Cousins and Strangers: America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century

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Macmillan, Jan 10, 2006 - History - 309 pages
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A frank and controversial assessment of the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, and the stakes for all three if the West breaks apart

Despite the efforts of President Woodrow Wilson, America washed its hands of Europe after the First World War. After the Second World War, it stayed involved, helping to preserve freedom in half of Europe, and creating an infrastructure of global governance that gave the world a remarkable half century of (for the most part) peace and prosperity.
In Cousins and Strangers, Chris Patten, one of Europe's most distinguished statesmen, scrutinizes the final years of the twentieth century and how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 fundamentally changed the nature of this Western alliance. Today, the threat of terrorism, economic competition from Asia, and a seemingly unbridgeable cultural divide have strained the alliance to a moment of reckoning. Patten argues that America's status as the only superpower must be reined in, but he also warns Europe against too ardently challenging U.S. leadership. He questions whether Britain needs to choose between bolstering its "special relationship" with the United States and forging a greater role in a united Europe.
Drawing on more than three decades of experience in government and international diplomacy, Patten brilliantly investigates the three-way relationship among Britain, Europe, and America and how all three must adapt to cope with the economic and political challenges of the twenty-first century.

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Cousins and strangers: America, Britain, and Europe in a new century

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On one of his excursions for the European Commission, as colleagues slumbered in a Beijing guesthouse, Patten realized he had been left alone with president Jiang Zemin and used the moment to discuss ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Chris Patten, chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle universities, was from 1999 until 2004 European commissioner for external relations. He was previously the member of Parliament for Bath, chairman of the Conservative Party, and the last British governor of Hong Kong. He is the author of East and West: China, Power, and the Future of Asia. He lives in London.

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