Informal Alliance: The Bilderberg Group and Transatlantic Relations during the Cold War, 1952-1968, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Informal Alliance

The Bilderberg Group and Transatlantic Relations during the Cold War, 1952-1968, 1st Edition

By Thomas W. Gijswijt


310 pages

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Hardback: 9780815396741
pub: 2018-08-14
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Informal Alliance is the first archive-based history of the secretive Bilderberg Group, the high-level transatlantic elite network founded at the height of the Cold War. Making extensive use of the recently opened Bilderberg Group archives as well as a wide range of private and official collections, it shows the significance of informal diplomacy in a fast-changing world of Cold War, decolonization, and globalization. By analyzing the global mindset of the postwar transatlantic elite and by focusing on private, transnational modes of communication and coordination, this study provides important new insights into the history of transatlantic relations, anti-Americanism, Western anti-communism, and European integration during the 1950s and 1960s. Informal Alliance also debunks the persistent myth that the Bilderberg Group was created by the CIA and repudiates widespread conspiracy theories alleging that Bilderberg was some sort of secret world government.

Table of Contents




1. Joseph Retinger – Informal Diplomat

2. Anti-Americanism and the Road to Bilderberg

3. The First Bilderberg Conference

4. Organization, Membership, and the Informal Alliance

5. Integrating Europe

6. Decolonization and the Global Cold War

7. NATO, Nuclear Strategy, and the Cold War

8. The Return of Nationalism: From de Gaulle to Kennedy

9. Alliance in Crisis


List of abbreviations

Appendix – List of Bilderberg Conferences, 1954–1968

Unpublished Sources and Interviews



About the Author

Thomas W. Gijswijt is Associate Professor in American Studies at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Modern History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / France
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century