From the Inside Flap
In Between the Alps and a Hard Place, Professor Angelo M. Codevilla reveals how the true history of the Swiss in World War II has been buried beneath a modern campaign of moral blackmail that has accused Switzerland of secretly supporting Nazi Germany and sharing culpability for the Holocaust. Codevillawho practiced real-life, hardball foreign policy as an intelligence adviser in the U.S. Senateoffers a primer on the realities of power politics, using the Swiss experience in World War II to illuminate the workings of the balance of power, military deterrence, economic leverage, and subversion.
But more, he exposes how current American leaders are ignoring the realities of international affairs by putting domestic politics and political payoffs ahead of the national interest.
In the context of World War II, Codevilla shows how tiny Switzerland successfully fended off an Axis war machine thirty times its strength and simultaneously made itself available as a lifeboat to Jewish and other ethnic refugees. The Swiss recognized that military power is the foundation of international relations, and they deterred a Nazi invasion by keeping their country more valuable to the Germans as a free nation than as a conquered one.
Codevilla documents how the anti-Swiss campaign offered no evidence for its shocking claims but still managed to shake down two of the largest banks of a friendly power for $1.25 billion. The campaign set a terrible precedent, whereby a powerful domestic interest groupand major donor to the Clinton-Gore administrationharnessed the power of the U.S. government to grossly distort history and secure a financial windfall. In the process, the larger interests of the United States were subverted for the sake of a favorite domestic constituency of the ruling party.
Between the Alps and a Hard Place is both thrilling World War II history and an exposé of the shameful selling of historical truth and American foreign policy for political gain.
Angelo M. Codevilla is a professor of international relations at Boston University. He has been a U.S. Naval officer, a U.S. Foreign Service officer, a senior staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and a senior research fellow at Stanford Universitys Hoover Institution. His books include Informing Statecraft, War: Ends and Means (with Paul Seabury), and The Character of Nations. He lives in Dubois, Wyoming, and Wayland, Massachusetts.