Book Review: James Kirchick’s “The End of Europe”

New piece in Nations & States.

Nations & States

While slightly more than a decade old, Jeremy Rifkin’s The European Dream reads today as a primary source for a discredited utopian movement. An American scholar with profound affection for the European Union, Rifkin wrote how, contra Reagan and Winthrop, the “old continent” of Europe, not the United States,now reigned as the shining “city on the hall.” Between generous welfare states, a healthier work-life balance, and rigorous environmental standards, the communal superiority of “The European Dream” over the rugged individualism of the U.S. model was uncontested.

While the United States retained narrow attachments to God, country, and hard military force, Europe’s cosmopolitan, secular, and pacifist zeitgeist previewed a new“global consciousness for a globalized world.” Other scholars, perhaps yearning for solace from the Bush presidency, offered similar praise. Consider other titles of the mid-2000s: T.R. Reid’s The United States of Europe, Mark Leonard’s Why Europe Will Run the…

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