How did the great European dream turn sour? And where do we go from here?
From the author of the internationally acclaimed In Europe, a stunning history of our present, examining the first two decades of this most fragile and fraught new millennium.
The great European project was built out of a common desire for peace, prosperity and freedom; a wish for a united Europe striving towards a common goal. The EU was to set an example: an arena for close cooperation, tackling crucial shared concerns from climate change to organized crime, promoting open borders and social security.
But the first two turbulent decades of this century have been times of rapid and profound change.
From the shores of Lampedusa to Putin’s Moscow, the continent threatens to tear itself apart. What’s happened to Europe’s optimism and euphoria? How has it given way to nostalgia, frustration and fear, the fragile European dream in danger of turning into a nightmare?
In The Dream of Europe, Geert Mak, one of Europe’s best-loved commentators, charts the seismic events that have shaped people’s lives over the past twenty years. Mak’s monumental book In Europe defined the continent on the verge of a new millennium. The Dream of Europe brings us up to the present day, through the rocky expansion of the EU, the aftermath of 9/11 and terrorist attacks across Europe, the 2008 financial crash and the euro crisis, the tragedy of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, the rise of right-wing populism and Brexit.
Like no other, Mak blends history, politics and culture with the stories and experiences of the many Europeans he meets on his travels.
He brings this continent to life, and asks what role does Europe play now, and how might we face our challenges together, in the spirit of solidarity and connection.