Free World: Why a Crisis of the West Reveals the Opportunity of Our Time

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9780141016818: Free World: Why a Crisis of the West Reveals the Opportunity of Our Time

At the start of the 21st century, the world plunged into crisis. What began as an attack on the West by Osama bin Laden soon became a dramatic confrontation between Europe and America. Britain has found itself painfully split, because it stands with one foot across the Atlantic and the other across the Channel. The English, in particular, are hopelessly divided between a Right that argues our place is with America, not Europe, and a Left that claims the opposite. This is today's English civil war. Both sides tell us we must choose. In this powerful new work Timothy Garton Ash, one of our leading political writers, explains why we cannot, need not and must not choose between Europe and America.

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Timothy Garton Ash’s latest book Free World: why a crisis of the West reveals the opportunity of our time grapples with the big issues facing Europeans in the twenty-first century and in the process he explores the following questions: Is the world now divided between the West and the Rest? Is the West now divided between Europe and America? Can the West be put together again, and, even if it can be, should it be? What is the right ‘we’ for our time? Most importantly, as the extraordinary project of associating twenty-five diverse European countries in a single political community takes shape, what kind of emotional glue can be found to hold them all together?

The book opens by brilliantly illuminating the political divisions in Britain between a Right that takes its stand with America and against Europe and a Left that argues the direct opposite. What makes Ash’s analysis of the current scene so enlightening is his account of the British identity crisis captured in the idea of ‘Janus-Britain’. Janus (the Roman god of doorways, passages and bridges) had two faces pointing in opposite directions, one at the front and one at the back of his head. Britain, Garton Ash argues, has four. The back and front faces can be labelled ‘Island’ and World’; the face on the left says ‘Europe’ and that on the right ‘America’. What Britain lacks but desperately needs is a minimal consensus about what story it wants to tell of itself, where it is and where it would like to be. The most complex, ambitious and promising path—the one Tony Blair is attempting to take and the one least represented by the press—is to try to pull America and Europe together.

The whole of the new enlarged Europe, the author argues, is engaged in a great debate between Euro-Gaullist and Euroatlanticist forces and on its outcome depends the future of the West. If the great EU project is to succeed and the problems of the Middle East and the developing world ever to be overcome then European and American partnership is our best hope. Garton Ash ends with a compassionate and intelligent set of suggestions plotting courses for the future. He insists that foreign policy is too important to be left to the people who govern us. It’s not that they’re all scoundrels it’s just that "half the time they don’t really know what they’re doing." Overall Free World is an outstandingly sensitive historical and political analysis written with a confident and imaginative authority. --Larry Brown


A brilliant analysis - practical, without illusions, original, sparklingly well-written and, above all, inspiring. -- Madeleine Albright

A compelling manifesto for the enlargement of freedom and a new era of world politics. -- Vaclav Havel

A red-hot, passionate manifesto for free trade, responsible environmentalism, a better deal for the world's poor ... He has my vote. -- Chris Patten, Guardian

Garton Ash is a compulsively witty writer ... a boldly global book - his most ambitious to date ... brilliant. -- Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph

We are blessed in this country to have intellectuals like Timothy Garton Ash ... an illuminating and stimulating book. -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent

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Garton Ash, Timothy
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2005)
ISBN 10: 0141016817 ISBN 13: 9780141016818
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141016817

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