on 18 September 2011
With one important caveat, I highly recommend this book by David Marquand. The writer combines an impressive grasp of European politics and history with keen analysis, presenting a number of insights that seem genuinely new or innovative. The style is readable and even enjoyable; Mr. Marquand practices what he preaches by seeking to make EU affairs accessible to a wider audience. Taken as a whole, I found the book very interesting and am currently reading it for the second time.
The important caveat is - perhaps surprisingly - that this book is too Euro-centric, given Mr. Marquand's key claim that the days of the (alleged) global superiority of "Western liberal values" is now clearly over. Evidence for this is lacking; occasional references to the rise of India and China are not sufficient to sway the reader. Indeed, the 2011 "Arab Spring", an event of historical importance on Europe's southern doorstep, arguably supports the counter-claim that western-style democracy and personal freedoms are still shining beacons for many ordinary people.