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European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by [Legrain, Philippe]
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European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 484 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Philippe Legrain is an independent thinker and communicator who also has practical experience of policymaking at the highest level. From February 2011 to February 2014, he was independent economic adviser to the President of the European Commission and head of the team that provides the president with strategic policy advice. He is also the author of three critically acclaimed books – Open World: The Truth about Globalisation (2002); Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007); and Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis (2010). He tweets as @plegrain. For more details, see philippelegrain.com/about/

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1329 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Publisher: CB Creative Books (24 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J5KN972
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first section is an excellent analysis of the current problems and how we got to where we are, laying the blame fairly and squarely where it belongs, on hubristic policymakers, politicians and bankers. He also blows out of the water the "German solution" and UK ministers claims that we on the road to recovery.

However, the book seems to have been published without troubling the editor as it is about twice as long as it need be and the second section, on "solutions", is a kind of projectile vomit of "all the ideas I've ever had". They come thick and fast, resulting in this reader loosing the will to live as solution follows solution, an ill-digested regurgitation of everything he's previously written.

Some stylistic editing would have been beneficial, as his use of the term "worse" to start a sentence becomes, well, "worse" as the book proceeds.

It could have been an excellent contribution, but spoiled by wordiness and some idiosyncratic notions and prejudices. Worse, too many of his ideas and opinions are presented uncritically.

Despite these reservations, worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
The book is well-written in an easy style and very readable. Many statistics and footnotes are included, but they do not hamper readability. Concepts and ideas from economics are made understandable to the general reader. I particularly learned from the critique of problems in Germany, which we are often led to think is a model of success. In the final chapters the authour presents his ideas for solutions to the present mess. However, I am left feeling that the problems are so great that it will be miraculous if in the context of the workings of European democracies, our current politicians, and strong vested-interests, it is possible to fix the present messes. It will take inspired leadership. For a book in this field it is quite a page-turner. I was always wanting to read one more page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want a detailed insight into the processes and economic policies of the EU this is required reading. Legrain was an EU economic adviser and policy maker at the highest level and is a highly respected author. It's a disturbing but very useful read.
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I bought this book as I thought it would provide strong arguments for Britain to remain in the EU. The author was an independent economic advisor to former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and clearly is a supporter of the EU. However the first half of the book is strongly critical of the EU, its institutions and leadership. He is especially scathing about the handling of the eurozone debt crisis particularly regarding Greece. In the second half the author details measures he believes are required to fix the multitude of problems in the union for example the lack of democratic accountability there. It is only in the penultimate chapter that I found the material supporting Britain's remaining in the EU which I was looking for. Free trade between EU countries has led to most Europeans being better off than they otherwise would have been and there is certainly a wider choice of better-value products in shops. He also demonstrates that there would be a reduction in foreign investment in the UK following a Brexit.
For those of us who are sceptical about the case for austerity following the 2008 financial crisis there is plenty of ammunition here. Mr Legrain tells us how the Conversative-led Government hitched the UK to the austerity bandwagon which had started up in the eurozone and is in no doubt that this was unnecessary and economically damaging for us. There is plenty of data about UK and eurozone economic growth after 2008 comparing unfavourably with the US which did not go down the austerity route but followed a fiscal stimulus path instead. Also he provides strong evidence that the UK would have had a stronger recovery and be in a better position now had austerity not been pursued so religiously.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Insightful analysis which clearly shows the lessons from the 1930's, Japan, Nordic Countries and the USA have not been learnt as Europe is under the spell of Germanonics. Great read and stimulating solutions to follow the analysis. Not 100% sure about all the solutions but at least strong evidence based analysis pointing to a new direction rather than the beggar my neighbour austerity and tax pirating which seems to be the way of the EU experiment.
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a faiirly accurate but repetitive analysis of why Europe is in a mess, but not much inthe way of convincing solutions on putting it right.
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Philippe Legrain is about as far from an anti-European as it is possible to get, but like a true friend he is also not afraid to dispense some really quite brutal advice. This book is tough love at it's best - part polemic, part plea, all expressed with a raw and heartfelt anger at how something so precious - the European Project - has gone awry. Events since it was written have only served to show how astute an analysis this book contains (that said I don't agree with all his prescriptions).
I wish more mainstream politicians would read this - and then have the gumption to act on it.
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