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The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive? [Paperback]

Christopher Booker , Richard North
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2005
A new edition of Continuum's best selling book revised and amended to address all the issues of the forthcoming Referendum and the publication of the new EU Constitution. The first edition of "The Great Deception" was one of Continuum's biggest selling books. It told the true story of the origins and history of the European Union- revealing all the deception and skulduggery involved. Now with the publication of the new European Constitution, Christopher Booker and Richard North have condensed some of the early history in order to make space for an examination of the new European Constitution and to argue that in it are all the tricks and traps at the heart of this European Idea and the disastrous consequences.

Product details

  • Paperback: 643 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.; Rev Ed edition (1 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826480144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826480149
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.5 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description


"'Two brave and diligent men, Christopher Booker and Richard North, have written a superb history of the EU and of Britain's relationship with it... Every MP, every senior civil servant, every journalist with any claim to understanding the current state of the country, should read it... Besiege booksellers. Ask any politician or commentator who pronounces on this subject if they have read it. If they haven't, they don't know what they're talking about.' - Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday"

About the Author

Christopher Booker is a weekly columnist for the Sunday Telegraph. The author of The Mad Officials and The Neophiliacs, he founded Private Eye with Paul Foot and others. Richard North is an Economist and a Consultant to the Government on European issues.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of best eurosceptic books I have come across 31 Dec 2009
If a eurosceptic could choose only a single book as ammunition to make the case against Britain's membership in the EU, he should buy The Great Deception. It left a lasting mark on my mind. I am now fully familiar with the root causes of British awkwardness vis-a-vis the EU, which makes it a lot easier to accept the widespread europhobia that one encounters across Britain today. The book does not attempt to be impartial or balanced; it is a systematic deconstruction of the monumental deception that consecutive British governments have wilfully committed in order to maintain the facade of Great Britain as a sovereign power in a European free-trade system.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, informative history 21 Oct 2007
Throughout this book there's a great sense that the authors set upon a task to hack through the myriad of spin and complexities of the European Union to set the record straight. And whilst that does lead to a partisan reading regarding some of the characters involved, it should not distract from what is a meticulous and forensic insight into the dynamic of this organization.

Drawing upon de-classified government papers, memoirs and other sources, the history of the organization is crafted in splendid detail, weaving the many architects and actors of this story into a compelling read. In particular, it challenges some of the conventional norms that have rendered the debate in Britain chronically mis-informed and dormant. As such, it might be considered a polemic, but I find some of the dismissals of the text as "conspiracy theories" unfair given the plentiful and rigorous supporting evidence.

Overall a well-written, enjoyable book that brings a very dry subject to life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 28 Sep 2011
This book is clearly not a unbiased account of the EU - the authors are arch-eurosceptics - and personally I sympathise with many of their arguments, however as a history of how the EU came into being this book is quite simply brilliant.

The meticulous research that lays behind this text is obvious - no stone is left unturned in trying to uncover every nook and cranny of the EU's history and existence. But what this book really excels at is turning what is essentially a hugely complicated and potentially boring political story into easily the most readable book on the EU you can buy.

No other text on the history of the EU comes close to explaining the concept of EU as this magnificent tome does. For any student of the EU this is a must read.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
This is so much the best and most informative book on the European Union yet written that I cannot commend it too highly, to Eurosceptics and Europhiles alike. Based on exhaustive research, it digs out the real story behind the 80-year long drive to integrate Europe under a supranational government as this has never been revealed before. The results are certainly disturbing and thought-provoking. But perhaps the book’s greatest achievement is to make a subject generally regarded as boring and impenetrable almost as gripping as a detective story! I cannot understand why I havent been able to find any reviews about this book? This book really is essential reading for anyone who has the slightest interest in understanding how we are now governed. I find myself referring back to it frequently.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
This is the most important book that I have read. It provides an exhaustive history of the EU combined with a coherent and cogent series of arguments that persuasively describe how and why it was established and continues to operate against our national interest.

This book has been described as polemical by some of the other reviewers; perhaps so, but that does not make the content incorrect or the analysis wrong. The text is, in places, rather hard going owing to the level of detail but this does serve to underline its intellectual rigor. The final chapter provides a wonderful summary of a book that someone needed to write and everyone in the UK should read.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Before you buy this book you need to ask yourself two questions. Firstly, am I opposed to the EU or at very least very suspicious of it? Secondly, am I very interested in politics? Finally, are you a fan of "deep" reading and not casual reading? If the answer to all of these is yes, then you will greatly enjoy this book. If not, then you will find it hard to get into, let alone finish.

The most striking feature of the book is its exquisite, almost forensic detail. Everything from what was served for dinner at EU meetings to the details of EU treaties are examined, and meticulously referenced, adding a real professional "feel" to this book that one would expect from such an academic endeavour. This instantly gives it a feel of genuine credibility and power so lacking in most books on the matter that tend to veer of either into propagandistic rave reviews or angry rants, dependent upon the attitude to the EU held by the writer. This remarkably well tempered, if hardly neutral account, is extremely refreshing.

One great strength of this book is its careful analysis of the individuals in the EU "project". From its shadowy architect Jean Monnet, right through to its British cheerleaders Ted Heath and Tony Blair, the power of individuals politicians to develop the EU is examined in great depth. Another great strength is its analysis of how the EU has "packaged" itself to try and gain public acquiescence and support for its agenda at various stages in "the project". For example, warning Britain that it would feel "left out" in the 1970s, and warning us that we were headed for a "two speed" Europe in the 1990s unless we complied with their ever expanding list of demands and directives.

The book does have its weaknesses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Common Market.
Very well written, informative and, I am sure, reliable and unbiased.
Could do with a list of initials as there are so many technical terms and it would be helpful to be able... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bettsurvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain was Europe's Jack Russell.
Very well-written and packed with detailed information. The chapters are neatly divided into the chronologised various epochs of the European Union's history. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Puss
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, but worth the effort
I purchased this book several years ago, but recent events in Cyprus urged me to pick it up again. The comprehensive nature of this book make for heavy reading at times, but the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by F. G. Lelliott
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in its field
Nobody can pass judgement on the European Union experiment without reading this book. Meticulously researched and fully comprehensive, it is an essential reference tool.
Published 18 months ago by Dr. James Wilkie
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - it identifies how the public has been lied to from the...
I bought this book for my husband and he just cannot put it down. He is very interested in politics and the EU in particular. Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by J. Cornish
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Fantastic read and very well researched. It should be mandatory reading for every single man and woman in the UK.
Published on 15 Jun 2011 by Jerry Maier
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable reference book
Not opinion, but facts, and quoting references.

It's important to get to the facts - newspapers only ever express a view, often just personal, often faulty. Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by Dr. Michael J. Cross
1.0 out of 5 stars don't get this. buy a different book instead
i think this book might be a better read:

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century
Published on 21 Dec 2010 by Steven Dobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
In spite of some slight mistakes concerning out-of-England topics (e.g. the names of the French Premiers during the sixties), the book is globally very illustrative about the... Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2010 by Socrates of France
1.0 out of 5 stars Fodder for conspiracy theorists
If you are a conspiracy theorist, a Little Englander, or someone who has mentally not quite moved past 1939, you will love this book, and will find much in it to support your... Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2010 by Devon
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