The book can be divided in three parts: history of EU integration (mostly from a British perspective, but including plenty of Thatcher-bashing), institutions (too a brief and superficial analysis) and policies (the strongest part of the book, but not entirely up to date). The updating of the latest edition (2005) is a very poor exercise, lacking serious redefinition of priorities or themes. Parts of the text still refer to the EU-15, and treats new member states as candidate countries. Most data -including tables- is also outdated. The book is too superficial to be used as a tool for the preparation of the EU exams. For regular readers of The Economist, the book can be disappointing, as it doesn't reflect their neutral and amusing style, nor the depth and knowledge you would expect from an EU guide. For the preparation of the EU concours, you would do better with a more serious titles, such as Dinan's "Ever Closer Union". This book is useful if you just want to get an overview of the EU, and do not bothered if it is not entirely up to date.