The story of Adenauer's life can best be seen as three stories in one. The first is the story of a homeland: the land of the Rhine, that ambiguous and mythic river which - like Adenauer's own life - rises in obscurity, gains strength and momentum in its course, but ends in doubt and confusion. The second is the story of the emergence of a fourth Germany out of the shipwreck of the three earlier Germanies through which he lived. The third is the story of a man who lived a full and occasionally dangerous life, who was disliked by many for his complex and difficult character but who, at the end of his biblical span, summoned the energy and ambition to bring his country back into the civilised world from what seemed to be permanent ostracism and into a new Europe based on the recognition of individual freedom, tolerance and, above all, democracy.
- From Adenauer: The Father of New Germany by Charles Williams