
longer recognized it as anything but ag-waving extremism. The worlds
only empire was isolated, not just because it was the biggest power but
also because it was the Wests last military nation-state.
September 11 rubbed in the lesson that global power is still meas-
ured by military capability. The Europeans discovered that they lacked
the military instruments to be taken seriously and that their erstwhile
defenders, the Americans, regarded them, in a moment of crisis, with sus-
picious contempt.
Yet the Americans cannot afford to create a global order all on their
own. European participation in peacekeeping, nation-building, and
humanitarian reconstruction is so important that the Americans are
required, even when they are unwilling to do so, to include Europeans in
the governance of their evolving imperial project. The Americans essen-
tially dictate Europes place in this new grand design. The US is multilat-
eral when it wants to be, unilateral when it must be; and it enforces a new
division of labor in which America does the ghting, the French, British,
and Germans do the police patrols in the border zones and the Dutch,
Swiss, and Scandinavians provide the humanitarian aid.
This is a very different picture of the world than the one enter-
tained by liberal international lawyers and human rights activists who
had hoped to see American power integrated into a transnational legal
and economic order organized around the United Nations, the World
Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court and other interna-
tional human rights and environmental institutions and mechanisms.
Successive American administrations have signed on to those pieces of
the transnational legal order that suit their purposes (the World Trade
Organization, for example) while ignoring or even sabotaging those parts
(the International Criminal Court or the Kyoto Protocol) that do not. A
new international order is emerging, but it is designed to suit American
imperial objectives. Americas allies want a multilateral order that will
essentially constrain American power. But the empire will not be tied
down like Gulliver with a thousand legal strings.
On the new imperial frontier, in places like Afghanistan, Bosnia
and Kosovo, American military power, together with European money
and humanitarian motives, is producing a form of imperial rule for a
postimperial age. If this sounds contradictory, it is because the impulses
that have gone into this new exercise of power are contradictory. On the
one hand, the semiofcial ideology of the Western world human rights
sustains the principle of self-determination, the right of each people to
rule themselves free of outside interference. This was the ethical principle
that inspired the decolonization of Asia and Africa after World War II.
Now we are living through the collapse of many of these former colonial
states. Into the resulting vacuum of chaos and massacre a new imperial-
ism has reluctantly stepped reluctantly because these places are danger-
ous and because they seemed, at least until September 11, to be marginal
to the interests of the powers concerned. But, gradually, this reluctance
has been replaced by an understanding of why order needs to be brought
to these places.
Nowhere, after all, could have been more distant than Afghanistan,
yet that remote and desperate place was where the attacks of September
11 were prepared. Terror has collapsed distance, and with this collapse
has come a sharpened American focus on the necessity of bringing order
to the frontier zones. Bringing order is the paradigmatic imperial task,
but it is essential, for reasons of both economy and principle, to do so
without denying local peoples their rights to some degree of self-deter-
The old European imperialism justied itself as a mission to civi-
lize, to prepare tribes and so-called lesser breeds in the habits of self-disci-
pline necessary for the exercise of self-rule. Self-rule did not necessarily
have to happen soon the imperial administrators hoped to enjoy the
sunset as long as possible but it was held out as a distant incentive, and
the incentive was crucial in co-opting local elites and preventing them
from passing into open rebellion. In the new imperialism, this promise of
self-rule cannot be kept so distant, for local elites are all creations of mod-
ern nationalism, and modern nationalisms primary ethical content is
self-determination. In Iraq, local elites must be empowered to take over
Michael Ignatieff Empire Lite
September 11 rubbed in the
lesson that global power is still
measured by military capability.
Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan
This is imperialism in a hurry: spend
money, get results, turn the place back
to the locals and get out.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 9
as soon as the American imperial forces have restored order and the
European humanitarians have rebuilt the roads, schools, and houses.
Nation-building seeks to reconcile imperial power and local self-determi-
nation through the medium of an exit strategy. This is imperialism in a
hurry: to spend money, to get results, to turn the place back to the locals
and get out. But it is similar to the old imperialism in the sense that real
power in these zones Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and soon, perhaps,
Iraq will remain in Washington.
At the beginning of the rst volume of The Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire, published in 1776, Edward Gibbon remarked that
empires endure only so long as their rulers take care not to overextend
their borders. Augustus bequeathed his successors an empire within
those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bul-
warks and boundaries: on the west the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and
Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south
the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa. Beyond these boundaries lay the
barbarians. But the vanity or ignorance of the Romans, Gibbon went
on, led them to despise and sometimes to forget the outlying countries
that had been left in the enjoyment of a barbarous independence. As a
result, the proud Romans were lulled into making the fatal mistake of
confounding the Roman monarchy with the globe of the earth.
This characteristic delusion of imperial power is to confuse global
power with global domination. The Americans may have the former, but
they do not have the latter. They cannot rebuild each failed state or
appease each anti-American hatred, and the more they try, the more they
expose themselves to the overreach that eventually undermined the clas-
sical empires of old.
The secretary of defense may be right when he warns the North
Koreans that America is capable of ghting on two fronts in Korea and
Iraq simultaneously, but Americans at home cannot be overjoyed at
such a prospect, and if two fronts are possible at once, a much larger
number of fronts is not. If conict in Iraq, North Korea, or both becomes
a possibility, Al Qaeda can be counted on to seek to strike a busy and
overextended empire in the back. What this suggests is not just that over-
whelming power never confers the security it promises but also that even
the overwhelmingly powerful need friends and allies. In the cold war, the
road to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, led through Moscow and
Beijing. Now America needs its old cold-war adversaries more than ever
to control the breakaway, bankrupt Communist rogue that is threatening
America and her clients from Tokyo to Seoul.
Empires survive when they understand that diplomacy, backed by
force, is always to be preferred to force alone. Looking into the still more
distant future, say a generation ahead, resurgent Russia and China will
demand recognition both as world powers and as regional hegemons. As
the North Korean case shows, America needs to share the policing of non-
proliferation and other threats with these powers, and if it tries, as the
current National Security Strategy suggests, to prevent the emergence of
any competitor to American global dominance, it risks everything that
Gibbon predicted: overextension followed by defeat.
America will also remain vulnerable, despite its overwhelming mil-
itary power, because its primary enemy, Iraq and North Korea notwith-
standing, is not a state, susceptible to deterrence, inuence and coercion,
but a shadowy cell of fanatics who have proved that they cannot be
deterred and coerced and who have hijacked a global ideology Islam
that gives them a bottomless supply of recruits and allies in a war, a war
not just against America but against her client regimes in the Islamic
world. In many countries in that part of the world, America is caught in
the middle of a civil war raging between incompetent and authoritarian
regimes and the Islamic revolutionaries who want to return the Arab
world to the time of the prophet. It is a civil war between the politics of
pure reaction and the politics of the impossible, with America unfortu-
nately aligned on the side of reaction. On September 11, the American
empire discovered that in the Middle East its local pillars were literally
built on sand.
Until September 11, successive US administrations treated their
Middle Eastern clients like gas stations. This was part of a larger pattern.
After 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet empire, American presidents
thought they could have imperial domination on the cheap, ruling the
world without putting in place any new imperial architecture new mili-
tary alliances, new legal institutions, new international development
organisms for a postcolonial, post-Soviet world.
The Greeks taught the Romans to call this failure hubris. It was
also, in the 1990s, a general failure of the historical imagination, an
inability of the post-cold-war West to grasp that the emerging crisis of
state order in so many overlapping zones of the world from Egypt to
Afghanistan would eventually become a security threat at home.
Radical Islam would never have succeeded in winning adherents if the
Muslim countries that won independence from the European empires
had been able to convert dreams of self-determination into the reality of
competent, rule-abiding states. America has inherited this crisis of self-
determination from the empires of the past. Its solution to create
democracy in Iraq, then hopefully roll out the same happy experiment
throughout the Middle East is both noble and dangerous: noble
because, if successful, it will nally give these peoples the self-determina-
tion they vainly fought for against the empires of the past; dangerous
because, if it fails, there will be nobody left to blame but the Americans.
The dual nemeses of empire in the twentieth century were nation-
alism, the desire of peoples to rule themselves free of alien domination,
and narcissism, the incurable delusion of imperial rulers that the lesser
breeds aspired only to be versions of themselves. Both nationalism and
narcissism have threatened the American reassertion of global power
since September 11. o
2003 The New York Times Magazine.
Michael Ignatieff is the Carr Professor and Director of the Carr
Center for Human Rights Practice at the Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University. His next book is Empire Lite: Nation-building in
Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan is published this May in London. He pre-
sented a working version of this paper at the Academy last fall.
10 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
Empires survive when they understand
that diplomacy, backed by force, is
always to be preferred to force alone.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 10
The Last Remaining Superpower
Needs All the Help it Can Get
s america an empire? If so, it is a very strange kind of empire. It is
not like Rome, a real imperium that started out with the small posses-
sion of Latium and then went on to conquer, occupy, and rule much
of the then-known world from the British Isles via Lusitania to the
Levant. Nor is it like the Turkish or Russian empires, both of which relent-
lessly grabbed land to rule it and to russify or turkify it.
America is a very different kind of political animal. First of all, it
was in the fortunate position of being able to conquer at home, so to
speak. Its expansion was inward, into a largely unpopulated territorial
expanse where it met with enemies (Native Americans, Mexicans) who
were easily bested. There was also a natural limit to expansion: the
Pacic, beyond which the young republic did not have to venture, since
there were no existential threats on the other littoral. Similarly, the
Atlantic provided a nice moat that kept dangerous European intruders at
bay. Finally, there was a healthy revulsion against the broils and troubles
of Europe. Better to stay out and not be contaminated by those corrupt
princes and potentates who stood against all the values Americans cher-
ished. And so it took some heavy prompting before the US intervened in
Europe in 1917 and again in 1941.
In short, the US did not conquer by dint of superior virtue but
because it lacked those seemingly compelling reasons that relentlessly
pushed Rome, Turkey, and Russia outward and forward. (Exceptions:
Cuba and the Philippines in 1898, a misstep that might be excused by ref-
erence to the colonialist ideologies then in vogue.) Nor did the US have to
conquer for economic reasons; again, it did very nicely by producing and
exchanging goods in its vast home market. Indeed, until the 1970s,
exports amounted to only four percent of its gdp, as opposed to export
ratios of 30 percent in postwar West Germany or post-colonial Holland.
Why then this overblown rhetoric of empire as attached to the
United States? One explanation is that the US may well be the functional
equivalent of empire. American bases and troops circle the globe, a fact
made all the more remarkable given the demise of its one and only mortal
rival, the Soviet Union. Its wars have become wars of choice, be it in
Vietnam, in Afghanistan or in the Gulf. The US inserts its eet between
Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. Short of real war, it punishes
malfeasants in places like Libya or pre-2003 Iraq. And it waves the stick of
war in the faces of countries like North Korea.
Is this the behavior of a real empire? No, but it reects a hegemonic
mind-set not unlike Britains in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Americas penchant is not for direct rule but for intermittent intervention
in order to restore or uphold regional balances by laying low the local
would-be hegemon du jour. Nor is this behavior necessarily a bad thing
when analyzed in the language of cold realpolitik. This is a nasty world,
with endless threats to regional stability and to the decent opinions of
mankind. When local powers cannot take care of regional order, when
fearsome despots like Milosevic or Saddam commit outrages against
their own populations, there has to be somebody who upholds minimal
standards of acceptable behavior.
Alas, neither the French nor the Germans, neither the Chinese nor
the Russians, show a proclivity to shoulder the burden and to pay the
price. So, resorting once more to the cold language of power politics, one
might breathe a sigh of relief and mutter: Thank God for America.
Thank God for an imperial republic, as Raymond Aron called the US
forty years ago, that does not conquer but intervenes, at least intermit-
tently, to sober up those who challenge the status quo. In an ever more
messy world, it would be easier to condemn the US if others were willing
to discharge these tasks.
So what are the problems? They have been well analyzed by
Michael Ignatieff. The US may be a power even greater than Rome. It cer-
tainly dwarfs all possible comers. Just an example: When George W. Bush
asked Congress for a supplemental defense appropriation in early 2002,
the sum was more than twice that of Germanys total annual defense
budget. If the US goes on spending as planned, and if other countries do
not increase their own efforts, it will invest more in its military panoply
than all other nations combined.
The Berl i n Journal 11
Josef Joffe Lonely at the Top
Alas, neither the French nor the
Germans, neither the Chinese nor the
Russians, show a proclivity to shoulder
the burden and to pay the price.
The problem is overdoing it
and picking up more enemies in
the process.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 11
we have rst seen this year. Two former allies of the US France and
Germany have executed a kind of reversal of alliances by inducting
their former enemy Russia into an anti-American axis. Now, it is true
that the hyperpower can fend them off singly and in combination, but
this is not the real issue. The point is that this last remaining superpow-
er needs all the help it can get when it comes to the more interesting
problems of the twenty-rst century.
We know the list. It ranges from terrorism to climate change, from
proliferation to protectionism. Here is a very practical example: Even
while Schrder was launching his rhetorical sallies against the Bush
administration, American customs agents were peacefully collaborating
with their German colleagues in the port of Hamburg. All of them were
looking for terrorist contraband in containers bound for the US. These
are the issues that directly and dangerously affect American welfare, and
no power in the world can dispatch them on its own.
One hopes that these mundane items of cooperation will occupy
a larger space in the American diplomatic imagination once the Saddam
problem is safely solved. Precision munitions are no substitute for coop-
eration. Indeed, in the long haul, the latter may serve American interests
better than the most sophisticated military panoply. o
Josef Joffe is editor and publisher of Die Zeit and an associate of the
Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. He is a trustee
of the American Academy in Berlin.
The problem is not overspending, as declinists from Paul
Kennedy onward have argued. Today, the US does not devote more
resources to its military than did Germany during the Cold War: around 3
percent of GDP. The problem is not even overextension. A geographical
metaphor makes little sense in an age when American B-52s can rise in
Missouri, y halfway around the world, drop their ordnance on places
like Afghanistan, and return home safely.
The problem is overdoing it and picking up more enemies, be
they inspired by fear or hate, than are eliminated in the process of intru-
sion. Evidently, this intervention does not reduce the sum total of
Americas ill-wishers. The problem is also underdoing the more economi-
cal or efcient thing, which is to harness friends and allies to the common
purpose. Britain set the historical example; apart from the occasional
naval engagement, it always fought coalition wars. This, of course,
requires a surfeit of diplomatic skill (and patience) that may not be
Americas strongest suit at least not under the aegis of the Bush II
Americas problem is not decline but loneliness and worse.
Worse implies ganging up on the part of the lesser powers in the ways
Cooperation may serve American
interests better in the long haul than
the most sophisticated military
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 12
mperialism, i t seems, is back in vogue in America at least
among the chattering classes in Boston, New York, and Washington.
Whether this enthusiasm of pundits and policy-wonks, by no means
all of them on the right, will survive the actual experience of the practice
of imperial policing, from Tora Bora to Bagdad, is another question. It is
one thing to write about an imperial renaissance as the conservative
British historian, Niall Ferguson, did at the end of his ne study of the
British empire, and of the need to accept the fact that Americas global
role demands that it take on the motley of empire. It is all very well to
quote Kipling to the effect that the US military must accept its destiny of
ghting the savage wars of peace, as the American writer Max Boot has
done in his elegant neo-imperial polemics. But that is before the real sav-
agery of war is brought home in video of maimed babies in bombed-out
hospitals and funerals in south-central Los Angeles or the mountain ham-
lets of eastern Tennessee. However successful in military terms it has
proven to be, the current punitive expedition in Iraq (for that, rather than
a war in any normal sense is what it has been), so eerily reminiscent of the
campaign of the edgling US Marine Corps against the Barbary Pirates in
the early nineteenth century, may well leave so sour a taste in the
American publics collective mouth that all fantasies of empire currently
entertained in Washington will wilt like that citys cherry blossoms when
the summer heat sets in.
But for the moment, however risible the idea may appear in the rest
of the world, the idea that America is the planets only sure guarantor of
liberty, and its corollary, that if there is to be a democratic revolution in the
poor world on the same order of magnitude as the democratic revolution
that extinguished the Soviet Union, or at least an avoidance of the worst
horrors of imploding states like Rwanda and Bosnia that marked the
rst post-Cold War decade, only an America willing not just to be power-
ful but imperial will do, continues to dominate the policy debate in the
United States. Open any of the neo-conservative magazines widely
assumed to inuence senior members of the Bush administration, and
you will nd a plethora of articles with gloating titles such as Why
America Must Police the World and Whats Wrong with an American
Empire? Meanwhile, on the liberal side, writers like Leon Wiesletier,
Paul Berman, Samantha Power, and Michael Ignatieff, while duly skepti-
cal of the Bush administrations motives and conduct, are anything but
hostile to a new Pax Americana. Ignatieff, in particular, has called for
what he has dubbed Empire Lite, believing, not out of triumphalism
but out of despair at the lack of any other solution that might stop a
Rwandan genocide or bring to an end the almost uniquely evil tyranny of
a Saddam Hussein (President Bush was two-thirds right when he evoked
an axis of evil, only erring by throwing the Iranian regime into the
hopper), that the only order on offer in a world of failing states, ethnic clean-
sing, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction is the one guaranteed
by American power.
It is hard to argue with one premise shared by liberals and conser-
vatives on this issue, namely that American power is the only game in
town, however much one might wish it otherwise. For Europeans, Britain
excepted, simply no longer wish to think about the problem of force in
any way that is not utopian. It is not that the European approach to a par-
ticular problem Iraq, say is necessarily wrong. To the contrary, a case
can be made that a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis was still on offer
when the war began. But this does not obviate the fact that Europeans can
no longer act militarily in any other context but that of peacekeeping
operations or innitesimal expeditions like the (very commendable)
British intervention in Sierra Leone to put down the murderous insur-
gency of the so-called Revolutionary United Front. Europe, for example,
would have been incapable of mounting the operation that dislodged the
Serbs from Kosovo and reversed the mass deportation of the Kosovar
Albanians. This is not because Europe could not do so, if it chose to spend
the money on proper military forces. It is because it does not choose to do
so. But the result of this choice is that only the United States can act effec-
tively. It is perhaps for this reason that a resentful American diplomat
referred to the European position as wanting the US never on top but
always on tap. And unless and until Europe rearms to the extent that it
has the technological capacity to ght wars and not just mount peace-
keeping operations or post-conict police actions, which seems highly
unlikely in a Europe where a German foreign minister can seriously claim
his country is not pacist and adduce as an example German deploy-
ments in post-Balkan war Macedonia and post-war Afghanistan, inter-
ventions will either be spearheaded by the US or they will not take place
at all.
Again, were the Europeans really reconciled to allowing the next
Bosnia or Rwanda to take place, or still hewed to the Westphalian idea of
the absolute nature of national sovereignty, their position would make
more sense. But this is not their view. To the contrary, it is European gov-
ernments that have insisted more rigorously that the Westphalian order
is ending, that we live in a world where human rights norms must be
respected by governments at the risk of seeing their sovereignty abro-
gated, and that the ethical standards enshrined in post-World War II
international law above all, the Geneva Conventions, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and the Genocide Convention must be
applied throughout the world. To which the new American imperialists
and neo-imperialists say, ne, but the only way to enforce these stan-
dards that we all agree need to be maintained is through the policing of
the world that is to say, through force. And world policing is, when all is
said and done, a euphemism for empire. From the American perspective,
the Europeans want what US power can achieve; they are simply squeam-
ish about the tragic nature about what the use of such power costs in
terms of destruction and the loss of innocent life. Obviously, there is
hypocrisy on both sides. Europeans believe that the rule of law can be
extended to those areas of the world that do not yet benet from it
The Berl i n Journal 13
David Rieff An American Empire
Unlike so many imperialisms of
the past, the imperialism of 2002
was couched in defensive terms.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 13
through so-called soft power, rather than force, and that patience is
required. Americans tend to believe that in some situations at least, only
force will do. Neither side admits how much its approach suits its geo-
strategic, and, perhaps more importantly, geo-economic interests.
In the American case, obviously, the conviction that the world
urgently needed to be policed was hardened by the events of September
11. Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999 had been comparatively altruistic
exercises in the use of force; for most Americans, however, Afghanistan in
2001 was a war of self-defense, as Iraq was, although clearly there was far
more opposition to that campaign in the United States. It had been one
thing to argue for a Pax Americana on largely moralistic grounds. With
the recognition of a genuine terrorist threat, and new fears about the will-
ingness of certain states to sooner or later deploy chemical and biological
weapons, many American policymakers came to the conclusion that, if
the United States might not necessarily need to become an empire in any
formal sense, it did need to reassume the role of world policeman.
Interestingly, the Bush administration had come into ofce promising it
would undertake no such effort. But like so many attributes of the Bush
presidency, and, indeed, of the man himself, September 11 changed
everything. Unlike so many imperialisms of the past, the imperialism of
2002 was couched in defensive terms. It is this cognitive gap between the
American sense of why the US must take on the role and the European
(and world) sense that an empire is an empire is an empire i.e. a self-
aggrandizing, self-interested, fundamentally amoral if not immoral
enterprise, as all European empires were, with the possible partial excep-
tion of Britain, and certainly all earlier empires that lies at the root of
much of the genuine misunderstanding over the Iraqi crisis.
That said, probably the crisis would have occurred anyway. In the
post-cold-war world, it is by no means clear that Western Europe and
the United States have the same commonality of interest that they did
when Europe fairly willingly accepted a subordinate role out of the need
to secure American military protection from the Soviet Union. The
Soviet Union disappeared, and with it the need for European sub-
servience toward the US on matters where it sees the world differently.
And, after all, the US was in many ways an empire even during the cold
war, despite all the very real senses in which the current imperial aspira-
tion is different. From a Latin American perspective, for example, has
all that much really changed? Defenders of the new imperial vision
argue that, in contrast to the cold war, when US policymakers felt
obliged to support all manner of blood-thirsty tyrants, the new imperial
vision of American power can afford to set a higher level of ethical stan-
dard. That seems unlikely. The deals the US government made with
such tyrannies as the Uzbekistan of Islam Karimov and the
Turkmenistan of Nyazov, or, indeed, attempted to make with the
Turkish government over Iraq, do not inspire much condence that a
new philosophy of imperialism has taken root. What is likelier is that
the new imperialism is driven by one of the oldest of American ideas,
that of American exceptionalism.
It can be said of George W. Bush that doubt is not a quality he seems
to possess in more than trace amounts. The same can be said about the
new imperialists both within and outside the administration. Their irenic,
unshakeable belief is that an American empire will never be corrupted by
its own power in the way that all previous empires in human history have
been, that it will, by denition, be a force for good in the world, and that to
question these assumptions, to question the benevolence and the emanci-
patory potential of American power is, objectively, as Marxists used to say
(and a certain Marxist language, turned on its head, is a feature of neo-
conservative rhetoric, a fact that probably derives from the Trotskyist past
of some of the most senior members of the neo-conservative clan), to side
with those President Bush has called the enemies of freedom. Perhaps
such a belief is no more preposterous than any other religious creed. Credo
qui absurdum est (I believe because it is absurd) was the famous
justication of faith of the early Church father, Tertullian. But politics, at
least outside the world of Islamic fundamentalism is not supposed to be
about faith. And it is worrying that the neo-conservative, and even, to
some extent anyway, the liberal condence in the goodness of American
power stems from what is essentially an unproveable belief. Add to this the
fact that this belief is held largely by Americans about America, with all
the possible distortions based on self-love that this entails, not to mention
the fact that, from a historical perspective, the contention that any
empire could live up to the claims apologists for America make for it is, to
put it charitably, far-fetched, and one has a doctrine that should engender
a healthy skepticism.
And skepticism about America by Americans is, well,
un-American. Obviously, there are those who see the United States at the
root of all the worlds evils Edward Said and Noam Chomsky come to
mind. But they are really just turning US-centered self-love into US-
centered self-hate, and have more in common with their ideological
adversaries than they care to admit. The sense that America is different is
as old as the Republic. Phrases like the city on the hill, the last best
hope of humanity, and the home of liberty, are the boilerplate of the
American civic religion. As Benjamin Franklin put it, the cause of the
United States is the cause of humanity. To put the matter more coolly
and historically, Americans have always seen their own role as one of
being agents of revolutionary change. The debate has been whether they
should do so by force or by example. As a result, the temptation to a par-
ticularly crusading, proselytizing version of imperialism is hard-wired
into the foreign policy of the United States. It is not the only view, of
course. John Adams famously said that it was not the duty of the United
States to go out and ght monsters. But such quietism is perhaps out of
step with the America of the early twenty-rst century. Indeed, to the new
imperialists, going out and ghting monsters is, or at least should be, the
sworn duty of the United States. And, in fairness, in Osama Bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein, they have found actual monsters, not fabricated
ones. But the problem remains one of the confusion of religious and poli-
tical vernaculars.
It is one thing to say that Osama Bin Laden, or, more problemati-
cally, Saddam Hussein represents a threat to American security and act to
14 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
The new imperialism is driven by
one of the oldest of American ideas,
that of American exceptionalism.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 14
thwart that threat, unilaterally, if necessary. (Here, European opinion on
Iraq is genuinely hypocritical; few Europeans objected to bypassing the
UN to reverse Slobodan Milosevics policies in Kosovo, or insisted any
action taken in that province was illegitimate without a UN Security
Council mandate.) But it is quite another to describe, as many of the new
imperialists do, a world that will remain fallen or, in the modern ver-
nacular, repressive, undemocratic, etc. without the consistent redeem-
ing admixture of US military might. And it is sheer fantasy to imagine
that, whatever good US power can do, that the results for the United
States will not be catastrophic. To run an empire is a corrupting business;
that is the lesson of history. American conservatives often accuse their
opponents both at home and abroad of being utopian dreamers. But such
fantasies about empire are, in fact, the most utopian dream of all. None of
this means that it will not come about, or that George Bush may not prove
to be our Octavian. But if he is, then the chances are that the results for
the United States will be just as tragic as those the Romans suffered as they
moved from republic to empire. As for the rest of the world, I suppose that
depends on how one views the idea of a crusade, even a crusade undertak-
en with the best of intentions. From my perspective, the old Biblical
adage that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is appropriate
here, and the road to empire is, indeed, the road to Hell.o
2003, David Rieff
David Rieff (Haniel Fellow, spring 03) is the author, most recently,
of A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis. He has written three
books on immigration in American cities as well as Slaughterhouse: Bosnia
and the Failure of the West. He co-edited with Roy Gutman the A-to-Z guide
War Crimes: What the Public Should Know, the online edition of which is
continually updated and expanded.
The Berl i n Journal 15
Status and award miles in-
cluded. With Miles &More.
Now long-haul flights arent a long haul. In fact, the time will fly by. Because on in-
tercontinental flights, we go that extra mile. For starters, theres a choice of fine
wines to suit every taste. Followed by a selection of gourmet meals, created by
Europes leading chefs. After dinner, relax in comfortable seats that fit around you,
literally. So youll arrive refreshed and ready to take on the world, or at least the
board of directors. For reservations and further information visit
Theres no better way to fly.
Arrive refreshed and ready for business.
Good wine . . . . . . Good food . . . . . . Goodnight . . .
. . . Good morning.
If George Bush is our Octavian, then
the chances are that the results for
the US will be just as tragic as those
the Romans suffered as they moved
from republic to empire.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 15
Americas Missionary Nationalism
and Germanys Blunder
rom i ts foundation, the United States has belonged to the sys-
tem of expanding Western nations. The political generation of the
founding fathers, however, looked with deep ambivalence upon
the nations relationship to the expansion of its own state. That genera-
tion of Americans had grown up in the tradition of English mercantile
imperialism, and it was such an empire that the US embraced. Our
Rising American Empire, as contemporaries often called it, was initially
to consist of the North American continent from the east coast to the west
with Canada, if possible, as the 14th colony. The Caribbean was seen
from early on as the American Mediterranean, and Jefferson included
all of Latin America in our hemisphere. The continental expansion
ended with the conquest of half of Mexico and the acquisition of Alaska in
1867. Yet the newly-acquired, vast regions that were added to the coastal
states were not governed as colonial territories, but were rather absorbed
into the Union as equal states. This was entirely in line with the settlers
democratic right of self-determination granted by the shrewd member-
ship mechanism of the Northwest Ordinance (1787). After winning
through revolution its own emancipation from Britain and with it, a
fundamental liberal-democratic consensus the US had no wish to
become a colonial master over second-class colonial subjects.
Englands Informal Empire remained the greatly admired model
for the American power elites into the nineteenth and twentieth cen-
turies. Characterized by economic hegemony and trade agreements, mili-
tary bases, and maritime dominance, here was an ingenious way of avoid-
ing the nancial, political, administrative, and military strain of formal
colonial rule to say nothing of the glaring injustice to the democratic
principle of self-government. The outcome of the American expansion
overseas, set in motion in the 1880s by the New Imperialism and espe-
cially the Spanish-American War of 1898, shows this as well. The
Caribbean ultimately became part of the American sphere of inuence,
but Cuba was informally controlled rather than annexed. Puerto Rico was
originally thought of merely as a naval base. Hawaii and Guam were sub-
sequently annexed but only to serve as intermediate stops on the way to
East Asia. In essence, the most important war aim of 1898 was to come
closer to the Asian market, whose potential at the time was grossly over-
estimated. A naval base in the Spanish Philippines was initially consid-
ered to enable close participation in the power struggle over China. With
the disintegration of the Spanish colonial empire and the competition
between rival countries that resulted, the Philippines intermittently
became a formal American colony. Just thirty years later, the country was
granted independence long before general decolonization began.
From that point on, the US assumed no formal colonial rule. It
remained true to the commercial advantages and political vindications of
the model of informal empire, even during the Cold War and the war in
Vietnam. Nor will Iraq be an American colony. Even a short-term colo-
nial-style protectorate would bring immense disadvantages. In short:
though the US has participated from the start in the process of empire-
building, since the conquest of its own continent, it has limited itself to
wielding an indisputably heavy inuence abroad, securing it with bases,
trade agreements, and commercial inuence. In doing so, it has been able
to pursue its enormous economic potential and its political interests, all
under the sign of the free-trade Open Door policy. The approach is not
only similar to that of Victorian England, but also to the Roman Empire,
which for years operated just as successfully with the same techniques. It
is undoubtedly difcult today to subject the expansionist thrust of the
American economy (or more specically, of multinational corporations)
to binding regulations, which will have to be repeated in an international
framework. The nineteenth-century nation-states were able to subject
unruly capitalism to regulations. But, apart from a brief interlude in the
late nineteenth century, the spread of American inuence does not
amount to direct, formal colonial rule.
The Soviet collapse conferred sole superpower status upon the US,
but China will soon establish itself as a regional hegemonic power, India is
striving for a similar role, and Russia will undoubtedly recover. The fact
remains, however, that the US will be the only major world power for some
time to come. History has shown that this role is invariably accompanied
by the obligation to intervene in the centers of conict all over the world,
be it amicably or militarily. Twelve years of global primacy, however, com-
bined with the shock of September 11, have triggered a fatal reaction: the
current Bush administrations doctrine of preventive war. The presump-
tion that danger zones can be preventively eliminated by virtue of ones
own superiority calls into question a fundamental principle of interna-
16 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
Global primacy, combined with
the shock of September 11, has
triggered a fatal reaction:
the current Bush administrations
doctrine of preventive war.
Hans-Ulrich Wehler The Chosen Nation
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 16
tional law, which allows for such action only in extreme cases of self-
defense. Now, on the basis of debatable information gathered by its intelli-
gence apparatus, the American hegemon has decided to go it alone. The
war in Iraq is not a war for oil as a biased and vulgar Marxism stubbornly
asserts but rather a far more dangerous war of demonstration. This war
sets out to prove in effect the hegemons willingness and ability to inter-
vene. But, as with all preventive wars, the war in Iraq is fraught with conse-
quences that, as every cost-benet-analysis illustrates, question its greater
good. The power vacuum that will follow the destruction of Saddams
regime; the Kurdish thirst for independence; Turkeys aggressive willing-
ness to intervene; the threat to Israel; the mobilization of fanatic Arab
masses; the diffusion of a fundamental hatred against the West; the sup-
port of terrorism. So begins a long list of pernicious consequences.
The fact that American nationalism (customarily known by its
euphemism patriotism) is once again taking pains to justify itself indi-
cates a more long-standing problem. The missionary sense of purpose
characteristic of most forms of nationalism has, with America, too, exert-
ed a profound inuence since the formation of the Union. The rst set-
tlers on the coast of New England, eeing persecution at home,
brought with them the puritanical belief that they were a chosen peo-
ple. This belief transformed the emerging community, rst through reli-
gious dogma and later in secular form, into the New Zion, the new
American Israel, the new Jerusalem, and the shining city on the hill.
For this people, a homestead was to be created, one that distanced itself
from Old World vices and oppression. Along with these hopes came the
expectation that this unique community would serve the entire world as a
model. Thus, the seventeenth-century theologian Jonathan Edwards
spoke of the colonies as Renovator of the World. From the very outset of
the American Revolution, this missionary purpose owed into the bud-
ding national self-awareness. Whence the motto still emblazoned on the
great seal of the United States: Novus Ordo Seclorum (a new order of the
ages). The new country was to point the way for the world as a beacon
for oppressed mankind. Authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt
Whitman sounded the note of salvation. In 1866, Senator Nathaniel P.
Banks expressed his conviction that the US must enlighten and civilize
the rest of the world. Thus was the religious doctrine of superiority
based on the puritan covenant subsequently reshaped into a worldly
union of exemplary republicans. What emerged was a hinge joining
Calvinist predestination with secular Messianism.
Apparently, the favorable effects of such righteousness on the
model republic were nothing short of inevitable. Continental expansion
could thus be seen as midwife to an almost natural tendency. Before the
Civil War, Parke Goodwin continued to speak of the natural law of
American expansion, which, according to Theodor Parker, Americans
were destined to export unintentionally as the instrument of God. The
theory, extant since antiquity, that the center of power migrated from
East to West was seen from the eighteenth century on to apply to
America. It was an article of faith for the founding fathers and general
public alike that America represented the culmination of this providen-
tial power. Jedidiah Morse treated this ideal as a fact in his famous
American Geography of 1792, in which he predicted that the American
empire would be both the last phase and the largest empire that was
ever created. At the end of the nineteenth century, Brooks Adams
(Henrys brighter brother) associated this teleological doctrine with the
increasingly discernable industrial supremacy of the US.
The central motif of Manifest Destiny (183545) intertwined the
notion of divine destiny with the nations own envisioned objectives, sug-
gesting that the US was predestined to dominate the continent and the
world. Even at the turn of the century, the famous journalist William
Allen White was still referring to Our Manifest Destiny of the conquest of
the world, for the chosen people of America . . . And Albert Beveridge,
a xture in the Senate, considered Gods great plan to be revealed
simultaneously in the Trinity of Americas wealth, Americas supremacy,
[and] Americas empire. Material prot was to be expected, but the
much more important goal remained the worlds deliverance by means
of its Americanization.
The leitmotif of American nationalism was thus deeply anchored
by the beginning of the twentieth century. In the two World Wars and
during the crises that followed, the intention was always the creation of a
new world order under altruistic American leadership. One can
observe variations of the same model in the envisioned objectives of pres-
idents Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Kennedy, and both George H.W. Bush and
George W. Bush. In its current form, the familiar religious message is par-
ticularly strong: that America has a historic world mission to fulll and is
predestined to be the global superpower. Thus, one dilemma of the new
preventive war lies in the fact that the plausible calculation of interests
the elimination of an inhumane dictatorship with weapons of mass
destruction is cloaked in the traditional rhetoric of mission. It is no sur-
prise that this religious claim to superiority has unleashed protest the
world over.
American interest politics would be far more convincing if it were
disassociated from the political religion of nationalism. Traditions that
ascribe a mission to a chosen people tend to have a fatal legacy. History
suggests that such radical criticism of nationalism is only possible in the
wake of shocking events of the type Europe experienced in the two World
Wars. Until now, however, America has won all its major wars, and has
led these successes under the category of just wars. Let us hope that
with the help of its well-developed talent for self criticism, America will
nevertheless be able to distance itself from its own nationalism. Only
then will its superpower status be more tolerable to the rest of the world.
Regardless of how its missionary nationalism unfolds, America will
remain the worlds leading power for the foreseeable future. In light of
this fundamental conguration, German politics since the summer of
2002 has embodied a host of conspicuously awed long-term decisions.
This fall, with the prospect of war in Iraq growing more and more likely,
The Berl i n Journal 17
In Germany, the conscience-
motivated protest against the war is
respectable. But a realistic and
responsible political position it is not.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 17
Chancellor Schrder pursued reelection under the primacy of domestic
politics. Exploiting the popular desire for peace and linking this precari-
ous game with the propagation of a new deutscher Weg, he chose to
ignore the disastrous precedent set in the nineteenth and twentieth cen-
turies by the German Sonderweg, an idea that was fully discredited by his-
tory. In fact, the situation does not call at all for a German way but rather
a European one. Europe should have immediately sought a common posi-
tion in order to raise timely critical objections to its friend, the American
superpower (though it would likely have had to do so without Blairs
England). Failing to consider the consequences that a self-righteous
deutscher Weg might produce, a dangerous tension was risked especially
considering the fact that Washington had not requested direct German
military support. German foreign affairs began to deteriorate. The
momentum of the anti-war campaign became a sole source of approval
for a government whose economic, social, health, and education politics
had totally failed up to that point. The rise of anti-Americanism distinctly
registered in the opinion polls came to be accepted in exchange for public
approval. In eastern Germany, this anti-Americanism appeared as an
almost seamless continuation of the distorted political mentality of the
late gdr. Once this erroneous course was set, new mistakes almost
inevitably followed: the spectacle over the awacs crews (as if the Federal
Republic could step out of rank on its own without a nato Security
Council resolution); the farce of American y-over rights; and yet, ulti-
mately, coy participation in the form of contribution of computer
experts, reconnaissance tanks, and warships.
The fact that this course has found wide acceptance in a country
whose post-1945 reeducation seems to have been successfully comp-
leted by no means indicates that it is a wise course in the long run. In
December 1979, too, there was widespread protest against natos bril-
liant Double Resolution, which put considerable pressure on the Soviet
Union through the threat of short-range nuclear missiles in Europe and
the simultaneous offer to negotiate. Luckily at the time, the Federal
Government remained steadfast in the face of public opposition, and the
treatys ultimate success the fact that the ussr sealed its fate with its
own arms build-up should actually serve as a lesson. Todays over-
whelmingly conscience-motivated protest against the war is also
respectable. But a realistic and responsible political position it is not.
America is and will remain a prominent member of the Western world. It
lives from European traditions. We marvel its political system, its lan-
guage, its literature, and its ability for self-criticism and regeneration. On
the other hand, which European can nd something remotely attractive
in a future Chinese, Indian, or Russian superpower let alone be content
with such splendid allies as Russia and China?
A middle-sized European country like the Federal Republic can in
no way afford the Wilhelmine posturing of a deutscher Weg. In a disagree-
ment with a long-standing ally who happens to be a superpower there
is only one path to take: to raise European objections emphatically,
condentially, and at a certain distance from the marketplace of public
opinion. And if such objections are not heeded, and a misguided America
nonetheless asserts its unilateralism, Berlin must accept the burden,
along with all its unforeseeable consequences, with composure, self-
condence, and the dignity of a legitimate position, without malice or
heightened emotion. For, opinion polls notwithstanding, any reasonable
calculation of interests demands the cultivation of a close relationship
with the sole world power. o
Translated by Daniel Huyssen
Hans-Ulrich Wehler is professor of history at the University of
Bielefeld. The fourth book in his multi-volume history of German society,
Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte (19141949), is forthcoming. Afthvolume
is in preparation.
American policy would be far
more convincing if it were
disassociated from the political
religion of nationalism.
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:40 Uhr Seite 18
The Berl i n Journal 19
The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen
Foundation and the descendants of Hans
and Ludmilla Arnhold launched the year
with the announcement of a timely chal-
lenge grant. The grant is designed to
attract corporate support from both sides
of the Atlantic to the American Academy
in Berlin. The family generously pledged
to contribute one million dollars over four
years, provided that ten corporations
pledge substantial support as well. It is
our hope that once corporations become
acquainted with the valuable work of the
Academy, they will continue their spon-
sorship, said Academy trustee Stephen
M. Kellen when the challenge was issued.
In a letter to Stephen and Anna-Maria
Kellen, Academy president Robert H.
Mundheim voiced his optimism about
meeting the Arnhold familys fundraising
expectations. I am condent we will meet
the challenge and use it as a platform to
broaden and deepen our pool of support.
The rallying cry was heard, and by late
March, a number of companies had
indeed responded. Donations have taken
both the form of membership in the
Presidents Circle for two or more years,
as well as larger grants. Citigroup,
DaimlerChrysler, Drr AG, KPMG, Marsh
& McLennan Holdings GmbH, Porsche
AG, and Schering AG have made pledges.
The law rm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges
has also renewed its membership in the
Presidents Circle for an additional
two years.
Since the Academys inception in 1997,
the Arnhold family has been the institu-
tions principal benefactors, earmarking
funds for improvements to the Hans
Arnhold Center on Lake Wannsee and sup-
porting a rich array of programs.
Corporate funds raised through the chal-
lenge grant may be applied to a number of
areas, from the funding of fellowships, lec-
tureships, and program highlights, to capi-
tal improvements and general support for
the Academy.o
Joseph Neubauer joined the American
Academys board of trustees on
November 1, 2002. He is chairman and
chief executive ofcer of ARAMARK
Corporation, a world leader in managed
services providing food, facility and
support services, and uniform and
career apparel.
Born in 1941 in Israel to refugees
who had fled Germany in 1938,
Neubauer came to the United States on
his own when he was just fourteen. He
began his career in the corporate world at
Chase Manhattan Bank in 1965, after
receiving a degree in chemical engineer-
ing from Tufts and an mba from the
University of Chicago. He went on to hold
executive positions at Chase and PepsiCo
before joining ARA Services later
known as ARAMARK Corp. in 1979. In
1983, he became chairman and ceo of the
corporation and oversaw its privatization
that following year, successfully fending
off two takeover bids. Last year, he helped
the company go public again. Of
ARAMARKs more than 200,000
employees in 17 countries, some eight
thousand of them have a nancial stake
in the company. As he told Business Week
last September, We have an obligation
to our people. Weve always wanted to
control our own destiny.
Neubauers philanthropic commit-
ments are impressive. A champion of
higher education, Neubauer was elected
to the Horatio Alger Association of
Distinguished Americans in 1994. He
serves as board member to Tufts
University, the Jewish Theological
Seminary, and the University of Chicago.
The Neubauer Family Foundation, which
he runs with his wife Jeanette Lerman-
Neubauer, has given abundantly to edu-
cational institutions. When the founda-
tion funded a graduate fellowship
program in the Humanities division at
the University of Chicago, it was the
largest sum ever given to that division of
The Hans Arnhold Family Leads
with a Challenge Grant
the university. These scholarships
embody things that matter so much to
me, Neubauer said at the time.
The scholarly and cultural project of
the American Academy in Berlin matters
to him, too. Neubauers extraordinary
management abilities, commitment to
scholarly pursuits, and keen sense of
social responsibility make him an ideal
member of the Academys board. I am
delighted that Joe has agreed to serve on
our board, said longtime trustee Karl
von der Heyden. We both have roots
and family in Germany, and we both
were youngsters when we came to
America, where we have known each
other for thirty years. Besides, Joes com-
pany, ARAMARK, has extensive opera-
tions in Germany. All of this means that
the cultivation of good relations between
our two countries comes naturally
to him.o
Strengthening the Foundation
Joseph Neubauer Joins Academy Board of Trustees
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:41 Uhr Seite 19
The American Academy welcomed two
Distinguished Visitors and a host of
other special guests to the Hans Arnhold
Center during the spring semester. Harry
Frankfurt, emeritus professor of philo-
sophy at Princeton came to Berlin this
April for a two months stay at the Academy.
In the middle of the month, he presented
his lecture Some Mysteries of Love,
a talk based on one of three prestigious
Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Lectures he
gave at Princeton in 2000. All three lec-
tures, including How Should We Live?
and The Dear Self, will be published
next winter in The Reasons of Love.
Frankfurt has long been interested in how
people see themselves morally and intel-
lectually, how love and non-moral goals
are relevant to issues of practical reason,
and how ideals and values shape our
lives. His books include The Importance of
What We Care About (1988) and Necessity,
Volition and Love (1999).
Harvey Pitt, who served until recently
as chairman of the US Securities and
Exchange Commission, arrived in Berlin
in late April and presented a lecture,
Restoring Investor Condence: The Role
of Regulators and Regulations.
Additional events during the Distin-
guished Visitors stay in Germany includ-
ed interviews with national newspapers
such as Die Zeit and a meeting with the
editors at Springer Verlag. Pitt also met
20 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
Corporate Fellowship
The Gillette Company and Citigroup Establish Named Stipends
Citigroup and The Gillette Company, two
major transatlantic corporations known
for their philanthropic spirit, are funding
new fellowships at the American
Academy in Berlin in the 200304 acade-
mic year. Each fellowship will enable one
Berlin Prize recipient to spend a semester
of work and study at the Hans Arnhold
Center. As the Academys executive
director Gary Smith points out, neither
grant is restricted to a particular eld.
Thus the only criteria for selection is
Svetlana Boym, Curt Hugo Reisinger
Professor of Slavic Languages and profes-
sor of comparative literature at Harvard
has been named the Gillette Fellow for
the fall semester. She will work on a
cultural history of the concept of freedom
in nineteenth- and twentieth-century
The Citigroup Fellow, noted art histo-
rian T.J. Clark, holds the George C. &
Helen N. Pardee Chair at the University of
California, Berkeley, and will take up his
fellowship in the fall semester. Clark, a
leading expert on European modern art
and culture, will work on Picasso,
Mondrian, and modernism in Paris
between 1925 and 1933. o
Guest Appearances
Notes from the Spring Program
with small groups in Frankfurt and
Munich, where he gave an opening
speech at the Munich Economic Summit.
Appointed 26th chairman of the SEC by
President Bush in August 2001, Pitt
presided over a tumultuous time at the
Commission. During a period marked by
corporate scandal, the bursting of the
1990s stock-market bubble, and wide-
spread clamor to repair a damaged sys-
tem of corporate surveillance, Pitt
became a crucial gure in the debates
over reforming the accounting industry.
He led the SEC through late February
2003, when he was succeeded by William
H. Donaldson. Prior to chairing the SEC,
Pitt worked as a prominent corporate
lawyer and lobbyist in Washington in the
1980s and 1990s. He has also taught at
various law schools, among them the
Georgetown University Law Center, the
George Washington University Law
School, and the University of
Pennsylvania School of Law and is cur-
rently ceo of the global consulting rm,
Kalorama Partners, llc.
Academy trustees provided a number
of highlights to the spring program.
Academy president Robert H. Mundheim
spoke in early March with founding
trustee Kurt Viermetz about best prac-
tices of corporate governance in the US
and Germany. One would be hard
pressed to nd two more experienced
partners for such a dialogue. Viermetz
was vice president at J. P. Morgan from
1990 until his retirement in 1998 and
served as chairman of the Hypo
Vereinsbank supervisory board.
Mundheim, an attorney and former dean
of the University of Pennsylvania School
of Law, is presently Of Counsel at
Shearman & Sterling. He both chaired
the American Bar Associations recent
task force on corporate governance and
also served on the nasds task force on
this subject. The discussion was one of a
new series of JPMorgan Economic
Policy Briefs.
Later that month, Academy trustee
Robert Pozen inaugurated a new annual
lecture series at the Hans Arnhold
Center: the Fidelity Investments Lecture.
He spoke on Global Trends in Retire-
ment Systems. The event was part of the
ongoing Berlin Economic Policy Forum,
an Academy program designed to foster
discussion of key policy issues affecting
both Germany and the US. Pozen,
who recently retired from his position
as vice chairman of Fidelity Investments
and president of Fidelity Management
& Research Company, currently serves
as Secretary of Economic Affairs for
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney
and is a visiting professor at Harvard
Law School. The lecture and subsequent
discussion was moderated by Klaus C.
Engelen, diplomatic correspondent
for Handelsblatt.
The next day in Dresden, esteemed
Academy trustee John C. Kornblum deliv-
ered the semesters Lisa and Heinrich
Arnhold Lecture at the Villa Salzburg, in
cooperation with the Dresden Heritage
foundation. The former US Ambassador
to Germany and current chairman of
Lazard Frres & Co. in Germany
addressed the topic of change in the post-
cold-war world. Ambassador Kornblum
has been an audible and diplomatic voice
in the current public debate in Germany
on transatlantic and world politics.
Our journal went to press in early
May, just before the launch of another
high-prole lecture series: the Fritz Stern
Lecture. The series, named in honor of
the founding trustee and distinguished
scholar of German history, is to be inau-
gurated by legal scholar Dieter Grimm, a
Karen Yasinsky, Animal Behavior, dvd projection stills, 2003
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:41 Uhr Seite 20
former Justice on the German Constitu-
tional Court. Grimm currently heads the
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin,
Germanys most important institute for
advanced study. Grimm addressed the
topic of German and American constitu-
tionalism. The Stern lectureship, gener-
ously endowed by Henry Arnhold, the
rm of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc.,
as well as Fritz Sterns principal German
publisher, Beck Verlag, was announced
last year.
Literary guests at the Hans Arnhold
villa this spring include Berlin-based
author Jeffrey Eugenides, who held a
Berlin Prize at the Academy during the
200001 year. He will read from his prize-
winning novel Middlesex in mid May. The
Academy also hosted a dinner in honor of
his former Princeton student, Jonathan
Safron Foer, whose successful new novel
Everything is Illuminated saw German pub-
lication in March.
A number of public as well as private
meetings were organized by the Academy
in order to address, if not assuage, cur-
rent political tensions. Legal scholar Ruth
Wedgwood visited the Academy in early
January. As part of the ongoing
Streitraum series at the Schaubhne
Berlin, Wedgwood sparred with writer
and novelist Tariq Ali over the Iraq crisis.
The segment was co-organized with the
Academy and the Goethe Forum. A
breakfast meeting in late February with
cdu head Angela Merkel resulted in a
portrait in the Financial Times by current
JPMorgan Fellow and FT columnist
Amity Shlaes. One month later, at the
request of German Environmental
Minister Jrgen Trittin, the Academy
organized a discussion at the Hans
Arnhold Center with American intellec-
tuals including Haniel Fellow David Rieff,
New York Times Berlin bureau chief
Richard Bernstein, economist Adam S.
Posen, visiting economist Howard Rosen,
and National Interest editor Adam
Garnkle. Posen, who was a Bosch Fellow
at the Academy during the 200001
academic year and is currently senior
fellow at the Institute for International
Economics, also gave a lecture on the
topic of monetary policy another
installment in the Berlin Economic Policy
Forum. In April, the Academy hosted a
meeting between German Interior
Minister Otto Schily and a similar group
of fellows. John Reilly, former president
of the Chicago Council on Foreign
Relations, stayed at the Academy for sev-
eral weeks in April and early May, with
the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
He led a seminar exploring the topic of
American hegemony.
Finally, in mid-May, Doug Daft, chair-
man and chief executive of the Coca Cola
Company, will visit the Hans Arnhold
Center to address a lunchtime audience
of business, policy, and media leaders
invited by Ambassador Holbrooke.
Dafts topic Recalibrating
Relationships in the Twenty-rst
Century is one in which he has no
small expertise. Perhaps no one is in a
better position to understand the role of
multinational companies in the world
today. Daft joined Coke in 1969 in his
native Sydney, Australia, acquired exten-
sive experience in Asia, and became
president of the companys Middle and
Far East Group in 1995. In 1999 the
Africa Group and Schweppes Beverage
division also came within his purview.
Chairman and ceo since February 2000,
he also currently chairs the Hong Kong-
US Business Council (US section) and
serves on the boards of countless busi-
ness groups and philanthropic organi-
zations. o
Hearty congratulations to Academy alumnus Jeffrey Eugenides,
whose novel Middlesex just won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Middlesex is the tragicomic life story of a hapless hermaphrodite
in suburban Detroit and the epic history of the warped gene that
caused the mischief in the first place. It comes out in German next
fall from Rowohlt Verlag.
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in September 2002,
Eugenides book was instantly hailed as a stroke of genius. Author
Jonathan Franzen called it a weird, wonderful novel that will
sweep you off your feet, and the New York Times described it as
an uproarious epic about misplaced identities and family
secrets. Middlesex was named a National Book Critics Circle
Finalist. The Pulitzer, one of Americas most prestigious literary
awards, consolidates this success. Eugenides first novel,
The Virgin Suicides, was a bestseller in the early 1990s.
He recently spoke to Deutsche Welle about the unusual choice of
subjects: What I do is take something that might sound freaky at
rst and make it very normal. . . . The idea of hermaphrodites is
really symbolic of the change we all go through at puberty and the
sexual confusion that we all have at adolescence. But all I can say
is that the books Ive written sound extreme, but theyre actually
about experiences that, I think, everyone goes through.
Eugenides worked on Middlesex in Berlin during his fellowship
year at the Academy (200001) following a year supported by the
DAAD. He has stayed on in Berlin ever since, with his wife, artist
Karen Yama and their daughter, and has been a frequent guest at
the Academy. In mid May, Eugenides will return to the
Hans Arnhold Centers podium to read from his Pulitzer-prize
winning novel. o
The Berl i n Journal 21
Another Encomium for Eugenides
Middlesex Wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
30218_AmAcad_S01_21_AK 11.07.2003 9:41 Uhr Seite 21
Alumni wri ters and critics have been
busy. Two pieces that Jane Kramer (fall
01, fall 02) worked on from Berlin last
fall have been published in the New Yorker:
Resentments, a Talk of the Town piece
reporting on the outcome of the German
elections, and, this January, Refugee:
an Afghan Woman who Fled Tyranny on
Her Own. Back in New York from his
recent stay in Berlin, Alex Ross (fall
02) has resumed writing music criticism
for the New Yorker. A major feature
discussing Adorno and the musical
ghosts that have haunted Germany since
the Nazi period appeared in late March.
Other pieces this year have discussed
the pianist Mitsuko Uchida, the life work
of composer Lou Harrison, the recent
premiere of Nicholas Maws opera
Sophies Choice in London, and produc-
tions in Berlin and New York of Janaceks
opera Jenufa.
Susan Sontag (Distinguished Visitor,
fall 01) has just published a new book on
photography, Regarding the Pain of Others.
Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times
this March called it a nuanced even
ambivalent book. A revisionistic coda of
sorts to On Photography. (Excerpts were
included in the fall 2001 issue of the Berlin
Journal and published in the New Yorker.)
Sontags Argument about Beauty came
out in the fall 2002 issue of Daedalus.
Other articles have included How Grief
Turned into Humbug in the New Statesman
and an interview with German actress
Hanna Schygulla in the Village Voice.
Rowohlt Verlag will publish a German
edition of the Pulitzer-winning Middlesex
by Jeff Eugenides (200001) next fall.
In February, Aris Fioretos (spring 02)
read at the Literarisches Colloquium
Berlin from the German translation of his
recent novel The Truth about Sascha Knisch
(originally published in Swedish). The read-
ing was subsequently broadcast by
Deutschlandfunk. Stalin Dreaming, a
short story by Ann Harleman (fall 00),
won the 2002 Zoetrope All-Story Award, a
national contest with a prize and publica-
tion. She continues to publish book
reviews in the New York Times and the
Boston Globe.
The Weather in Berlin, the novel by
Ward Just (spring 99) that saw publi-
cation last July, continued to inspire
reviewers last fall. While others praised
the book for its great plot and sensitive
depiction of Americans in Europe, the
Virginia Quarterly Review announced that
the endless play of vision and re-vision
signaled by imagery of lenses and multi-
ple mirrors implicates and problema-
tizes the Novel itself.
Simone di Piero (fall 02) will be
poet-in-residence at the Center for the
Writing Arts at Northwestern University
next fall. Ellen Hinsey (spring 01) was
given special mention by the United Poets
Coalition for her collection The White Fire
of Time. The arts campaign has gained
international recognition for its Poets
for Peace Reading Series launched in the
aftermath of September 11. The Operated
Jew, a play by the Pulitzer-prize winning
poet C.K. Williams (fall 98), received a
staged reading last year at a Traveling
Jewish Theater (ajat) in San Francisco
and was chosen for a main stage produc-
tion there in 2003. The tragic comedy set
in pre-Nazi Germany is Williamss rst
play, written during his fellowship term
at the Academy.
Recent scholarly alumni publications
include Nabokov at Cornell, edited by
Gavriel Shapiro (fall 99), professor of
Russian literature in the same depart-
ment where the celebrated writer taught
between 1948 and 1958. Sander
Gilman (200001) has, in addition to
penning an op-ed for the New York Times
this December (Plastic Surgery Goes
Prime Time), continued to write on
books. Last fall, these included reviews of
Hal Heilmans Great Feuds in Medicine:
Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever in the
American Journal of Psychiatry and
Gabriella Safrans Rewriting the Jew:
Assimilation Narratives in the Russian
Empire in the Slavic Review.
Kafka scholar Mark Harman
(spring 01) contributed another essay
to the literary journal Sinn und Form,
Dr. Kaesbohrer and the Doll letters.
Historian James Sheehans book on
German museums appeared last year
in a German translation,Geschichte der
deutschen Kunstmuseen. Von der frst-
lichen zur modernen Sammlung, and met
with favorable reviews in the Sddeutsche
Zeitung and other German papers. The
spring 01 fellow continues his work on a
history of sovereignty in twentieth-cen-
tury Europe. Jeremy King (fall 99) is
now a tenured associate professor in the
history department of Mount Holyoke
College. The book he worked on while at
the American Academy Budweisers into
Czechs and Germans: a Local History of
Bohemian Politics, 18481948 has just
come out. Anthropologist Ruth
Mandel (fall 00) co-edited Markets and
Moralities. Ethnographies of Postsocialism
with Caroline Humphrey.
Also newly released is the aptly titled
Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and
the Widening Divide between America and
Europe by James Whi tman (spring 00).
Other essays published this year by the
Yale legal scholar include The European
Transformation of Harassment Law:
Discrimination versus Dignity in the
Columbia Journal of European Law; Long
Live the Hatred of Roman Law! in
Rechtsgeschichte (2003); and From Nazi
Honor to European Dignity in Joerges
and Ghaleigh, eds., The Darker Legacy of
European Law. This May in Goettingen,
under the auspices of the Council of
Europe, Whitman will lecture both on the
topic of the absence of the European con-
cept of human dignity in American law.
The Harvard economist and London
School of Economics professor Richard
Freeman (fall 01) is preparing several
books for publication: Visible Hands:
Labor Institutions in the Economy; The
Labor Market Comes to China; and Seeking
a Premiere League Economy (on the British
economy). He continues to pen less spe-
cialized articles as well. His book with
Kimbery Ann Elliot on sweatshops and
western consumers is coming out this
summer from the Institute for
International Economics.
Brian Ladd (spring 99) has recent-
ly taught history and urban planning at
Union College and at the State University
of New York at Albany. An essay based
on Ladds Berlin researches, East Berlin
Political Monuments in the Late German
Democratic Republic: Finding a place
for Marx and Engels, saw publication
in Jan 2002 in the British Journal of
Contemporary History. Evonne Levy
(200102) continues work on her book
about Burckhardts analysis of the Jesuit
style and has simultaneously entered
other scholarly territory. Her article on
the seventeenth-century micro-sculp-
tor Ottaviano Janella was a cover story
in The Burlington Magazine last July. At
the annual conference of the Society of
Architectural Historians this April she
presented a talk on the reuse by the new
German government of Berlins Nazi
buildings. Art historian and comparatist
W.J.T. Mi tchell (spring 02) recently
published The Surplus Value of
Images, in Mosaic: a Journal for the
Interdisciplinary Study of Literature.
The paintings and lms of artist
Sarah Morris (19992000) have been
on view all over Europe this spring,
including the Eight Baltic Triennial of
International Art in Vilnius, Lithuania
and the Painting Pictures: Painting and
Media in the Digital Age show at the
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Vilnius is
screening her lmCapital (2000), which
she worked on during her year at the
Academy. The Americans work has even
been included in the second Tate trien-
nial of contemporary British art this
spring. Of the lm Miami on view at the
Tate Britains North Duveen Sculpture
Gallery, the New Statesman reported,
What raises [the work] from documen-
tary to something approaching eulogy is
the silence of the lm and the pulse of the
techno soundtrack, which comes to seem
an articulation of the hidden force that
everything obeys. More than a portrait,
Miami is life itself.
The Hans & Grete video installation by
Sue de Beer (2001 02) was on view in
New York at the Postmasters Gallery this
February. The piece, which de Beer
created in Berlin, travels to the LA gallery
Sandroni Rey in May and will come to the
Kunst-Werke Berlin in the early fall. The
video will also be screened, alongside
other work of de Beers, at MoMA during
the 200304 season and will be included
in the Adolescence and Contemporary
Art show at the Reina Soa Museum in
Madrid. Stephanie Snider (200001)
returned to Berlin in April for a vernissage
Alumni Accomplishments
Keeping up with Our Scholars
22 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 22
The Berl i n Journal 23 The Berl i n Journal 23
of her paintings and drawings at the
Einstein Forum. Jenny Holzer (spring
00) was awarded the prestigious Kaiser-
ring (Emperors Ring) by the German city
of Goslar. Cartoonist Ben Katchor
(spring 02) participated this March in a
panel Is Superman Jewish? Comics,
Cartoons & Jewish Identity, with Jules
Feiffer (Distinguished Visitor, fall 00),
Nicole Hollander, and Geoffrey OBrien
at New Yorks 92nd Street Y. Later in
the month Katchor presented his Great
Museum Cafeterias of the Western World
talk at the University of Pennsylvanias
Graduate School of Fine Arts. He is
still developing a music-theater show,
The Slug-Bearers of Kayrol Island, with
music by Mark Mulcahy, to open in
New York toward the end of the year.
As always, alumni composers have
been busy, both at home and abroad. In
late January, four of them were simultane-
ously in residence at the Hans Arnhold
Center and attended Berlin performances
of their works: alumni Martin
Bresnick (spring 01), Michael
Hersch (200102), and Laura Elise
Schwendinger (spring 00) joined
current composer-in-residence Kurt
Rohde. Chamber works by Bresnick and
Hersch were performed by members of
the Berlin Philharmonic on January 21 in
the Philharmonics Kammermusiksaal.
The next night in the same hall,
Schwendingers composition Celestial
City was premiered by Spectrum
Concerts Berlin as part of the ensembles
fteenth anniversary concert. At the
end of the month, Bresnicks quintet Just
Time was featured in a chamber concert
of American and European music per-
formed by members of the Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester (dso) and broad-
cast from the Hans Arnhold Center on
John Mauceri (spring 00), conduc-
tor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra,
spent an exhilarating late-winter week in
Leipzig to conduct the Gewandhaus
Orchestra in a program entitled
American Journeys. The rst half of the
concert was devoted to the Seven Deadly
Sins, which Weill and Brecht wrote from
Paris in 1933, after eeing Germany. The
second half offered works by Hollywood
legends John Williams, Ennio Morricone,
John Barry and Elmer Bernstein, among
others. Mauceris recording of Weills Der
Protagonist, which he worked on while
resident at the Academy, just won the
Cannes Classical Music Award.
Lovaby, an excerpt of Betsy Jolass
opera Schliemann, was recently per-
formed in Nice. In November, Jolas (fall
00) taught a masterclass at Yale, and she
will be a visiting professor of composi-
tion next fall at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor. From his home in
New York State, composer George
Tsontakis (spring 02) continues to
work on two pieces that he brought with
him to Berlin last year, his Violin Concerto
No. 2 (for concertmaster Steven Copes
with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra)
and a piano concerto for Stephen Hough
with the Dallas Symphony (as well as the
dso and the Athens State Orchestra).
While composer alumni enjoyed
a busy season at home and in Europe,
Harvard musicologist and Bach scholar
Christoph Wolff (spring 01) was
awarded the Adams University Profes-
sorship, one of the universitys most pres-
tigious chairs.
Several alumni have returned to this
side of the Atlantic for further work and
study. Economic historian Gerald
Feldman (199899) received a triple
helping of support from Berlins leading
academic institutions for the 200203
year. He was awarded the Alexander von
Humboldt Fellowship for the winter
semester at the Freie Universitt Berlin, as
well as fellowships from the Friedrich-
Meinecke-Institut fr Neuere Geschichte
and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin
(wzb). Walter Laqueur
(Distinguished Visitor, spring 02) is
spending a year as a fellow at the nearby
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. After his
semester at the Academy, legal scholar
Paul Schwartz (fall 02) stayed on in
Europe, working at the German Marshall
Funds new transatlantic center in
Brussels on his comparative study of data
protection and security after September 11.
Journalist Nina Bernstein (fall 02)
has led several stories with the New York
Times from Berlin this spring. Her report
on the perception of America by Berlin
youth ran in mid March, at a time of
widespread German public criticism of
the Bush Administrations handling of
the situation in Iraq. Bob Kotlowi tz
(fall 98), who is honing a documentary
project about Berlin produced by New
Yorks Channel 13, was also in town
this winter.
Joining the Academys selection com-
mittee, which met this January to select
the class of 200304 fellows from among
some 140 applications, were historian
Ronnie Hsia (fall 00) and anthropolo-
gist Vincent Crapanzano (fall 01 and
fall 02). (See our Sneak Preview of
next falls fellows on page 29.) Many
alumni made valuable contributions to
the fellow selection
process by providing eval-
uations of applications.
There is much to
report on former Bosch
fellows as well. Barbara
Balaj (fall 01) published
an article on rebuilding
Afghanistan for the May
2002 edition of
Internationale Politik,
reprinted in English in
Transatlantic Internatio-
nale Politik and in a spe-
cial Russian language
edition as well. Paul
Hockenos (spring 00) is
now a senior analyst at
the European Stability
Initiative, a Berlin-based
think tank that concen-
trates on South Eastern
Europe. His book
Homeland Calling: Exile
Patriotismand the Balkan Wars is forth-
coming this year. Chris Kojm (spring
01) is currently serving as deputy direc-
tor of the staff of the commission investi-
gating September 11, 2001. In 2002,
Richard Morris (spring 00) was
appointed senior advisor on technology
to the Ofce of the Assistant Secretary for
Public Health Emergency Preparedness
(oasphep) at US Department of Health and
Human Services, working on a national
strategy for public health preparedness.
Julianne Smi th (spring 00) recently
took up post at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (csis) in
Washington. She is deputy director and
fellow of the International Security
Program there.
Architect Hilary Brown (spring 01)
modestly demurred when in January 2002
Metropolis Magazine credited her with the
greening of New York City. Nonetheless,
the comprehensive green building guide-
lines she drafted for the citys public build-
ings and projects in 1999 constituted a
great green step forward. Her recently
founded private rm New Civic Works
now consults with government agencies,
universities, and institutional clients to
integrate environmentally responsible
practices into their building programs.
Clients include municipalities as far from
New York City geographically and envi-
ronmentally as Salt Lake City. Brown has
also been much in demand as speaker
across the country.
Finally, a noteworthy Meldung came
this January from Mark Bassin (spring
02) and his wife Ania Stawinska announc-
ing the birth of their very own Berlin
Prize the rst Academy baby, Dorian
Jacob Basin. Marks next baby, a book
about Germany and geopolitics, is in
the works.o
Three untitled works by Stephanie Snider (mixed
media on paper, 2003), on view at the Einstein
Forum in Berlin this spring.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 23
24 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
The student Karl von der Heyden with
Henry Kissinger in fall 1961, after a lecture
Kissinger had given at Duke. Von der
Heyden recalls:
I asked him why the US government
had not done anything to prevent the
Berlin Wall from going up. He responded by
saying that the action by the East Germans
had caught the US government
by complete surprise, which I found hard
to believe. That August in Berlin, I had vis-
ited a refugee camp in West Berlin with a
fellow student. Some 4,000 refugees a day
were eeing East Germany at the time.
When we asked them about this sudden
increase in the number of refugees, they
looked at us, puzzled: Dont you know
they are about the seal the border?
The issue remains murky to this day.
If Dr. Kissinger was right, it would indicate
a colossal failure of US intelligence. Some
people believe that the US knew about the
East German intentions and let the Wall go
up unimpeded so as not to jeopardize the
status quo. Nevertheless, within days of
August 13, 1961, US and Soviet tanks were
facing each other across Checkpoint
Charlie. It took another 28 years for the
Wall to fall.
Trustee Prole: Karl M. von der Heyden
Giving Something Back
By Michael Meyer
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 24
The Berl i n Journal 25 The Berl i n Journal 25
Karl von der Heyden, the former
chairman of rjr Nabisco, is known for
building great companies. Another of his
passions, though, has always been books,
which helps explain why were sitting in
the library of the University Club in New
York, talking about how he got from a boy-
hood in Germany to the top of corporate
America. The tale has a lot to do with a
life-long love of learning, and with Duke
University to which he recently gave
$4 million to help refurbish its famous
Perkins Library. Why? Gratitude, he
says. Duke was my awakening, I loved it
there. It started me on life. Its important
to give something back.
Flash back to 1957. Karl is just 20,
nishing a bank training program after
getting his high school degree in Berlin,
wondering what to do next. It had been
a tumultuous youth. His father had been
away with the Wehrmacht. His family
had left Berlin during the bombing to live
with relatives in the east, in what is now
Poland, only to ee west again just days
ahead of the advancing Soviet army. They
ended up in the Berlin suburb of Spandau,
their home all but destroyed. To this day,
he remembers the allied air lifts into the
city. I knew every plane, every model,
how much cargo they could carry. It was
fascinating, and it made me and my gen-
eration deeply pro-American. One day
his older brother, a lawyer working on
Jewish restitution claims, wrote from
New York. Why not come over, improve
your English, go to university? Why not,
indeed, he thought. He applied to Harvard,
Yale, Michigan and a handful of other col-
leges. He was accepted into most. Duke
was the only one to give me a scholarship.
So there I went.
What a contrast. From gray, depressed
postwar Berlin to an Eden of the old south,
fragrant with rhododendron and magno-
lia. Karl was swept away. The campus
was beautiful, the library magnicent.
Wandering among the stacks, he discov-
ered one of its many treasures a trove
of German newspapers from the 1930s,
including the Vlkischer Beobachter, the
Nazi partys propaganda organ. It was all
there in the papers. Appalling stuff, he
recalls. The anti-Semitic language. Hate-
speech. Much of it crude, if not outright
vicious, but also at times insidiously
clever disinformation. But it was also eye-
opening. German schools then did not
teach any of this. It was totally taboo. For
the rst time, he says, I understood
how it was done, how the Germans had
become so misguided.
He was surprised, too, by what he soon
discovered about his adopted society in
America outwardly so idyllic but with
its own ugly secrets. I hadnt known
before I arrived, I hadnt even imagined.
But Duke, then, was still racially segregat-
ed. So was the entire South. To make
ends meet at Duke, he worked a variety of
odd jobs waiting on tables in the cafete-
ria, doing dishes, putting ice in bathroom
urinals. Often he would take his breaks
with the black cooks in the basement.
Among the friends he made in this man-
ner was an older black man who loved
to talk about the athletic feats of his son,
a professional baseball player for the
Cincinnati Reds. I found it very strange.
Here was this guy, a veteran of World
War II. He fought in the Pacic. And here
I was, this kid from Berlin a Nazi, for all
he knew being treated so well. While his
own kid could not go to this school.
There were many lessons there, Karl
knew, but one has served him ever since.
He has come to consider it an essence of
leadership. Back then, when students at
Duke were beginning to agitate for change
and the civil rights movement was gain-
ing force, the universitys president and
board of trustees resisted. They were
slow to change, he recalls. They sought
to preserve the status quo. Now he is on
Dukes board, and he keeps that experi-
ence in mind. It taught me something
that you have to lead, that you cant fol-
low. If you are on a board, you have to
know whats going on in the world. You
have to be at the forefront of change, not
resist it. Almost parenthetically, he adds
that Duke today is one of the most cultur-
ally diverse universities in the country.
Close to 11 percent of our students are
African-Americans, he says, with the
faintest touch of pride. I think thats one
of the highest percentages among major
research universities in America.
To guide change, rather than react to
it. People who have worked with him over
the decades cite this as one of his distin-
guishing traits. His arrival at rjr Nabisco,
for example, coincided with one of the
rockiest moments in the companys his-
tory. He was brought in by the ceo of the
time, Louis Gerstner, shortly after the
infamous 1989 takeover by Kohlberg
Kravis Roberts & Co. To nance the acqui-
sition, these leveraged buyout artists bor-
rowed heavily against rjr s assets.
As chief nancial ofcer, he instilled
strict scal discipline. By 1991, he had
stabilized rjrs nances and restored its
debt to investment grade quality. No
mean feat, as anyone on Wall Street
can attest.
Karl was named co-chairman of rjr in
1991after Gerstner resigned to head ibm.
Later that year, he left to become the pres-
ident and chief executive of Metallgesell-
schaft Corp., the American arm of the
giant German commodity trading con-
glomerate, which had to be restructured
after a major scandal resulting from spec-
ulation in oil futures. In 1996, he joined
PepisCo as vice chairman of the board,
with a brief to undertake a strategic
restructuring of the enterprise. As at rjr,
he played a central role in refocusing
PepsiCo on its core business beverages
and convenience foods and spun off
operations that were fringe, among them
the companys restaurant chains. He
reined in its ashy, spendthrift culture.
Prots and cash ow surged. PepsiCos
stock thrived. Karl is one of the sharpest
minds in business, says PepsiCos chair-
man, Roger Enrico, praising his ability to
quietly work what can only be described
as a wholesale revolution in the way an
entire company managed itself.
Hes an interesting mix of contraries,
this man. In an era of swaggering ceos,
where business leaders often seem to take
pride in how many people they can re,
or too often seek short-cuts to maximize
short-term prots and inate their own
pay, Karl is a breed apart. Soft-spoken,
modest almost to the point of difdence,
condent of his own judgment while con-
siderate of others, he is one of those rare
executives that you immediately and
instinctively trust. Duke University presi-
dent Nannerl Keohane describes him as
one of the most thoughtful, sophisticated
and community-minded leaders in
American industry. He has retired now
from PepsiCo but remains on the boards
of half a dozen companies and non-prot
organizations:aramark,Exult, Federated
Department Stores, AstraZeneca Group.
But he reserves a special affection for
Duke, where among other things he
chairs the librarys capital campaign
committee, naturally. And, of course,
for the American Academy in Berlin.
The Academy is lucky to have him. He
is an accomplished fund-raiser, and for
all his quiet manner he is a forceful voice.
The fact that hes there at all owes much
to Richard Holbrooke, like so much else.
When he was ambassador to Germany,
he invited me to a ceremony marking the
departure of American troops from
Berlin, says Karl. Dinner had scarcely
been served when Holbrooke grabbed
him by the elbow. Can I talk to you for a
minute, he asked? He grabbed a few
other people, too, and told them about
this idea to create what he called a German
American Academy in Rome. Sure, we
all said, not thinking it would amount to
anything. And so here we are.
It has been a rewarding experience.
Since I left for the US, Ive had few con-
nections to Germany, he says. So for
me, the Academy has been a way of com-
pleting the circle. He is full of praise for
Holbrooke and the Academys direction
for really putting this program on the
map, in a big way. He is also impressed
by the caliber of the fellows the Academy
has been able to attract. In the long run,
he hopes to see more artists, writers, and
archeologists in the program. Berlin,
he says, is above all a city of culture.
According to Karl, serving on a
transatlantic board of trustees has
its own challenges. There is something
of a culture clash, he explains. Half
German, half American, the Academys
board functions very differently from
what he is used to dealing with in the US.
Some of his German colleagues are sur-
prised, even offended when, for exam-
ple, someone says, Well, one of the roles
of the board is to go out and raise money.
The idea of actually calling people to ask
them for money is still foreign to the cul-
ture of German philanthropy. As a chair-
man of a nance company, I chuckle about
this. After all, the Academy is a privately
funded institution. If you want to get
money, you have to ask for it.
In case youre not reading closely,
thats another quality that distinguishes
Karl directness. As he sees it, joining a
board brings with it responsibility. Many
people consider such an appointment to
be an honor; to the contrary, he says, it
confers a duty. Prestige works the other
way around.
Tough words, however softly spoken.
And they go right to the heart of Karl von
der Heydens conception of giving back,
with which we started this conversation.
When he decides to help, its not just by
opening a checkbook; its by bringing
to bear all the qualities that made him
an outstanding ceo. For those interested
in building up the Academy, thats
a godsend.o
Michael Meyer is European editor
of Newsweek. He was a Fellow at the
American Academy in Berlin in the
spring semester of 1999 and is complet-
ing a book about the 1989 revolutions in
Eastern Europe.
The airlift fascinated him.
I knew every plane, how
much cargo they could
carry. It made me and my
generation deeply pro-
Duke was still segregated.
And here I was, this kid
from Berlin, being treated
so well. While his own kid
could not go to this
After all, the Academy
is a privately funded
institution. If you want
to get money, you have
to ask for it.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 25
26 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
nents. Leiken publishes widely in the for-
eign policy press as well as in a range of
more popular reviews, magazines, and
Architectural historian Wallis Miller is
writing a history of architectural exhibi-
tions in Berlin from the late eighteenth
century through the Weimar period.
Such displays, she says, were not deriva-
tive events but independent forms of
architectural practice, signicant in their
own right. They involved media that
ranged from models and plans, to
demonstrations of construction tech-
niques, and even full-scale architectural
projects, all of which allowed for the
exploration of issues hard to address in
buildings, texts, and other media.
Architecture shows were important pub-
lic occasions for showcasing not only new
research but also contemporary aesthetic
ideas. The associate professor at the
University of Kentucky College of
Architecture specializes in the architec-
turally explosive Weimar years, whose
most noted practitioners were Mies van
der Rohe and the founders of the
Bauhaus. Reaching backward from her
Weimar work and especially her disser-
tation on the landmark German Building
Exhibition of 1931 Millers book begins
with Schinkels generation and covers the
subsequent development of architecture
exhibits in Berlin and beyond.
Writer and journalist David Rieff, who
inaugurates the Haniel Fellowship in
History and Public Affairs, has spent the
last ten years covering wars and humani-
tarian emergencies around the world. In
1992, he was in Berlin working on a book
on immigration in Western Europe when
he was highjacked by the Balkan wars
and instead wrote a book on the Bosnia
conict. His most recent book, A Bed
for the Night, addresses the dilemmas of
international aid. To the question, Does
humanitarian aid harm or help? Rieff
answers that it can help, but only when
carefully separated from both human
rights work and political entanglements.
A sometime supporter of military inter-
vention on political grounds, most
recently in Afghanistan, he is vigorously
opposed to justifying war on humanitari-
an grounds. His current project grapples
with terrorism, counter-terrorism, and
state power. It reviews the notions of
just war and dirty war and asks,
What, in the current circumstances, is
the potential role of international law?
People are confused, particularly in
the US, Rieff wrote in his project pro-
posal. They need tools, and while inter-
national law is a poor light, it may be all
weve got.
By Miranda Robbins
Foreign policy expert Adam Garnkle took
up a short-term Bosch Fellowship at the
Academy in mid March. Editor of the
conservative Washington-based monthly
the National Interest, he has published a
number of book-length studies of Israeli
politics, diplomacy, and society, as well
as Telltale Hearts: the Origin and Impact of
the Vietnam Antiwar Movement, which was
named a notable book of the year (1995)
by the New York Times Book Review.
Garnkle contributes to a range of jour-
nals, reviews, and newspapers and is a
frequent guest on television and radio
talk shows and news programs. While in
Berlin, he plans to write a piece for the
National Interest on the use and display of
political symbols in Germany since
unication. A self-styled American con-
servative realist, who distinguishes his
conservative views on security, social,
and economic issues from those of the
American Protestant evangelical conser-
vative mainstream, Garnkle is looking
forward to sharing his views with a
European audience.
Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow and Harvard
Professor James Hankins is at work on a
history of the soul in the Renaissance and
early modern periods, from the time of
Marsilio Ficino (143399) through that
of Leibniz (16461716). According to
Hankins, these two and a half centuries
saw a seismic shift in the understanding
of human nature. Where pre-modern
Renaissance thinkers considered body
and soul to be extrinsically united (with
the soul leading all other faculties), sev-
enteenth-century theorists like Leibniz
and Spinoza rigorously distinguished the
two. Hankins book will situate this shift
in human psychology within a context of
theological, social, and scientic change.
Developments in medicine, for example,
supported a mechanistic view of the
bodys functions, undermining the souls
hegemony. This, in turn, helped revise
the notion of hierarchy in general with
no small repercussions for political phi-
losophy. As Hankins writes, if one no
longer constructs the good of the soul as
a condition [in which] reason regulates
the passions and appetites, one will be
less disposed to understand politics in
elitist terms, as the control of a society by
its most rational members.
The September 11 attacks highlighted
the critical ways in which security and
immigration concerns overlap; within
a remarkably short period, the entire US
Immigration and Naturalization Service
was brought under the aegis of a newly
created Department of Homeland
Security. Robert Leiken, director of immi-
gration and national security at the
Nixon Center in Washington, brought
his extensive expertise in immigration
and foreign and security policy to Berlin
for several weeks as a short-term Bosch
Fellow this spring. The Central America
expert, who has published widely on
Mexican immigration and Nicaraguan
politics, has temporarily shifted his focus
to include both hemispheres. He is cur-
rently comparing European and US per-
spectives and policies toward a variety
of matters regarding immigration and
security. Not least among these is the
question of how, in the post-September
11 world, integration of immigrants can
serve homeland security on both conti-
LIFE & LETTERS at the Hans Arnhold Center
Proles in Scholarship
Introducing the Spring 2003 Fellows
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 26
The Berl i n Journal 27
As Kurt Rohde studied viola at the Curtis
Institute of Music in the 1980s, he was
also cultivating his substantial talent as a
composer. His musicians experience has
given him a rare understanding of the
orchestra as musical instrument, a sensi-
tivity that impressed conductor Kent
Nagano early on. The maestro began sup-
porting his work in the mid 1990s, and
Rohde brings two new commissions with
him to Berlin this spring: a viola concerto
and an oratorio. Under Nagano, the con-
certo will receive a transatlantic premiere
in the 2004-5 season, rst in Berlin with
violist Igor Budinstein and the Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester and later with
violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama and
the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. The
oratorio Bitter Harvest, written for the
BSO and tenor John Duykers with a
libretto by Amanda Moody, addresses
the growth of the militia movement in
rural America. For his rst piece for vocal
soloists and a chamber choir, Rohde has
conceived of speaking and half-spoken
parts to compliment Duykers singing
voice including occasional vocal and
dramatic outbursts on the part of the
Economist Howard Rosen, who took up a
short-term JPMorgan Prize in late
February, is preparing a comparative
study of US, German, and Japanese work-
ers displaced by the upheavals of the
global economy. While in Germany he
organized a conference at the Friedrich-
Ebert Stiftung examining US strategies to
counter unemployment and how
Germany might learn from the US experi-
ence. An economic consultant, primarily
on projects for the US Agency for
International Development, Rosen was
minority staff director at the Joint
Economic Committee of the US Congress
between 1997 and 2001, serving as a con-
sultant to the US Senate Finance
Committee that same year. He has pub-
lished widely on domestic and trade and
labor issues; on economic relations
between the US and Israel; and on the
economic issues associated (in the 1990s)
with the Israeli-Arab peace process. A
close observer of the domestic effects of
Americas engagement in the global econ-
omy, Rosen is concerned that the nations
The Berl i n Journal 27
social and economic infrastructure be
updated so that workers and communi-
ties affected by displaced trade do not get
left in the lurch. No one group should
bare an inequitable share of the burden.
Columnist and nancial journalist Amity
Shlaes twice-weekly comments on eco-
nomic policy in the Financial Times take
on everything from domestic tax matters
a topic on which she has published a
book to the state of the German econo-
my. On leave from the FT this year, she is
preparing her third book, a history of the
Great Depression in America. The book,
intended for a broad non-specialized
readership, will pick apart some of the
myths that Shlaes sees adhering to the
New Deal. Among other things, she
debunks the notion that it was govern-
ment aid that got most Americans
through the hard times and argues that
the historical credit due to FDR has more
to do with his spiritual leadership than
with sound scal policies. At the
Academy for the rst two months of the
spring semester, the JPMorgan Prize
recipient used her time in Berlin to
explore the similarities and differences
within the American and German
Depression experiences.
With a background in theoretical linguis-
tics, Yale law professor Henry Smith knows
that the relation between words and the
things they refer to is arbitrary. Law, too,
is a system marked by arbitrariness. This
spring, Smith intertwines his two elds
within a comparative study of German
and American property law. He will also
look at the distinctions between property
law (which tends to be standardized but
is particularly explicit in Germany) and
contract law (which is far more exible).
More broadly, Smith continues to
explore the problem of how legal rela-
tions are communicated to different
audiences. It has long been understood
that context is crucial to the interpreta-
tion of messages. But audience is, in
both law and linguistics, the less-studied
side of communication. Different
groups process information at different
cost, and any communication system
faces a tradeoff between information
intensiveness and information extensive-
ness. Thus, one reason why property law
is so standardized is that it must impart
information to a wider and more hetero-
geneous audience than, say, contract law.
The tradeoff, he suggests, may help
explain several other aspects of American
and German law, including intellectual
property and contract interpretation.
For his current book, Hegel scholar and
philosophy professor Allen Speight is
examining the development of the con-
cept of conscience. Tracing a shift within
the idealist period from Fichtes notion of
an inner ethics of conviction to the con-
cept expressed by the mature Hegel in his
Philosophy of Right (1818), Speight seeks
to examine the role of the intersubjective
context in which claims of conscience are
made. He will also sketch how the con-
cept of conscience has informed contem-
porary philosophical concerns with
ethics and morality, in particular the
notions of responsibility and forgiveness.
With this project, the assistant professor
of philosophy at Boston University and
current Berlin Prize Fellow is following
up on an earlier book on Hegel, litera-
ture, and the problem of agency. Two
soon-to-be-published essays are The
Reappearance of the Beautiful Soul:
Hegel and Colin McGinn on Ethics and
Literature, and Hegel and Butler on
Conscience and Forgiveness.
When Karen Yasinsky stopped painting in
1999 and turned to animation lms, she
brought to her new medium a painters
interest in framing and texture, drawing
and collage. Most importantly, she
brought her fascination with the ambigu-
ities of human relationships. One could
call her short lms animate paintings.
Her method, shooting 24 still frames per
second on16 mm lm, is painstakingly
slow. So, too, are the nished lms.
They star a small cast of carefully clothed
clay, wire and foam dolls. Their mute
faces and jerky, mufed gestures mirror
human emotions: tenderness, puzzle-
ment, anxiety, loneliness, aggression,
arousal. Yasinsky tellingly refers to her
gures as models, props, and transi-
tional objects. If even she occasionally
calls them characters, even actors, there
is no doubt that they are purposefully
limited beings. This lack of depth, along
with the real-time pace, produces an
intentionally discomting effect.
Yasinsky is familiar to the German art
world. A one-woman show opened this
March at the Philomene Magers Gallery
in Munich, and a show at Berlins
Knstlerhaus Bethanien will run from
June 19 through July 6. The Philip Morris
Fellows current lm project, Hunted,
explores animal behavior and the
psychology of violence. The narrative
draws on Grimms fairy tales and her
setting is based on the dioramas at the
natural history museums in Berlin and
New York.uu

30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 27
28 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
If philosophers are not always histori-
ans, wrote Edward Gibbon in his 1764
Essay on the Study of Literature, it were at
least to be wished that all historians were
philosophers. Hayden White,
DaimlerChrysler Fellow at the Academy
this spring, is a metahistorian a thinker
concerned with the philosophy of histori-
cal study. He is also a literary theorist, a
historian of society, and an outspoken
social critic. It is thus not surprising that
White has recently held chairs in two dif-
ferent disciplines: comparative literature
at Stanford, where he is Bonsall Professor,
and history of consciousness at the
University of California at Santa Cruz,
where he is University Professor Emeritus.
That Hayden White is a man of
catholic interests is perhaps appropriate
for someone who started with a doctorate
in ecclesiastical history. Seventeen years
later, in 1973, he published Metahistory:
The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-
Century Europe, a book that remains a
xture on graduate school reading lists
across the humanities. Metahistory made
a careful study of the nineteenth centu-
rys great historians, historiographers,
and philosophers of history. But it also
delivered a challenge to all historians
claiming to practice under the banner
of impartiality. White was not the
rst to observe that history is a social
science rather than an exact one, but
his literary critical analysis of historio-
graphy sparkedaminor revolutionin
the discipline.
Drawing on a battery of disciplines
linguistics chief among them White
pointed out that every apparently self-
contained history contains a host of
choices on the part of its author. His
chapters on the great realist historians
(Michelet, Ranke, Tocqueville, and
Burckhardt) proposed that each writer
emplotted his narrative in a particu-
lar mode: Romance, Comedy, Tragedy
and Satire, respectively. In other words,
the great histories contained as much
rhetoric as realism a rhetoric with
decidedly varied political, ideological,
and conceptual foundations. Some of
Whites critics took the statement to its
extreme, suggesting that this thesis
essentially equated history with ction.
Whites point, however was more subtle
and far more interesting: that writers
of history and writers of ction share
many of the same tools, and that the
techniques used by literary critics to
analyze literature may also be applied
to historiography.
If anything, Metahistorys influence on
historians, literary critics, art historians,
and social scientists has grown in the
three decades since it was published. His
other books picked up many of its
themes. These include Figural Realism:
Studies in the Mimesis Effect (1999), The
Content of Form: Narrative Discourse and
Historical Representation (1986), and
Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural
Criticism (1978).
This spring, White is preparing a
study of how history is presented not in
writing but in museums. Historical muse-
ums draw on many of the usual tools of
the historians trade. But in museums,
Fellow Prole: Hayden White
A Historian for the Present
representation is as much a matter of
space itself as of historiography. Whites
study will take up questions of exem-
plarity, sequencing, spatial placement,
contexualizing, presentation, and drama-
tization in historical museums. It will
also probe what he calls the ethics of rep-
resentation. The question of the muse-
ums audience presents one complex
aspect of this.
Since coming to the Academy, White
has been a keen explorer of Berlins many
museums. It may be argued that no city
in Europe is trying harder to come to
terms with its history or, indeed, the
representation of it. The new Jewish
Museum, the soon-to-be-opened Berlin
Historical Museum, the improvised
Topography of Terror, built among
the ruins of old SS-headquarters, are all
of especial interest to the metahistorian.
We are accustomed to questioning
books; less so buildings. How can con-
temporary curators of historical exhibi-
tions embed questions instead of just
answers into display cases, wall-texts,
multi-media programs? Is there room
for theory and self-criticism among the
wealth of information presented as
fact? If the historical museums pur-
pose, traditionally didactic, has, in
recent years, become more complex,
we have, in part, Hayden White to
thank for it. o
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 28
The Berl i n Journal 29 The Berl i n Journal 29
Katchor drawing
Up from
the South
William Styron on Racism
and Writing
Sneak Preview
Look Whos Coming Next Fall?
One Frame at a Time
Karen Yasinsky at Kunst-Werke
Gaffer? Best boy? It is usually hard
to read all the names that roll by in a
lms credits. Fear, however, is a
short lm without credits. Karen
Yasinsky is responsible for all of it:
direction, cinematography, screen-
play, make-up, set design, and cos-
tumes. And because the American
prefers to work alone, she creates
her actors, too, fashioning their
heads from baked clay, their bodies
from wire, and designing their sleek
and elegant costumes. (Prada, she
laughs, not Chanel.) These ideal
actors, standing just thirty centime-
ters tall, are bursting with pop cul-
ture. The lead in Fear brings to
mind Barbies Ken. The animation
technique is instantly recognizable
as the same used in Wallace and
An impressive group of Academy
Fellows will take up residence at
the Academy next fall. Wendy
Lesser, editor of the west-coast liter-
ary journal the Threepenny Review
has been awarded the Holtzbrink
Fellowship in Journalism. Svetlana
Boym, Curt Hugo Reisinger
Professor of Slavic Languages and
Literatures and professor of com-
parative literatures at Harvard
holds the inaugural Gillette
Fellowship. Timothy James Clark,
the George C. and Helen N. Pardee
Professor of Art History at the
University of California at Berkeley
will inaugurate the Citigroup
Fellowship. The JPMorgan
Fellowship will be held by Walter
Mattli, professor of political science
at Columbia. Dana Villa, visiting
associate professor of government
at Harvard and associate professor
of political science at the University
of California at Berkeley will hold
the Haniel Fellowship in History
and Public Affairs.
Berlin Prize Fellows will include
Phillip Bohlman, professor of music
and Jewish studies at the University
of Chicago; Pierre Joris, professor
of English at suny Albany; histori-
an Michael Steinberg of Cornell
University; and art historian Anne
Wagner, who is professor at the
University of California at Berkeley.
The Kellen and Gorrison Fellows
will be named from this pool of
Next falls short-term Bosch
Fellows are Jamie Metzl, deputy
staff director and senior counselor
to the US Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations; Legal scholar
Mary Anne Case, who is a professor
of the University of Chicago; and
law professor Paul Carrington of
Duke University.
Gromit and MTVs Celebrity Death
Match. But Yasinsky harnesses the
Zeitgeist, too. Her procedure is
called stop-motion animation, in
which each individual puppet limb
is bent into position, and each fur-
ther position is subsequently lmed,
frame by frame. The effect is a lyri-
cal lethargy, a desperate yearning
embodied in the abrupt and mechan-
ical movements of her gures. The
silent lms of Buster Keaton or
Robert Bresson are another inuence
on her work. It is a surreal puppet
show in crystal-clear 16-mm quali-
ty, as light and lonely as real life.
Fear, on view at the Kunst-Werke
Berlin through March, depicts on
two separate screens a man and a
woman, rst in a moon landscape,
then in an airplane with a 1950s
interior. They do not interact with
each other. She remains on the left;
he on the right. The few minutes of
melancholy, silent narration are
enhanced by the jointless lassitude
of the gures; they seem awkward,
almost helpless. Sometimes it
takes three days of preparation until
two gures actually meet, she says.
During this time I think of what
goes on in their heads and, only
then, do I know how their scene will
end. Their personalities develop as
she assembles the puppets and sets;
the story evolves as she lms. I
form the characters with my
hands, she says a method that
rules out collaboration with actors,
who want to know in advance what
they are supposed to do. Yasinsky
says the biggest compliment she can
get is when the audience thinks it
sees changing expressions on the
static, clay faces of her gures.
The 37-year-old artist will be the
last Philip Morris Emerging Artist
at the American Academy. After
four years, the company is ending a
collaboration that brought artists
Sarah Morris, Stephanie Snider,
and Sue de Beer to Berlin in previ-
ous years. Karen Yasinsky, who
began her career as an art historian
and computer programmer, turned
to painting but found she was doing
the same image over and over
again. It was not an exclusive pas-
sion for lm that led her to where
she is today. Film, she says, com-
bines all my interests. And it con-
stantly calls for a new image.
By Moritz Schuller
From Tagesspiegel
March 3, 2003
In the discussion that followed
the reading, Styron ruminated on
mans desire to dominate his fellow
humans. Styron reected on the
dawn of a new century. When asked
what he expected, he immediately
replied, More holocaust I dont
see any end to it. But I dont want to
talk about that. It scares me.
Styron also discussed the craft
of writing. In the mid 1980s he fell
into the monstrous depression
that inspired his memoir Darkness
Visible. Though he denies ever hav-
ing been an alcoholic, he acknowl-
edges that he did abuse alcohol
in a vigorous way. After working
hard, he frequently drank hard.
But I never touched a drop before
writing. Styron also mused on the
role of facts in historical novels; an
excess of facts is more likely to
destroy a historical representation
than contribute to it. It is far more
important for a book to be honest
to the Zeitgeist than to be meticu-
lously researched.
Styron called Albert Camus
The Stranger one of those landmark
books for me. I had never seen such
a bleak and desperate view of life
expressed with such precision and
beauty. I was awestruck by this bold
vision of the universe, a bleak,
brave apprehension of mans
condition. but I became very
attached to a great deal of his
work. Before that [in college], I was
reading volume after volume of
great European writers, the great
master Flaubert especially To
this day, the European spirit
ows very strongly in my veins.
By Anja Popovic
From Die Welt
December 20, 2002
Ive known William Styron for
thirty years. He and Arthur Miller
are neighbors in Connecticut, said
lm director Volker Schlndorff
last Wednesday [December 18] as
he introduced him at the American
Academy. Styron, author of Sophies
Choice and the award-winning novel
The Confessions of Nat Turner, lives
in the small town of Roxbury. The
Distinguished Visitor to the Hans
Arnhold Center read passages from
his story Shadrach, published in
his collection A Tidewater Morning:
Three Tales from Youth.
Shadrach is the story of an old
slave who returns to his former
masters plantation to die. As a pref-
ace, Styron spoke of his obsession
with slavery and traced it to his own
childhood in the American South.
At the time of the civil war, my own
grandmother (she was not a great-
grandmother or a great-great-
grandmother) had two little slave
girls. They were her own property.
The lives of blacks in America has
improved since the civil war, but
Styron is quick to say that there are
still terrible iniquities.
The racism I grew up with was
appalling. That blacks were once
forced to sit at the back of the bus is
preposterous. He recounted a
chance meeting with Vernon Jordan,
the African-American civil rights
activist, at a recent party. How
have things been, Vernon? Styron
asked his old friend. White man
still ahead! Jordan retorted wryly.
The Berlin Prize Fellowship
appointments were made by an
independent committee that
included: Anthony Appiah of
Princeton University; Carolyn
Abbate, also of Princeton; Paul
Baltes of the Max-Planck-Institut
fr Bildungsforschung; Stephen
Burbank of University of
Pennsylvania Law School; Vincent
Crapanzano of the City University
of New York Graduate Center;
Michael Fried of Johns Hopkins
University; Benjamin Friedman of
Harvard University; Ronnie Hsia of
Pennsylvania State University;
Stephen Nichols of Johns Hopkins;
and Leon Wieseltier, editor of the
New Republic. Historian Charles
Maier of Harvard University, who
has chaired the annual committee
since the rst Berlin Prizes were
awarded in 1998, retires from the
post this year. He will be missed.o
Karen Yasinsky, No Place Like Home, dvd projection stills, 1999.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 29
30 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 30
Richard Holbrooke has a Dream.
The I Have a Dream page in the Leben
section of Die Zeit gives celebrated artists,
statesmen, and personalities the opportu-
nity to conjure up a world free of realitys
constraints. Here the American
Academys founding trustee Richard
Holbrooke spoke to journalist Christine
Brinck about his vision of nding diplo-
matic solutions to the worlds thorniest
Richard Holbrooke, 61, is widely regarded as
a leading authority on Europe in the United
States. After serving as US Ambassador to
Germany in Bonn in 199394, he was
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe in
the Clinton Administration. He became well
known through his work as the US Balkan
representative and architect of the 1995
Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war
in Bosnia. Until early 2001, Holbrooke was
the US Ambassador to the United Nations.
He works today as an investment banker in
New York and is committed to several non-
prot organizations and causes, most notably
aid for refugees and the battle against AIDS.
As a young man, I was in Vietnam and
took part in the Paris Peace Talks. I
directed the Peace Corps in Morocco.
During the Yugoslavia conict, I saw
horric tragedies and negotiated directly
with Milosevic. At the United Nations, I
sat among dictators and charlatans. All
the wickedness I have seen should make
me a cynic, but I have not stopped dream-
ing. I dream of a world in which people
have more consideration for each others
problems and fears of a world in which
people are not satised so long as
inequality remains widespread. I dream
of seeing the gap between the rich and
the poor begin to close.
Instead of this, I see a world increasingly
divided into north and south, rich and
poor, developed and underdeveloped.
More and more people nd themselves
living in hopeless conditions. When I was
growing up, diseases like smallpox, polio,
and malaria were being eradicated. True,
smallpox has not returned, but polio and
malaria are not yet conquered, and tuber-
culosis has come back with a vengeance.
At a time of amazingly rapid medical
advances, how can general health condi-
tions be deteriorating so drastically?
It is a frightening surprise.
My father was a doctor, and he wanted
me to become a doctor too. He died when
I was a teenager. By that time I had long
since decided against a career in medi-
cine. But much later I realized that his
commitment to helping other people
had inuenced me profoundly. His intel-
lectual curiosity and his humanity always
inspired me. This is why I dream of a world
of suspended egotism and increased gen-
erosity. This can be realized with the help
of international organizations, govern-
ments, and humanitarian NGOs. Bill
Gatess immunization program is of
historic importance. His efforts to sup-
port the development of vaccines have
been exemplary. We need more dream-
ers like Gates, Ted Turner, and George
Soros. When I dream, I see rich people
spending less on jewelry and more on
humanitarian aid.
Virtually everyone is aware of these prob-
lems, but few are actively doing some-
thing to solve them. We sit around at
international conferences myself some-
times included drink good wine, smoke
cigars, and come to the conclusion that
nothing can be done.
For me, the so-called German-American
crisis is not a crisis but more like a family
quarrel. Rather than wring our hands,
Europe and North America should sit
down together and try to solve the wide-
spread problems in Africa, Asia, and Latin
America not to mention in the poor
neighborhoods in cities like New York
and Berlin. This is my biggest dream.
But it seems that the trends are heading
in the opposite direction. A lot of people
are ready to claim that these ideas are
unrealistic and nave the dreams of lib-
eral softies. To them, the world is nasty
and brutal, just as Hobbes described it.
There are articles and editorials out there
afrming that human beings are wicked
by nature and that war is the most nor-
mal thing in the world. I dont believe it.
I believe that the majority of humanity is
good. (Though there are some admittedly
awful types one has to deal with.) I had
a wonderful, successful time in govern-
ment service, and I am thankful for
what I was able to accomplish in Asia
and Europe, for refugees, and in the
ght against AIDS. In my dream, I get
another chance to serve the public and
make a difference.
I am not an artist, a poet, or an author.
I am practical even when dreaming.
Thats just the way I am. I always want to
determine which dream can be made a
reality. In my dream, the US remains the
leading power, using its power and wealth
to guide the world actively in the ght
against the problems on both sides of
terror. In my dream, the US leads, and
Europe is a partner. We argue less about
trade issues and instead seek a common
strategy for helping the worlds poor.
These poor countries would no longer
be enticed or bullied or misled by charla-
tans and liars like Mugabe in Zimbabwe,
Dos Santos in Angola, Saddam in Iraq,
or Khadda in Libya who have betrayed
and stolen from their own citizens.
In this dream world, people act rational-
ly, listening to truth instead of their emo-
tions. Religion would be a holy, private
matter not state-dictated or controlled,
as it is in Iran or the Balkans. This is no
simple fantasy of peace on earth and
brotherhood among all peoples. It is
not a dream based on empty rhetoric or
magic. Im still a pragmatist. War, dis-
ease, and poverty will not disappear.
Even a dreamer knows this. I dream
that we Americans will renew our
engagement, which was so incredibly
strong after World War II but has just
faded away in the last twenty years.
The evil in Europe was defeated, the
restructuring was moving forward, and
many people were better off than before.
But somewhere along the line, the
willingness to engage in the problems
of the world disappeared and was
replaced by a sort of social Darwinism.
The American optimism of the 1950s and
1960s is gone. In my dream, the problems
of the world, large and small, are solved
by leadership.Then I wake up, turn on the
television, and watch the morning news.
There is one dream I will never abandon:
that in the worlds biggest conict zones
the Balkans, the Middle East, Cyprus,
and Kashmir each side will eventually
acknowledge that the other side has a
point. The total victory of one side over
the other is impossible. Only when both
sides nd a way to live with each other
will the people begin to realize their poten-
tial. This potential has, for political rea-
sons, been denied to entire generations. I
dream that these deep ethnic, religious,
and national differences can be bridged
through understanding, and that differ-
ing views can be taken into account. Even
if we are not convinced of one another,
Lets agree to disagree.
By the way, one of my dreams has become a
reality: the American Academy on Berlins
lake Wannsee. After ve successful years,
the Academy has come into own. It is a
dream come true a durable institution
aimed at deepening the American under-
standing of Germany and the Germans,
supported by people on both sides of the
Atlantic, like Henry Kissinger and Richard
von Weizscker. o
When a Diplomat Dreams
Richard Holbrookes Pragmatic Vision
The Berl i n Journal 31
Text by Christine Brinck
Photography: Tim Petersen
Die Zeit-Leben
February 13, 2003
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 31
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:02 Uhr Seite 32
The Berl i n Journal 33
An American Music Critic in Berlin
Alex Ross, 34, writes for a culture in which classical
music is relatively marginal. Serious music, subsi-
dized so generously in Germany, must struggle in
America to pull in private sources of funding. As
Ross said in an interview, it is not part of mainstream-
culture in America. We have to ght, just
to keep it from dying out.
Ross began to listen to classical music early on.
He had his own radio show as a college student at
Harvard, published his rst music criticism in the
New York Times in the early 1990s, and joined the
staff of the New Yorker in 1996. For that famous mag-
azine he has written on rock musicians, too like Bob
Dylan and Radiohead. Even his articles on serious
music are noticeably relaxed; here he calls Vivaldi
the favored composer of coffee bars; there he devotes
himself to describing the shift in musical tastes
inspired by September 11. The New Yorker pieces are
methodical and non-aggressive. Like the other pieces
in the magazine, they are written for intelligent read-
ers but never assume a specialized knowledge of
music, art history, or science.
That is where the New Yorker diverges from our own
Feuilletons, with their fondness for intimidating
readers with erudite ballast. Alex Ross takes in this
difference with equanimity, pointing out that
Germans and Americans have different ways of
debating new music, too.
From an article by Christiane Tewinkel
Die Tageszeitung
November 12, 2002.
Since his death in 1992, Olivier Messiaen has
come to be seen as a towering gure not only in
twentieth-century music but in the history of music
as a whole. Like Bach, he was a navigator of the fur-
thest realms of the human spirit. In his opera Saint
Franois dAssise, a musician angel says to the saint,
God dazzles us by an excess of truth. Music leads
us to God in default of truth. Messiaens own music
is a demonstration of this dictum.
Kent Nagano is the worlds leading conductor of
the music of Messiaen. Since 2000 he has been the
chief conductor and artistic director of the
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He is also
the principal conductor of the Los Angeles Opera,
and for more than twenty years he has led the
Berkeley Symphony in his native state of California.
From 1989 to 1999 he was the general music director
of the Opra National de Lyon; from 1991 to 2000 he
led the Hall Orchestra in Manchester, England.
And from the 200607 season on, he will be general
music director of the Bavarian State Opera and
Orchestra in Munich. He has also made signicant
appearances withthe BerlinPhilharmonic, the
Vienna Philharmonic, and other orchestras around
the world. For such labels as Virgin, Erato, Teldec,
and Deutsche Grammophon, he has recorded music
of Busoni, Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten, Francis
Poulenc, and John Adams, among many others.
These projects have broadened and deepened our
knowledge of the twentieth-century repertory. His
traversal of Saint Franois is one of the few absolutely
essential recordings of recent years.
On October 10, 2002, Nagano led the Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester in a rare performance of
Messiaens La Transguration de Notre-Seigneur Jsus
Christ. Divided into 14 movements, the work is a
liturgy in itself, embracing furious, joyous disso-
nance, riots of bird song, episodes resembling a sort
of celestial jazz, all leading toward monumental
assertions of the purest major-key tonality. In a way,
it is not only the gure of Christ that is transgured
in this work, but also the language of music.
Two days before the performance, I had the
honor of interviewing Kent Nagano before an audi-
ence at the American Academy in Berlin. What fol-
lows is a transcript of our conversation.
Memoir of Messiaen
An Interview with Maestro Kent Nagano
By Alex Ross
Photography: Foto25
AR: Maestro Nagano, less than an hour ago you were
rehearsing the Transguration with the Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. It is a mighty ritual
piece for orchestra, virtuoso chorus, and seven
instrumental soloists, an hour and a half long. Lets
begin here, on one of the summits of Messiaens
magnicent oeuvre. Where does this work stand in
his output, and what does it mean to you?
KN: La Transguration has a special meaning for me
because it was through this piece that I rst met
Messiaen. Those of us who are heavily involved with
his music tend to regard it as his rst indisputable
masterpiece. Messiaen had several periods of com-
position during his life. He had a great moment of
self-discovery while he was being held at the
German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag VIIIA during
World War Two; there he wrote the radical and
beautiful Quartet for the End of Time. In the 1950s, he
began exploring Greek rhythms, Indian rhythms,
and, above all, birdsong. That opened the doorway
into the 1960s where he took his kaleidoscopic
structures much further than before. In a way, La
Transguration was the synthesis of all of this lan-
guage, or syntax. It is a sophisticated, profound,
spiritual work, and the spirituality of the piece can
only resonate if everything within the structure and
the form is well balanced.
When I began my studies and this may seem a
little bit difcult to believe I had a serious problem
with contemporary music. I could not nd any rap-
port with it. I was living in Boston at the time, work-
ing at the opera company, and since I was not very
well paid, traditional forms of entertainment were
simply out of the question for me. So I spent my
hours in the public library. But the
public library, fortunately, had the
complete works of Messiaen. The
rst piece that I took out was one of
the volumes of the Catalogue
dOiseaux, that great, huge compila-
tion of studies of birdsong. It was
endishly difcult to play. I was
embarrassed to nd that I couldnt even read it. I
was working on La Traviata at the time, and to open
up this musical book of birds to use a California
expression blew my mind. I decided, in a very
stubborn way, that I would play the entire Catalogue
from note one until the end just because it was so
difcult. And when I got to the end it was clear to
me what an incredible composer Messiaen was.
Later, when I was conducting the Berkeley
Symphony, I decided to do a cycle of his pieces and
included La Transguration in the cycle. That was
how I came to Messiaens music in the most
difcult, slowest way possible.
AR: You sent Messiaen a recording of one of the
KN: What happened was this. I read as much as I
could and analyzed all the pieces, but I felt some-
thing was missing. I looked for somebody who
could teach me more. That search took me to gradu-
ate schools in Toronto, professors in Boston, profes-
sors in Los Angeles, professors in San Francisco. No
one could help me. They could tell me things I
already knew, but they could not help me with the
essential question, which was, What is the style of
Messiaen? So out of frustration I took a broadcast
tape, put it in an envelope, and mailed it to Matre
Olivier Messiaen, Conservatoire de Paris, Paris,
Airmail. In the little packet I put a note saying: Dear
Matre Messiaen, you dont know who I am, but my
name is Kent Nagano. I live in San Francisco. I
asked him to please be so kind as to give me a few
criticisms as we embark on a cycle of his works. You
can imagine my surprise that I got not only a
response, but a ve-page, single-spaced, typewritten
letter containing pages and pages of criticisms. I
took it all very much to heart. The rst piece on the
tape was Pomes Pour Mi, and the rst thing
Messiaen said was, In the last movement youre
going twice too slow. A small oversight. I was using
an old edition.
That was how our overseas correspondence
began. When I nished each work in the cycle I
would send him a broadcast tape. He would listen to
it and send back comments, and over time the sheets
of criticism began to diminish. After sending [a
recording of his] Turangalla-symphonie, I got back a
hand-written note that said, Theres nothing to criti-
cize. I cant criticize you. Its a wonderful perform-
ance. Im sure, however, that if I were to observe you
working live, I could offer you more guidance. He
added, By the way, you might consider using my wife
as soloist. Shes not so bad. With the help of the
French Embassy, we invited Messiaen and Yvonne
Loriod [his wife] to San Francisco to help perform La
Transguration. The orchestra was well prepared, but
the chorus was completely amateur, since our budget
did not allow for a professional choir. I knew I was in
trouble when the chorus master told the singers,
Dont worry about the pitch. The tam-tam will give
it to you. They couldnt get through two bars with-
out having what we call in the music business a train
wreck. I called extra piano rehearsals and conducted
them myself. Then Messiaen showed up, expecting
to see his new friend Kent Nagano with his brilliant
orchestra and his brilliant choir. We went through
one of the numbers and, sure enough, after three
bars, train wreck. Another couple of bars, major dis-
aster. We nally limped through the whole
movement and I looked at Messiaen. He was
very quiet, staring at his music. Eventually, he
said, Well, maybe we should go on. Somehow
his presence was such a serious, fear-generating
factor that the choir became quite animated
and demanded more rehearsal time from their
conductor. Within three days they learned the
34 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
One of the chords, I remember,
was lime green with white,
whipped-cream-like splotches,
in a general hue of orange.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:03 Uhr Seite 34
piece. I didnt think it was possible. The perform-
ance was part of the inaugural season of Davies Hall
in San Francisco, which only added to the pressure.
But it turned out to be one of those transgurative
performances, and the choir found inspiration from
who knows where. I think Messiaen knew where. He
went home and wrote a small book about the
transguration of the chorus in San Francisco. A
month later he spoke with the Opra de Paris and
asked that I be invited to work on Saint Franois, in
advance of the world premiere in 1983.
AR: How do you go about communicating Messiaens
mentality to a group of musicians who may be unfa-
miliar with his music?
KN: I never say too much about the content of the
music. Musicians are extraordinary people, and
professional musicians are even more extraordi-
nary. They are able to articulate with their instru-
ments the most abstract concepts at the highest
level. The sensitivity of a professional musician is so
keen, so very much alive, that he doesnt really need
to be told that a work is of such tremendous value or
that it has so much depth. Usually, I just help an
orchestra or choir appreciate the music as it is writ-
ten on the page. I may explain a little bit about the
text. La Transguration is in Latin, for example, and
not everyone speaks Latin. Sometimes, Ill explain
structurally why Im doing a certain transition from
one passage to another. But, primarily, I try just to
get the orchestra and the choir to get to know the
music as it really should sound. For there is a dis-
tinct danger with Messiaens work if you play it out
of style it can take on horric qualities. It has a
strong emotional content, but emotion alone doesnt
help the piece stand on its feet. You must nd a bal-
ance: some physical reality, some spiritual reality,
some intellectual reality, some emotional reality.
With all this in balance, the piece can resonate on its
own. My task is to introduce it to the orchestra in
the proper way so that they will understand it and
fall in love with it. This has never failed to happen.
AR: When you talk about the danger of the music
being played in the wrong way, I think about those
shockingly simple chords that might sound saccha-
rine if played too amboyantly. He loved, for example,
the triad with that added sixth, which appears so
often in popular music. And it occurs to me that
Messiaen also uses formidable dissonances, and per-
haps the trick is to play them as if they are sweet tri-
ads. In Messiaen, dissonances can be joy and familiar
harmonies can have an almost terrifying effect.
KN: Yes. Youre absolutely right. I remember that
Messiaen once gave a master class in which he frus-
trated everyone with his very simple, straightfor-
ward answers. If he didnt know the answer to a
question, he would say, I dont know. And that
drove everyone crazy. At one point, he was explain-
ing a new compositional technique that he had
found in Saint Franois dAssise. In a certain passage,
the string players were asked to play a pizzicato with
their left hand. Another time they were asked to
play on the other side of the bridge of the stringed
instrument. One of the students said, Matre, this
has been going on for years. You are so nave.
Messiaen answered, Yes, its true, I have spent my
whole life working hard to stay nave. That was such
a wonderful answer, because if you lose your inno-
cence or the good sense of naivet, you succumb to
cynicism. So, yes, these chords are simple, and if
you violate them by using the wrong kind of rubato
or by overplaying, you cant really hear what the
harmonies are. The composer and conductor Pierre
Boulez, in his student days, published an article
denouncing the Turangalla-symphonie as nothing
better than bordello music.
And if Turangalla-symphonie
is really played over the
top, without true feeling for
the style, it does sound like
bordello music.
AR: Not wanting to give in
to cynicism or to invite
scurrilous gossip, I have to ask whether there were
moments when you saw some other side of his charac-
ter, beyond the saintly, naive faade that we know.
KN: I didnt mean to imply that he was saintly at all.
He was a very accomplished sinner, like the rest of us.
I have favorite story about this. Friday dinners were
always special because the Messiaen house was very
devout. One evening I thought Id surprise Madame
and Matre Messiaen with one of their favorite tarts.
I knew that Messiaen was particularly fond of pear,
but when I got to the bakery it was a bit too late and
all of the normal-sized tarts had been sold. All that
was left was a tart about the size of a pizza pan. I took
it, and brought it to the apartment, and Yvonne said,
Oh, Kent! Arent you nice! In fact, I bought a tart,
too. I offered to go back to the bakery and exchange
it for something else. She answered, No, no. Well
eat both of them. I thought she was just being polite
that wed take a little sliver of her apricot tart and a
little sliver of my pear tart and have a sort of tart tast-
ing. But after dinner, Yvonne proudly announced the
arrival of the two tarts, and Messiaens eyes got very
big, very bright. Lets eat them, he said. The three of
us ate two entire tarts. That was not too saintly.
Serious overindulgence! He was quite a normal
person, actually. I learned my French from him. He
was very much like an uncle or a father gure. He was
very human.
AR: Well, if the oversized pear tart was the extent of
his sinning
KN: As I said, I learned French from him, and that
includes some bad words, too!
The Berl i n Journal 35
Messiaen was very, very private,
particularly with spiritual
thoughts, spiritual revelations,
spiritual references.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:03 Uhr Seite 35
AR: Lets delve further into the spiritual side of the
equation, the belief system behind Messiaens music.
In my introduction I quoted what the Angel says in
Tableau 5 of Saint Franois: God dazzles us with an
excess of truth. Music takes us to God in default of
truth. [Dieu nous blouit par excs de vrit. La
musique nous porte Dieu par dfaut de vrit.] It
feels almost like a motto for Messiaens career. It
occurs at that inexpressibly magical moment in the
score, just before the three Ondes martenot [key-
board instruments] trace out their melody over a C-
major triad in the strings. Could you possibly put into
words what that line meant for Messiaen and what it
means for his music?
KN: Dramatically it makes a lot of sense. Franois
feels this tremendous conict. Hes been confronted
with awful trials and yet somehow he gravely doubts
whether or not the path that he has chosen to follow
is leading him in the way God wanted for him. So
when the angel plays this music, he offers a handle
for Franois to be able to go on and learn how to
speak with the birds in Tableau 6. This moment had
a direct reection, I think, in Messiaens own life.
During the whole rehearsal period of Saint Franois,
he would often get quite melancholy, almost
depressed. He would say, This is my last work. Im
not going to write after this piece. My lifes state-
ment has been done. He said it in such a way that he
seemed to be referring to the end of his life. You
have to recall that I was a true Californian at that
time, so I tried to lighten up the situation by saying,
Cmon, Olivier. It cant be that bad. He didnt nd
this amusing at all. He said, No, no. Im serious. I
feel something is happening. Ill tell you honestly,
Kent. If I live long enough to hear the rst orchestra
rehearsal, Ill be happy. So I said, Olivier, of course
youre going to live long enough to hear
the rst rehearsal. Three months later, the
rst orchestra rehearsal happened, and he
was ne. I breathed a tremendous sigh of
relief. But that night after the rst rehears-
al Olivier was again depressed and said,
You know, I just wish I could see a rehearsal on
stage. Then Ill be happy. And so on, through the
rst stage rehearsal, the rst orchestral rehearsal,
the rst performance. All the time he thought he
could not go on. It was almost as if his feelings were
so strong that he was waiting for something cata-
clysmic to happen. But it was not the end. He
emerged in remarkably good health. He was in
extraordinary shape, renewed by the experience.
He had gone through a trial of his creative soul.
Afterward, we waited and waited for something
new. I was very close to Messiaens student George
Benjamin, and we would call each other regularly,
once a week, to see what was going on. Nothing, no
news, no new pieces. Only ten years later did the
huge nal piece for orchestra, Eclairs sur lau-del,
emerge. Out of the blue, Messiaen called me and
said, I just wanted to let you know that just last
night I completed my new piece. I was overjoyed
and also furious. I called Benjamin and said,
George, why didnt you tell me Messiaen was writ-
ing a new piece? And George replied, I just got a
call last night, too. I didnt know about it. He was
furious, too. He demanded to speak with Yvonne
Loriod and said, Yvonne, why didnt you tell me
that Maitre Messiaen was writing a new piece?
And Yvonne said, I didnt know either.
Messiaen was very, very private, particularly
with spiritual thoughts, spiritual revelations, spiri-
tual references. He had a private set of rooms where
he worked. The Messiaens lived in an apartment
house in an unbelievably unfashionable part of
Paris. At rst, Messiaen had only been able to buy
a one-room apartment. Then, as his fortunes
changed, rather than move, he simply bought more
apartments. So, by the time I got there he had six
one-room apartments put together. I remember that
to take a bath you had to go out into the public corri-
dor and walk down it to another apartment that had
a bathroom and walk back down through the hall-
way to one of the other apartments. He had two
more apartments upstairs. One was his composition
room and the other room was his organ room,
where he practiced. Neither I nor Yvonne were ever
allowed into those rooms. No one was allowed into
the rooms.
Im not sure what exactly took place in those lit-
tle rooms upstairs, but what came out of them was
nal. He never, in all the years that I knew him,
changed his scores. I recall that during the prepara-
tion of Saint Franois dAssise a clarinetist had a t
during rehearsal. This is unplayable, he said. He
stood up and started waving his arms around, shout-
ing that the music was nonsense, that the composer
did not know how to write for the instrument, that he
could not stand for this. Messiaen went up to the
stage, and the clarinetist, still red in the face, still very
agitated, said to him, Cher Matre, Im sorry, but
clearly you do not play the clarinet. You have written
things that we cannot play. Messiaen said, Im terri-
bly sorry, but I thought if you put your third nger
there and your fourth nger there and blew a little
higher so the rst overtone would come out, it would
produce this note. And, of course, out came the note.
Messiaen looked relieved not so much that the
clarinetist had been put in his place, but because he
didnt have to change his score. He had written the
right note at the right time.
AR: Did you visit the rooms after his death?
KN: No, never, I felt it was inappropriate. Yvonne
went in, after his death, and discovered the manu-
scripts and sketches from which the
Concert Quatre was assembled.
Question from audience: Many years ago
at a festival I spent most of the afternoon
in conversation with Messiaen. My imp-
36 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
Curiously enough, he also spoke
often about Wagner, whom he
absolutely, passionately loved.
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:03 Uhr Seite 36
ression was that he belonged to a tiny percentage of
humankind aficted or blessed with the condition
known as synesthesia. The person who has this auto-
matically sees colors when hearing music. In the time
that you spent with him did he ever talk about this?
KN: Yes. I remember before we met, when I was
looking at his commentaries on his music, I read
with a certain combination of astonishment and
horror his description of what chords meant in
terms of color. One of the chords, I remember, was
lime green with white, whipped-cream-like splotch-
es, in a general hue of orange. This is a really nine-
teen-seventies moment if you think about it. I didnt
know what to make of it at the time. This condition
of associating sound and color is a fairly widespread
one, but in a much milder form. Most musicians
have it in some degree. When I think of D Major, its
basically cream colored. F Major is a kind of dark
yellow. The key of A Major is a deep-hued cross
between black and purple. B Major is obviously
navy blue. For Messiaen, all I can say is that boy
when I walked into his house and I saw the color
scheme for the rst time, I was really, really amazed.
As we worked on Franois together at the piano, Id
ask, Are there any hidden colors that I should try to
play? And he said, Yes, there are. But he said that
he didnt expect other people to play the music in,
say, a lime-green way. He just wanted to share what
colors that he had in mind so that people could have
the general idea of a brilliant painting as they lis-
tened to the music. People have written, rather
meanly, about the clothing that Messiaen wore. He
had a very special way of dressing. He loved loud
colors. His favorite shirts were paisley, primarily
orange or baby blue. Over these shirts he would
wear a plain gray suit and a plain tie. But the shirts
were to die for.
Question: What was his relationship with or attitude
toward Schoenberg and Stravinsky?
KN: He was aware of Schoenberg, of course, but he
didnt feel a particular closeness to him.
AR: He said, I think, that Schoenberg sounded gray.
KN: He felt much closer to Berg. Curiously enough,
he also spoke often about Wagner, whom he absolute-
ly, passionately loved. He attacked Stravinsky
aggressively in this youth, but, later, he would only
speak politely about him. He was not one to hand
out stern judgments. He was quite humble about his
gifts. He would speak with admiration of composers
or conductors or musicians who could hear things
he couldnt. He said of Boulez: He is greater than I
will ever be, and he is greater than most of the world
will see. He was ercely insistent, however, that per-
formances of his music remain true to his inspira-
tion. For example, I was under tremendous pressure
to cut Saint Franois before the premiere. I was
taken out to dinner by authorities from the Opra,
who said, Please, Kent. Youre a pal of Messiaen.
Get him to cut about 45 minutes. I said I would
mention it, though I didnt see how it could possibly
be cut, since its dimensions are perfect. Messiaen
was furious, of course. He would not hear of it and
said that if they cut the opera he would withdraw.
Question: How do you approach the religious question
of Messiaen? Few other composers I can think of that
are so saturated with Catholic mysticism in their
music. To me that is often an alienating aspect. It is
just so foreign to my own experience and sense of
spirituality. How does that play a role for you as an
KN: As I mentioned before, Messiaen was often
asked that question. It is a legitimate
question because he was so
demonstrative about his religion.
He wrote religious quotations as
title headings for every movement.
But, again, his answer was that the
beliefs that he cited were personal
ones, that they gave him the inspi-
ration to write the work. Inter-
preters are expected to invest them-
selves in an honest way and bring
their own experiences to bear. To subscribe to a par-
ticular religious doctrine has no importance at all.
Once, when we were discussing a religious quotation
in Des Canyons aux toiles, Messiaen asked me, Are
you religious? I said, Im a Presbyterian. And he
asked, Whats that? I explained that it derived from
the Church of Scotland. He said, So you belong to
the Church of Scotland? I said, No, no. Its a
Protestant denomination, like Methodist or
Lutheran. And he said, Oh! Youre a Protestant.
He nodded, and we went on talking about the music.
He could not possibly have been less dogmatic on the
AR: Thank you so much, Kent Nagano, for making your
way out to Wannsee after a long day of rehearsal. o
The Berl i n Journal 37
The angel in Saint Franois says,
God dazzles us by an excess
of truth. Music leads us to God
in default of truth. Messiaens
music demonstrates this.
By Reinhard Meier
This text is drawn from an interview
published in the Neue Zrcher Zeitung on
March 17, 2003.
Professor Stern, you live in New York
and are at the same time very familiar
with Europe. In your opinion, what are
the fundamental differences in public
opinion on either side of the Atlantic
regarding the Iraq conict?
First of all, there is no such a thing as a
uniform America. A broad spectrum of
opinions and differences with relation to
the politics over Iraq is discernible in the
United States, too. And recently these dif-
ferences appear to be deepening. I get the
impression that opinions in Europe are
also sharply divided but simultaneously
vacillating. I recently had a discussion in
France with an old friend a man with an
extensive grasp of politics. He has come
out decidedly in favor of Bushs Iraq poli-
tics, whereas most of the French have
expressed quite a different opinion.
What do you think is Bushs most impor-
tant motive for pursuing this war?
I believe his fundamental philosophy is
his profound conviction in Americas
unrivaled power. Bush separates the
world very denitively into Good and
Evil, which is related to his oft accentuat-
ed religious background. He is convinced
that it is his duty to dispossess evil of
power. But the notion linked to this
conviction that the war against Iraq
will change the entire Middle East for
the better and will pave the way for wide-
spread democratic development is
hardly realistic.
Had George H.W. Bush been president
after September 11, 2001, do you believe
that he would have pursued a different
policy toward Iraq? Even if the elimina-
tion of the Saddam Hussein regime were
one of his priorities, would he handle
it differently?
The generational difference undoubtedly
plays a role here. Bush Sr. grew up in a
different America and he had already
had his own foreign policy experiences
before becoming president. I am con-
vinced that had he been in the situation
that we see today, Bush Sr. would have
acted quite differently.
What we are now experiencing is the
complete failure of diplomacy and the
disregard for diplomatic customs and tra-
ditions. Bush Sr. was much more adept at
forming coalitions. More importantly, he
was convinced of the necessity of actively
forging coalitions. Bush Jr. and several of
his closest associates tend to believe that
America can better and more efciently
look after its interests by means of unilat-
eral action.
Does it surprise you that the disagree-
ment over the Iraq question between
Germany and France on the one hand
and the US on the other hand is currently
being carried out in public so brusquely
and obstinately?
First of all, I would like to make a person-
al observation. For my entire adult life
for personal and professional reasons, as
well as for reasons or realpolitik I have
always hoped that the transatlantic rela-
tionship would prove its mettle, and that
it would truly represent values that must
be defended. There have always been
crises in this relationship. But I believe
the current crisis is something funda-
mentally different it is much more pro-
found. And what worries me is that it
seems to be intensifying and hardening
with each passing day.
Was it wise of Chancellor Schrder
to come out so prematurely and so
emphatically against any form of
German participation in a military
intervention in Iraq, regardless of a
UN resolution backing action?
No. This is yet another example of the
failure of the diplomatic craft. Schrder
also spoke of a deutscher Weg in the
election campaign last fall. Perhaps it was
tactically successful with regards to the
election, but in principle it was a great
mistake. One of the basic rules of diplo-
macy is that one should never unneces-
sarily close a door for good. Nonetheless,
I do not believe that Schrders observa-
tion at the time was meant to indicate a
fundamentally new direction. There can-
not be a constructive German way. Only
a European one.
The term anti-Americanism has
appeared again and again in the contro-
versy over Iraq. Is anti-Americanism in
Europe stronger today than it has been
in previous decades?
In a certain sense, yes. There is an histori-
cal anti-Americanism, which I studied,
for example, in Jacob Burckhardt. One
can see that a general prejudice was
already projected upon America in the
nineteenth century America as the
embodiment of the purely materialistic
ambition, the uncultured mass society.
This is a critical prejudice that is com-
pletely missing from Tocqueville.
Tocqueville had already understood
America to be the country of the future,
the epitome of modernity. I consider
Tocqueville to be one of the greatest
historians. He clearly recognized the
fundamental signicance of the
American development for the rest of
the world, with both its strengths and
its weaknesses.
But in speaking of the prejudices and
the criticism of America in part well-
founded, in part unintelligent one can-
not overlook the fact that such criticism
is also articulated in America itself. The
US has always excelled in self-criticism,
which is a great credit to it. Therefore one
should not categorize every criticism in
Europe as anti-Americanism. I am critical
of the politics of the Bush Administration
today because I am concerned that in the
transatlantic relationship, much of what
has been built up over the last fty years
is being gambled away. To say nothing
of the American traditions in domestic
politics. But that certainly is not an anti-
American position.
In making the case for an intervention
in Iraq, President Bush has argued that
functioning democracies developed
after military occupation in both
Germany and Japan. Why cant this
model succeed in Iraq?
I consider this absurd, a typical example
of ahistorical comparisons. After all, in
Germany there was something of a demo-
cratic tradition upon which one could
build a democratic society after the war
in the territory occupied by the Western
powers. I see no such tradition in Iraq.
One must also take into consideration
that between 1945 and 1949 about half a
million American soldiers were stationed
in Germany in rotation. Does the Bush
Administration believe that 500,000
American soldiers or even 300,000
should stay in Iraq for ve years? An even
more essential issue is how the Muslim
world and the Middle East would react if
a large American military force were to
establish itself in Iraq. Surely this would
arouse heavy opposition and resentment.
Let us return to historical comparisons.
In the debate over Iraq, parallels are
also frequently made with the appease-
ment politics of the 1930s. How do you
view this correlation?
In Munich, a signicant portion of anoth-
er country was ceded to an aggressive
conqueror and dictator. Czechoslovakia
was betrayed. And Hitler was tremen-
dously strengthened in the process.
It was a capitulation. The situation in
Iraq is different. The comparison with
Munich would only be appropriate if
opponents of war argued, for example,
that one should relinquish Kuwait to
Saddam to pacify him. But no one is mak-
ing this argument. The comparison with
Munich is yet another political misappro-
priation of history.
Nevertheless, in 1936, before the
betrayal of Munich, the Germans did
march into the de-militarized Rhineland.
At this moment the Western powers
should have immediately offered resist-
ance to Hitler. But at the time there was
a widespread illusion that this augmenta-
tion of power was, after all, within
Germany itself.
In light of the deteriorating situation,
why doesnt Bush invite Schrder,
Chirac, Blair, and Putin, as well as the
Chinese, to Washington to continue to
try to nd a consensus in the Iraq con-
troversy with direct talks? Is this idea
so far-fetched?
Unfortunately heads of state rarely dis-
cuss the situation all together, preferring
to talk two at a time. Today the positions
are already far too inexible. And if one
differentiates so radically between Good
and Evil, as Bush does in the case of Iraq,
then there are hardly possibilities for
such a conference at the last minute.
On the other hand, Chiracs recent
condescending remarks about Eastern
Europe belong to the incomprehensible
mistakes that have been made in Europe.
They are unfathomable. I get the impres-
sion that over the last several months,
political irrationality has not only
increased tremendously, it has become
Translated by Daniel Huyssen
38 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
On Realpolitik and the Misuse of History
An Interview with Fritz Stern
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:03 Uhr Seite 38
As an international strategic advisor and investment bank, Lazard places great value on
cross-border dialogue. Supporting the transatlantic partnership through the exchange of
intellectual ideas plays a particularly important role for us in this regard.
New York London Paris Berlin Bombay Cairo Chicago Frankfurt Hamburg Hong Kong Los Angeles
Madrid Milan Montreal New Delhi Rome San Francisco Seoul Singapore Stockholm Sydney Tokyo
Lazard & Co. GmbH
Ulmenstrasse 3739
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 17 0073 0
Fax: +49 (0) 69 17 00 73 10
Lazard & Co. GmbH
Pariser Platz 4a
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 72 61 0190
Fax: +49 (0) 3072 61 01 910
30218_AmAcad_S22_39_AK 11.07.2003 10:03 Uhr Seite 39
The Commodity Curse
The Tyranny of Wealth and the Wealth of Tyrants
By Amity Shlaes
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 40
WHAT DO VENEZUELA, Sierra Leone, and Iraq have in common? One
answer of course, is that they each, in their way, represent an internation-
al threat. Sierra Leone is mostly a potential threat. Venezuela is already
palpable trouble, a source of instability in its region. Iraq has been high-
grade danger, simple and outright.
But the three also share something else. They all suffer from
what we will call the commodity curse. They are rich in a commodity
oil in two cases, diamonds in one and that fact has hurt them, not
helped them.
The thesis of the commodity curse says that commodity wealth is
different from other wealth, different in a way that makes it politically
destabilizing. One might go on to say that natural resources generally are
the curse of the less developed world, retarding the rise of democracy and
the pursuit of prosperity.
In Venezuelas case, we often hear that the current standoff
between striking citizens and the Chavez government is about whether
citizens believe in free markets or not. But the conflict is not really about
that. The ght is really, to a great degree, about damage wrought to the
economy through state control of the nations oil.
Sierra Leones diamond mines have caused enormous trouble.
They became the centerpiece of a domestic war one that eventually
pulled in Liberias undemocratic leader, Charles Taylor. Now the US state
department is investigating whether millions of dollars worth of dia-
monds from Sierra Leone were sold to an entity Al Qaeda that badly
needs untraceable, tradable, goods to trafc in.
Then there is Iraq and its context: the Middle East. Radical Islam is
usually blamed for the regions instability. But there is another, more
obvious, fuel powering dictators and terrorists: oil. Without the existence
of state-owned oil, Osama bin Ladens family in Saudi Arabia would have
found it harder to become rich and he could not have funded Al Qaeda.
Without state-owned oil, the Iranian regime could not nurture radical
Islam. Without oil or oil cash, sheiks, mullahs and warlords would have
less power. Without oil, Saddams peculiarly brutal regime in Iraq would
not have the cash to fund its weapons programs.
The idea of a commodity curse ts very well on the political left
the classic argument and caricature being that the nasty imperialist
power exploits the poor third world for its rubber, cotton, or gold. The
commodity curse thesis does not, however, t comfortably into standard
development economics, which holds that any form of wealth gives a
nation something to trade, yielding prosperity. Modern mainstream
economists have generally tolerated as a lesser evil the idea of govern-
ments owning or controlling those resources, at least for a while. After all,
according to the reasoning, the state must be a better custodian of this
public good than a nasty warlord or an empires colonel. Natural
resources are supposed to be good for countries, and not necessarily cor-
rupting. And certainly that has been true in some democracies, where
other forms of wealth were around to compete with the states commodi-
ty wealth or with private holdings. Norways state-owned oil reserves
may not have helped the country as much as was once imagined they
would, but they have not ruined the country either.
Western economists and free marketeers ought to reevaluate their
thinking. For in places that do not yet have democracy or a culture of
The Berl i n Journal 41

30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 41
private property, natural resources can indeed be a curse. That is not,
however, because of pressure or exploitation by foreign governments or
companies. It is because natural resources lend themselves to monopolies
and therefore exploitation from within. After all, whoever captures con-
trol of the oil eld or the diamond mine in an otherwise poor nation
also captures the nation. The glitter of commodity wealth is so great that
it is near impossible for any citizen to see beyond it. Comity disintegrates,
civility disappears; life degenerates into a bitter scramble for a share of
the treasure.
In colonial times, it was easy to know whom to blame for such trou-
ble: the colonizer, the man who sat beside the gold mine, or the oil eld,
with his gun. The fact that he was a European, and his poor subjects
native Africans, Indians, Arabs, or Asians, seemed to be the source of the
injustice. Put the commodity in the hands of the local people, the argu-
ment went. A man would not exploit his fellows.
But this has turned out not to be
the case. In dozens of countries, socialists
and nationalists politicians and
colonels alike seized the valuable treas-
ure in the name of the people. And they
did not prove any better at managing the
It emerged that idealists schooled
in Paris or at Londons School of Eco-
nomics were just as susceptible to cor-
ruption as the worst colonial mercenar-
ies. Natural resources got in the way of
postcolonial progress. That is because
the prize of diamonds or oil is so valuable
that it corrupts governments who control
it. Their treasure is so valuable that they,
those who have won it, will do just about
anything to protect it. They will continue
the case for the necessity of state social-
ism, even when economics have shown that the private sector is more
efcient. They will form cartels, such as the opec, the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries, in an effort to sustain their treasures
value. (It is telling that the country by country descriptions posted on
opecs website include a category that applies to all opec members:
national oil company.) In effect, the possession of commodity power
helps convert a democratic anti-colonialist into an autocratic warlord.
One can make a solid argument, as has the Nobel-prize winning
economist Ronald Coase, that things would be far better if private busi-
nesses controlled the resources but only if those private businesses are
not allied with governments. This, however, is almost never the case, for
leaders of commodity-rich states are notoriously reluctant to give up their
commodity treasure or, indeed, to give up power at all. As Bassam Tibi
of the University of Gttingen has pointed out, one can count how many
leaders of nations in the oil-rich Middle East have voluntarily left their
jobs when their terms were up: none. The soft commodity lords will
take soft measures to preserve their power. These include rejecting
denationalization, or using cash from commodity sales to sustain a lavish
state and postpone needed reform. The hard commodity lords will use
their power to oppress their citizens, denying them freedom, the chance
to export, good schools. The idea here is to prevent the development of
any competing form of private sector wealth within their countries
borders. A worker who thinks that the only wealth in his country comes
from the oil mine or the diamond mine will not write software.
The American hemisphere has seen its share of the commodity
curse. To understand this, one need only take account of Venezuelas cur-
rent crisis and troubled past. The Venezuelan Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo,
one of opecs founders, became so disillusioned with his life that in his
later years he called oil the excrement of the devil.
But as energy expert Daniel Yergin reminds us in his documentary
lm Commanding Heights, the Soviet Union and its successor states also
provide a wonderful example of the problem with commodities. Back in
the 1960s it looked as if the Soviet economy would weaken. Then two mir-
acles occurred. The rst, Yergin notes,
was the discovery of vast new oil reserves
in West Siberia. The second was the
quadrupling of oil prices in the 1970s.
The cash that resulted added decades of
life to a sclerotic regime. Yergin cites
statesman Yegor Gaidar on oil: It creat-
ed the ability not to think about the cri-
sis for a decade and a half. Then of
course, when oil prices dropped, the
Soviet Union was hurt fatally. The
Soviet system had many weaknesses,
says Yergin, but reliance on oil and
commodity prices proved to be among
its deadliest vulnerabilities.
Going back a little farther in its
history, it may be argued that America
experienced its own version of the com-
modity curse. Through the institution of
slavery, Southern plantation owners monopolized agricultural commodi-
ty wealth. This smothered individual enterprise (to say the least). As
Alexis de Tocqueville noted, on the right bank of the Ohio everything is
activity, industry, labor is honored. Pass to the left bank and the enter-
prising spirit is gone. There, work is not only painful; it is shameful.
Can we go so far as to argue that the absence of commodities is a
blessing? Governments of countries that do not have an obvious hoard to
sustain them have to hunt for other sources of revenue; they must tax
labor. Their interest is therefore in creating a freer environment in which
individuals feel they have something to gain by developing other forms of
capital. Nowadays, especially, this takes the form of brainpower.
Resourceless Hong Kong, for example a piece of rock surrounded by
water had to become an attractive low-cost port city. No other use was
available to it. It is no accident that Israel, with little more than Dead Sea
salt to sell, has turned out to be the Middle Easts only democracy.
This brings us back to the problems of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and
instability in the Middle East in general. The commodity curse thesis
does a lot to explain why so many Middle Easterners do not seem eager to
42 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003

Natural resources
are the curse of
the less developed
world, retarding the
rise of democracy and
the pursuit of
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 42
hammer swords into ploughshares, or trade in Kalashnikovs for
Windows XP. Subjects of Saudi Arabia or the youth in Iran have little
hope of collecting huge material rewards from their own labor in their
own lifetime. They will not get part of the oil wealth. That is why some
embrace Islams paradise, Koran school and suicide hijacking. And this is
why many in Iraq work loyally for Saddam.
In such hope-free zones, radical Islam has an added attraction; it
offers followers and junior warlords a chance to be part of the next power
grab. In other words, bin Ladens game plan may have been, as many say,
to topple the Saudi sheikhs and gain control of the biggest commodity
prize of all: Saudi oil reserves.
The commodity curse thesis has radical implications for the Wests
policy toward the Middle East. It contains, rst of all, two warnings. The
rst is that European diplomats are right when they say that clearing a
fraction of Afghanistan of the Taliban, while leaving the rest of the land in
the hands of warlords, is simply not enough. It suggests too that even
ousting Saddam is not enough. American and Britain will have to push
their allies to implement democratic reform and, crucially, to establish
the rule of law, including property rights. By itself, a war against terror
will do little to assuage the commodity curse.
This notion will be dismissed as ludicrous by defenders of the poli-
cy of containment for the Middle East (a number of whom live in Europe).
Nor will it be welcome to those who wish, naturally enough, that the
looming war with Iraq would evaporate without action on Americas part.
After all, in the case of oil, for example, it is easier to blame opecs clients.
That is what we see when, for example, the US is blamed for the war that
now threatens the Middle East. But one can also interpret the picture
another way. Maybe this time it is the local autocrats and dictators who
Berl i n Journal 43
are to blame. Maybe this time the problem is with the commodity-
hogging regimes.
But there are also two hopeful points that emerge from the theory
of the commodity curse. The first is that the problem in the Middle East is
not an entirely cultural or religious problem. Islamic extremism, one can
argue, is as much symptom as cause; it would diminish if economic hope
were greater.
The second cause for hope is the fact that the forces advocating
democracy and property rights possess a new and powerful weapon. In
the days of the Malay rubber plantation, the worker had no chance of
doing anything in his life but harvesting rubber. Today all the worlds citi-
zens, even those who live impoverished on desert terrain, do have a kind
of capital they can develop and sell: intellectual capital. If democracy, the
rule of law, and the rudiments of functional markets can be established in
their homelands they have a shot at stable lives. Here the new middle
class in India provides an example. In other words, it is easier to establish
democracies today than it was in the old days. One reason extremist lead-
ers in the Middle East are so desperate is that their citizens through tele-
vision and via the internet are beginning to realize that they can escape
the local commodity curse. All they need do is find a way to develop a
competing form of wealth.
In any case, it is important to ask; who are the people who are
oppressed by a Saddam, manipulated by a Latin oil autocrat, or terror-
ized by a diamond-mine lord? The globes best hope lies in proving to
such people that commodities are not destiny. o
Amity Shlaes rst outlined this thesis in her bi-weekly
Financial Times column.
Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Niederkirchnerstrae 7, 10963 Berlin Tel. (030) 254 86-0, Fax (030) 254 86-107,
Verkehrsverbindungen: S-Bahn: Anhalter Bahnhof/Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz Bus: 129 Anhalter Bahnhof, 248, 341 Abgeordnetenhaus








Die Azteken 17. Mai 10. August 2003
Veranstalter: Berliner Festspiele und Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum
Ermglicht durch die Beauftragte fr Kultur und Medien, den Hauptstadtkulturfonds, die Kulturstiftung der Lnder und das Auswrtige Amt
Warum! Bilder diesseits und jenseits des Menschen 28. Mai 3. August 2003
Veranstalter: Guardini Stiftung e.V. und St. Matthus Stiftung Zeitgenssische Kunstausstellung zum Ersten kumenischen Kirchentag
Ermglicht durch die Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin und die Kulturstiftung des Bundes
The American Scene 2000 Photographen und Schriftsteller portrtieren die USA 6. Juni 24. August 2003
Veranstalter: Botschaft der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika und Berliner Festspiele Mit Untersttzung von KODAK
Moskau-Berlin 19502000 28. September 2003 5. Januar 2004
Veranstalter: Berliner Festspiele und Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Preuischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie
Ermglicht durch die Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin und die Kulturstiftung des Bundes
August Sander Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Das groe Portraitwerk. 10. Oktober 2003 11. Januar 2004
Veranstalter: Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur Kln in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Sparkassen-Kulturfonds des deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes Berlin und der
Stadtsparkasse Kln
Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin
Ausstellungen 2003
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 43
44 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
The Bunker
By Jeffrey Eugenides
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 44
we hadnt been installed more than three days before we heard
about the bunker. It was right under us, apparently, directly beneath the
elegant lakeside villa that had once housed a Jewish banking family the
Hans Arnholds and that now housed us, a small group of scholars and
artists staying at the American Academy in Berlin. Well, this was
Germany, wasnt it? Across the lake stood the Wannsee Conference
House, where the Final Solution had been formulated over coffee cake. In
such a neighborhood, why be surprised to nd a Nazi bunker in your
Nevertheless, we were. The villa had been recently renovated. A
Francisco Clemente on loan hung in the living room. Also a
Rauschenberg. During media events when politicians showed up, movie
screens unscrolled from the ceilings. Glittery, Klimt-like tilework decorat-
ed the tympanum of the dining room. The paneled library might have
been Bruce Waynes.
This hotel or conference center gloss was only the latest transfor-
mation of the old house, however. During the 1930s Hans Arnhold had
taken his family out of Germany, and the villa, like many mansions in this
affluent part of Berlin, had been seized by the National Socialists. Hitlers
economics minister, a man named Walther Funk, had lived in the house
until the end of the war. After that the villa had been occupied by
American ofcers, serving as a recreation center for American troops.
It was Herr Funk who had put in the bunker. In her memoir of
those years, The Past is Myself, Christabel Beilenberg makes clear that this
sort of home improvement was a fad at the time: It was common knowl-
edge that the party bigwigs were building air raid shelters under their
lakefront mansions. Hitler himself had inspected the bunker under
the Academy.
Over that fall and early winter, we talked about the bunker con-
stantly at dinner. We asked the Academys executive director, Gary Smith,
to describe it for us. Ill show it to you sometime, Gary promised. But
with one thing and another he never did. And so we stopped talking
about the bunker. And then a week later somebody brought it up again
and we started asking the usual questions: How big was it? How deep?
What did it look like inside?
Sometimes while working I would look out of my ofce at the slop-
ing lawn that led down to the lake. There was a large drained swimming
pool on one side of the property. The grass itself was browning or weedy
in spots. Gatsby would have had a bigger staff of gardeners, but there
were still a few around, mowing and pruning, digging. Sometimes a frog
hopped past my glass door. Impressive clouds, somehow Prussian, boiled
and marched over the lake. The lake itself was gray most days but could
suddenly fool you and turn blue. Ferries plied the water. The American
Yacht Club was right next door, as was, rumor had it, a brothel patronized
by business executives. My attention would be taken up by all these
things and then, often enough, I would lower my gaze from the dramatic
sky to look at the grass and think about the bunker below.
Our obsession with the bunker came partly from the word itself.
You can hardly say the word bunker without adding a certain name
before it: Hitlers bunker. Bunker and Hitler are inseparable. (I suspect
it was the fascistic connotation that led Norman Lear to name his great,
bigoted character Archie Bunker.) But if you think about it a minute, its
clear that there is nothing especially historic or signicant about a
bunker. As Christabel Beilenberg pointed out, a bunker is nothing but an
air raid shelter. How many WWII-era bunkers must there be in Berlin, in
Germany, or in all of Europe for that matter? Winston Churchill had a
bunker of his own beneath the streets of London. He prosecuted the
Second World War largely from underground. Still, the image we have of
Winston Churchill isnt subterranean. Churchill descended to the under-
world during the winter of life. Down there he overcame death and
returned above ground, like spring wheat. Hitler didnt. Down in the
bunker was where he perished. Something about this appeals to the imag-
ination. It feels right. Down in the dirt, down with the earthworms and
the creepy blind unsunned moles, down where corruption takes place,
thats where Hitler belongs.
Then one night a terrible thing happened. August Kleinzahler, the
poet, got to see the bunker all by himself. One evening, as I arrived for
dinner, Michael Meltsner grasped me by the lapels. Gary took August
down to the bunker, he told me in a grave tone. Was this true? I found
Kleinzahler in the library, sitting in his usual armchair. He looked shiny
cheeked, pleased with himself.
You saw the bunker?
Yes, I did.
Whats it like?
Its not much.
Is it true that Hitler was down there?
Kleinzahler gave me a level stare. I didnt see him, he said.
Over the replace, not far from Kleinzahler, hung a portrait of
Hans Arnhold. Arnholds daughter, Anna-Maria, and her husband
Stephen Kellen, are the primary benefactors of the American Academy in
Berlin. Anna-Maria Kellen had grown up in this very house. When the
idea arose to start an American Academy in Berlin, the Kellens had been
the rst to give nancial support. She had been kept apprised of the
progress, was told that a building had been found and that it would be
renovated. Only later did she discover that, by an amazing coincidence,
this building was her childhood home.
Anna-Maria Arnhold became an American. In the early 1950s,
after her marriage, she came back to Berlin with her husband. The plane
coming into Tempelhof flew in low over the Wannsee. Anna-Maria
The Berl i n Journal 45
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 45
looked out the window to try and nd her old house. The woman seated
next to her then spoke.
Do you know that house, too?
Yes, answered Anna-Maria.
The woman smiled. My husband and I spent many wonderful
nights there. Herr Funk used to throw wonderful parties.
It was from her seatmate that Anna-Maria Kellen learned about the
bunker. After landing in Berlin, she and her husband drove out to the
Wannsee. The old family gardener was still there. He had been Funks gar-
dener, too, throughout the war. Coldly, he showed the Kellens around the
house. When they asked to see the bunker, he took them down.
After they had come out, as they were driving away, Mrs. Kellen
said to her husband, You know, that gardener could have shut the door
behind us. No one would have ever found us.
I know, my dear, Stephen Kellen replied. That was why I made
sure to walk behind him.
I went on with my work. Weeks passed. The plane trees lost their
leaves, revealing their stunted, twisted arms. A winter fog began to cover
the Wannsee. One night there was a lecture. When the guests had gone,
we went into the library to talk and smoke. Reinold, the chef, brought out
a tray of liqueurs. A plum-avored schnapps began making the rounds.
There were eight of us, two historians, one linguist, one novelist,
one poet, a composer who lived in Paris, a Harvard law professor, and a
visual artist. We were talking, that night, about a bad smell that had been
gathering in the basement where our studios were. It had started in Milad
Doueihis ofce.
I cant even work there anymore, he complained.
They think it might be coming from under the kitchen, one of the
historians said. Theres a tube where all the fat drains out. Maybe its
Its the schmaltz! said Augie. I knew it.
Its not the schmaltz, I said. Its the bunker.
In the next moment, providentially, the executive director entered
the room.
We were on him at once.
When are you going to show us the bunker, Gary?
You promised youd show it to us!
How come Augie got to see it and we didnt?
We were unstoppable, fueled by Pomeranian schnapps. We had
eaten an obscure Baltic sh for dinner. We had been living and working
on top of a Nazi bunker for nearly three months and we wanted to see it.
Tonight was the night.
Gary knew there was no putting us off. The signal was given.
Reinold lit candelabra and handed them around. We crossed the dining
46 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 46
room and entered the kitchen. At the back a door led to a flight of stairs.
Laughing, fluttery, already making cracks, we each held a candelabrum
and followed our leader down the dark stairs into the earth.
Im trying to raise the money to build a health club down here,
Gary joked.
Ve haf vays of making you get in shape!
How come you know this place so well, Reinold?
We keep the Riesling down here.
Ah, its not a bunker. Its a wine cellar.
Candle flames streamed backward, thinning as we moved. We were
in our dinner clothes, the women wobbly in high heels. Right in front of
me was Meltsner. Usually he wore sweatshirts. Tonight he was in a blue
blazer and white shirt. Even a tie. Finally, at the bottom, we came to the
bunker door. We grouped there, silent, staring at it. The joking stopped.
The door to the bunker was slightly convex, like the hatch of a tank.
Greenish gray, cobwebby, rusted at the edges. The glass spyhole was pro-
tected by a metal shield. Bullets wouldnt have penetrated it. At length,
Reinold pulled the door open and we went inside.
Kleinzahler was right. It wasnt much. No artifacts remained, no
furniture. The ceiling was low, the walls chalky. There were two or three
long, narrow rooms. At the end another door led up to the back lawn. We
might have been in a basement anywhere.
Only one thing showed the underground space for what it had
been. Just inside the front door was a small engineering room. Here were
the controls for ventilation and plumbing. Elegantly designed manifolds
and valves, the height of modernity back in 1942, lined one wall. Each in
slanting Fraktur script proclaimed the element it brought into the
bunker: Luft. Wasser.
What did we expect to nd? What do we seek by going to the sites
of atrocity? There was no difference, at bottom, between our trip to the
bunker and a visit to the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, outside
Berlin. We wanted to draw near to historical evil, to see and touch it if we
could, and somehow comprehend it. Such ghoulish sightseeing has
become a kind of perverse pilgrimage, marked by required stops and ritu-
alized thoughts. Therefore, I couldnt help staring at those beautifully
designed controls and thinking about the rationality of evil or the
mechanization of the death camps. All true, no doubt, but not my
thoughts. Only borrowed, recited like a litany.
It was cold down there in the bunker. Meltsner had backed into a
wall. His blue blazer was all white behind. I slapped his back. Meltsner
grew up in New York and became one of the big civil rights lawyers. He
defended Muhammad Ali when they tried to take his heavyweight title
away. Now this Meltsner, originally from the Upper West Side, was down
in the Nazi bunker with me, and I was pounding him on the back.
Youve got white stuff all over, I said.
The white dust flew up. It sparkled in the light of the candles we
had brought down with us. o
Jeffrey Eugenides (Berlin Prize Fellow 200001) is the author of The
Virgin Suicides and, most recently, the novel Middlesex. His description of
the bunker beneath the American Academy in Berlin was originally pub-
lished in Tin House.
The Berl i n Journal 47
Photography: Bernhard Moosbauer (zeixl)
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 47
Soda Water With A Boyhood Friend
He is in the canals behind your forehead,
or in the high, vaulted rooms
your speech rays round itself,
still and alert as a hunter in the blind,
taking measure if that, yes, it really is you,
against what he was down
in the log of his remembering
over a cigar and club soda. Ah,
the good bogs and rushes,
the forest beyond with its tweet tweet tweet,
cranked to a blur, a hum,
a time-lapse cavalcade of scene
fade scene dissolve scene spilling across the wraparound
screen and soaked in by the multitudes,
multitudes of kindled selves.
48 Number Si x | Spri ng 2003
30218_AmAcad_S40_48_AK 11.07.2003 10:26 Uhr Seite 48
Even in the most demanding times,
people will rise to a noble challenge.
This year has proven to be no excep-
tion. Today, we are pleased to share
with you examples of the generosity
inspired by the challenges economic,
political, and, importantly, philan-
thropic facing the American Academy
in Berlin and its supporters.
Last November, Stephen M. and
Anna-Maria Kellen and the descen-
dants of Anna-Marias parents, Hans
and Ludmilla Arnhold, challenged
the Academy to bring more corporate
donors into the fold. Less than six
months later that goal is within
reach. Listed here in the Academys
growing Presidents and Trustees cir-
cles you will see the names of those
who have already responded.
Now in its fth year, the
American Academy in Berlin has
blossomed into an important intel-
lectual presence in Berlin. The Acade-
my provides a forum for enriching
cultural life, sharing critical ideas,
and building enduring relationships
on both sides of the Atlantic. We
deeply appreciate the generosity of
our donors, who provide the support
that makes these programs possible.
Founders Circle
$ 1,000,000 and above
Anna-Maria & Stephen M. Kellen and the
descendants of Hans and Ludmilla Arnhold
Chairmans Circle
$ 500,000 and above
Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
Trustees Circle
$ 100,000 and above
Mr. & Mrs. Henry H. Arnhold
Axel Springer Verlag
Robert Bosch Stiftung
DaimlerChrysler AG
DaimlerChrysler Fonds im Stifterverband fr die
Deutsche Wissenschaft
Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband
Fidelity Investments through the Fidelity Foundation
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Lufthansa AG
Philip Morris
Robert Mundheim
Alberto Vilar
Trustees of the American Academy in Berlin to
endow the Stephen M. Kellen Lectureship
Presidents Circle
$ 25,000 and above
American Express Company
Citibank Privatkunden AG
Citigroup Foundation
Credit Suisse First Boston
Drr AG
Werner Gegenbauer
The Gillette Company
Haniel Stiftung
Richard C. Holbrooke
J.P. Morgan AG
kpmg Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft
Marsh & McLennan Holdings GmbH
Porsche AG
Schering AG
Siemens AG
Kurt & Felicitas Viermetz
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
$ 10,000 and above
Verlag C.H. Beck
Julie Finley
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Claus M. Halle
Karl M. von der Heyden
Kissinger Foundation
Krber Stiftung
John C. Kornblum
Joseph Neubauer
Heinrich & Annette von Rantzau
Rafael J. Roth
Shearman & Sterling
White & Case, Feddersen
$ 2,500 and above
Gahl Hodges Burt
Deutsche Bank Region Ost
EMES, Ltd.
Jonathan F. Fanton
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Dr. Schmidt AG & Co.
All other contributors
Benjamin Barber
Hansjoachim Bauch
Gnter & Waltraud Braun
Leopold Bill von Bredow
Gerhard Casper
Christies Deutschland GmbH
Caroline Flh
Hans-Michael & Almut Giesen
Carl H. Hahn
Klaus & Lily Heiliger
Roe Jasen
Karl Kaiser
Jrg & Eva Kastl
Klaus Krone
Renate Kchler
Enzio von Khlmann-Stumm
Landeszentralbank Berlin
Peter Lawson-Johnston
Yasmine Mahmoudieh-Kraetz
Charles Maier
Jerome Marak & Andrea Lawrence
The McGraw-Hill Companies
Barbara Monheim
Albert J. Raedler
Virginia Schulte, Culture Trip GmbH
Kenneth E. Scott
David & Marjorie Sievers
Gary Smith
Hans George Will
Donations to the American Academy in Berlin
January 2002 April 2003
Hans ArnholdCenter
30218_AmAcad_U1bisU4_AK 11.07.2003 10:48 Uhr Seite 1
Our home country.
We dont just travel to the countries where we do business. We live in them
working together with local people to develop, produce and sell our products.
In fact, right now there are over 200 countries we call home.
Find out more at

30218_AmAcad_U1bisU4_AK 11.07.2003 10:48 Uhr Seite C1