Begun as a prelude to a political union, the Euro seemingly has become an expensive and failed experiment according to its critics. David Marsh takes the reader back to post war Europe and the inception of the idea of monetary union describing how political, monetary and economic machinations and stratagems gave rise to this noble attempt to avoid more war and achieve financial and monetary stability. His topical history, given the Euro's present instability, demands a degree of familiarity with the complex interaction of foreign currencies with monetary policy and the world of revaluations, devaluations, exchange rates, Lombard rates and the complex interconnectedness inherent in global finance. Originally published in 2009, the paperback version has been thoroughly updated to the summer of 2011. Marsh's extensive interviews and a deep knowledge of monetary affairs along with his revealing footnotes make this book the definite read on the Euro, its background and probably its future. The book moves chronologically from the end of the World War almost to the present. The frission between France and Germany is central to the story. The United Kingdom appears to be an interested, intrusive and important bystander, while the United States plays almost no role in this book even though the establishment of the Euro was partially in response to the threat of the dollar to European monetary policy. Non political and straightforward, Marsh's appreciation for the likes of Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Jean Claude Trichet and Valery Giscard d'Estaing as individuals committed to the success of the Euro is palpable while his clever characterizations of the "causticity" of Thacher, the haplessness of Chirac and the impulsiveness of Sarkozy make equally clear his feelings for those leaders. His last chapter, not so much an update, is a learned, non polemical overview of the various financial and monetary scenarios as they might play out on the European and world stage given the now evident and evolving monetary divide in Europe.