The United States of Europe: The Superpower Nobody Talks About - From the Euro to Eurovision

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9780141023175: The United States of Europe: The Superpower Nobody Talks About - From the Euro to Eurovision

How did Europe become a superpower while America wasn't paying attention? Here, American journalist T. R. Reid takes an enlightening tour of the United States of Europe' - the borderless collection of countries with more people and wealth than America. With his trademark wit and wisdom he explains the often-bewildering ins and outs of the European Union and the culture its nations have come to share - from the common pastime of America bashing and the kitsch joys of the Eurovision Song Contest to the skyrocketing success of the Euro, trouncing the once-mighty dollar in strength. And he tells many individual stories of this drama, including the astonishing takeover of all-American products by European companies, the English greengrocer who became a Metric Martyr' and of the new breed of twenty and thirty-somethings known as 'Generation E'. Essential for readers on both sides of the Atlantic, The United States of Europe is an insightful and entertaining guide to a New Europe that now makes the world's rules, whether America likes it or not

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Review:

While the United States flexes its economic and military muscles around the world as the dominant global player, it may soon have company. According to the Washington Post's T.R. Reid, the nations of Europe are setting aside differences to form an entity that's gaining strength, all seemingly unbeknownst to the U.S. and its citizens. The new Europe, Reid says, "has more people, more wealth, and more trade than the United States of America," plus more leverage gained through membership in international organizations and generous foreign aid policies that reap political clout. Reid tells how European countries were willing to discontinue their individual centuries-old currencies and adopt the Euro, the monetary unit that is now a dominant force in world markets. This is noteworthy not just for exploring the considerable economic impact of the Euro, but also for what that spirit of cooperation means for every facet of Europe in the 21st century, where governments and citizens alike believe that the rewards of banding together are worth a loss in sovereignty. Reid's most compelling portrait of this trend is in the young Europeans known as "Generation E" who see themselves not as Spaniards or Czechs but simply as Europeans. To illustrate America's obliviousness to this trend, Reid tells of former GE CEO Jack Welch, who never bothered to factor European objections into a proposed multi-billion dollar merger with Honeywell, leading to the deal being torpedoed and Welch disgraced. But what is most striking in The United States of Europe is the contrast between the new Europe and the United States. The Europeans cannot match the raw military size of the U.S., but by mixing wealth with diplomacy and continental unity (helped along by antipathy toward George W. Bush's brand of Americanism), they are forming an innovative and powerful superpower. --John Moe

About the Author:

Tom Reid was head of The Washington Post's London bureau, where he chronicled the rise of the European Union, pondering the Eurovision Song Contest and the provision of free health care. He has covered four presidential campaigns for the newspaper, as well as headed their bureau in Tokyo. He is the author of three books in Japanese, and five in English.

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Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2005)
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