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The Lost Continent: The Inside Story of Europe's Darkest Hour Since World War Two [Paperback]

Gavin Hewitt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 2013

In THE LOST CONTINENT BBC Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt tells the story of a flawed dream, a noble vision that turned dangerous, and which led Europe into its gravest crisis since World War Two - a crisis for which it was totally unprepared.

A pillar of the post-war European dream was a shared currency, and with it came easy money, seducing some countries into a wild spending binge. After the financial crash in the United States, Europe caught the cold and was left with a debt crisis that came to threaten the entire European project.

THE LOST CONTINENT is rich in anecdote, weaving together the stories of ordinary people with the high politics and drama of Europe in crisis to give an unparalleled and vivid portrait of a massive shift in modern history. It includes interviews with top officials and insiders, and dramatic accounts of key meetings.

Gavin Hewitt's THE LOST CONTINENT is a clear-eyed book by a distinguished and well-connected journalist which tells the astonishing story of how we got here and where we might be headed.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444764802
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444764802
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A sharp diagnosis of a very European sickness... Hewitt has done a thorough job piecing together the closed door action. (Charles Bremner The Times)

'excellent, sweeping... this well-crafted book should be essential reading for those clinging dogmatically to the creed of integration.' (Daily Express)

'An accessible bird's-eye view'. (Sunday Times)

A work of lively reportage showing a perceptive awareness of how the political and economic dramas vary from one country to another. (Tony Barber Financial Times)

The BBC's Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, brings to bear the kind of perspicacity and insight we have come to expect from this seasoned correspondent in his excellent THE LOST CONTINENT, which examines the slow death of the European dream and how the crisis we are still living through was allowed to happen. (Choice)

Blow-by-blow account of the horrors of the euro drama. (Economist)

About the Author

Gavin Hewitt has been the BBC's Europe Editor since 2009, and is uniquely placed to write the story of these extraordinary times. Previously he had worked as a Special Correspondent for the BBC Ten O'Clock News and for Panorama. He is an award-winning journalist and has covered stories all over the world.

He is the author of two previous books: one on Terry Waite, and A Soul on Ice: A Life in News (2005).

Visit Gavin's blog: or follow him on Twitter:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant overview European situation 3 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Hewitt writes engagingly on a topic that affects us all. The story is crystal clear throughout and supplies us with up to the minute information that I found riveting. A "must" read for anyone with a desire to understand what is happening in Europe right now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and interesting 22 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
well written and interesting. We used this as the text for a work book club and had a good conversation about Europe on the strength of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let's get this straight out in the open: Any account of almost anything to do with the EU is never going to be easy to tell. Such is the nature of the beast, of the labyrinthine complexities that this bureaucratic behemoth generates at will. Mr Hewitt does an admirable job of breaking down the breaking down of the pro-Euro consensus from 2007 onwards.

There is, however, little insight or opinion. Hewitt recounts meeting after meeting and records what was discussed and agreed. In a way it is more like a collection of news reports from the period. Perhaps it is supposed to be? But one longs for some personal input from the author. After a while, chapter after chapter about interminable meetings, agreed actions and then failure to take them grates.

Two important takeaways from the book. Firstly, for those that believe the Anglo-Saxon capitalist model is not despised by mainland Europe, dream on; the bitterness and resentment is palpable. Secondly, the pro-EU, pro-Euro bureaucrats and politicians are not economically literate; they really did (do?) think the markets damned the Euro, not the other way around. Stunning naivety - and stunning arrogance from those involved, who make continual noises about somehow circumventing the market each and every time bond yields rose!

The final chapters dwell on the mounting hysteria in Greece and Spain, on riots and soup kitchens; on "Shining Dawn" and other extremist groups. Nothing is mentioned at all of mainstream pro-Sovereignty parties in Europe. No mention of UKIP, for example. This is more than odd, even for an author whose primary employer would appear to be the BBC.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The currency that will kill the E.U. dream? 12 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
MR Hewitt's book gives an insight into the crisis effecting Europe & how Democracy is becoming the slave of capitalism , an interesting , thought provoking & somewhat frightening picture of the monster called the E.U.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read 11 Mar 2014
Well worth a read. Wery interesting. Would recommend read this book as it fills in the gaps otherwise difficult to get to grips with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An extremely interesting read. 1 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very easy reading and explained in layman`s terms the implications both economical and social for the populations of those stricken countries within the Eurozone. It is apparent from the book that the so called economic technocrats who failed to see the financial crash coming now have the power to try to rectify the situation with a "The Markets Rule" approach with no thought at all to the social consequences of their actions. The book also highlights how powerful The German economy now is within the Eurozone.
The book is a must read for everyone who might be called upon to vote in a possible Europe referendum in the UK in 2017. It will also be helpful to those who wish to understand the problems that might be encountered should Scotland vote to leave the union but be allowed to maintain the pound sterling. I recommend the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 24 Jan 2014
By Mujum
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fascinating account of the personal politics of European leaders, and their impact on the Euro Crisis - which is not over yet - sobering to realise that EU leaders seem to have no idea how to manage the single currency.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gavin Hewitt: The Lost Continent 23 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent explanation of the events leading up to the various crises of the Euro from 2008 to 2013. I saw Gavin Hewitt talk on the subject and decided to buy the book. He writes in an engaging and informative manner which is easy to read and understandable to a wide audience. I gained a lot from the book, especially about how different European cultures have long histories of conflict with other European countries, of different ways of dealing with their finances, and how they react to domination from Brussels and other European countries.
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