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The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age

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Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuo Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuousness of the leaders who pushed for “Brexit;” examines how a vast migrant wave is exacerbating tensions between Europeans and their Muslim minorities; explores the rising anti-Semitism that causes Jewish schools and synagogues in France and Germany to resemble armed bunkers; and describes how Russian imperial ambitions are destabilizing nations from Estonia to Ukraine. With President Trump now threatening to abandon America's traditional role as upholder of the liberal world order and guarantor of the continent's security, Europe may be alone in dealing with these unprecedented challenges.   Based on extensive firsthand reporting, this book is a provocative, disturbing look at a continent in unexpected crisis.


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Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuo Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuousness of the leaders who pushed for “Brexit;” examines how a vast migrant wave is exacerbating tensions between Europeans and their Muslim minorities; explores the rising anti-Semitism that causes Jewish schools and synagogues in France and Germany to resemble armed bunkers; and describes how Russian imperial ambitions are destabilizing nations from Estonia to Ukraine. With President Trump now threatening to abandon America's traditional role as upholder of the liberal world order and guarantor of the continent's security, Europe may be alone in dealing with these unprecedented challenges.   Based on extensive firsthand reporting, this book is a provocative, disturbing look at a continent in unexpected crisis.

59 review for The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age

  1. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Brown

    James Kirchick has a interesting perspective on European current affairs. Having lived in Europe for six years as a journalist, he draws on his wealth of experience to assess how politics is changing, and the challenges to the Western values of liberalism and democracy that are increasingly overt across the continent. Divided into chapters focusing on different states, he is able to appreciate the unique qualities of each threat to the EU, from the whitewashing of history in Hungary, the interven James Kirchick has a interesting perspective on European current affairs. Having lived in Europe for six years as a journalist, he draws on his wealth of experience to assess how politics is changing, and the challenges to the Western values of liberalism and democracy that are increasingly overt across the continent. Divided into chapters focusing on different states, he is able to appreciate the unique qualities of each threat to the EU, from the whitewashing of history in Hungary, the intervention of Russia in the East and, of course, Brexit. By placing Brexit within a wider context of unrest across Europe, Kirchick predicts the further destabilisation of liberalism, and a future of a continent of competing states. I also found his assessment of the Labour Party and its 'demagogue' leader to be an amusing take on the schisms in British politics, although he warns of the dangers to democracy of having a weak Opposition who isn't fighting for the most European integration possible post-Brexit. That is, perhaps, the largest threat to this book's argument. As with many journalists, Kirchick has an agenda. He is staunchly pro-EU, and his conclusion offers some hope for those who agree with him. However, I found the discursive nature of this book to be its most redeeming quality. Whilst at times I found myself arguing with his ideas and opposing his statements, I also found agreeing and conceding at times. I especially found his assessment of the migrant crisis to be particularly biting - critical, yet fair. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in European or British politics. A politically engaged audience will find it a light and fascinating read that can easily prompt hours of discussion and debate.+

  2. 4 out of 5

    Owlseyes

    “The sad fact is that, in Europe today, there’s only one group of people who are regularly killed on the basis of their identity” ---- "And since U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered the removal of all U.S. forces from the Baltic States in 2019 — his demand that NATO members “pay” for American protection oblivious to the fact that Estonia was one of the handful of countries meeting the alliance threshold of spending 2 percent of its GDP on defense — Putin no longer worried that his move into E “The sad fact is that, in Europe today, there’s only one group of people who are regularly killed on the basis of their identity” ---- "And since U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered the removal of all U.S. forces from the Baltic States in 2019 — his demand that NATO members “pay” for American protection oblivious to the fact that Estonia was one of the handful of countries meeting the alliance threshold of spending 2 percent of its GDP on defense — Putin no longer worried that his move into Estonia might set off an automatic American “tripwire.” ... "At the September 2017 federal elections, the AfD broke new ground in postwar German politics when it became the first party to the right of the Christian Democrats to enter the Bundestag winning 20 percent. " ... "So. it was that Sahra Wagenknecht became Germany’s foreign minister." ... "Immediately upon taking office in 2017, Le Pen fulfilled her pledge to hold a referendum on withdrawing France from the EU, which she won handily." ... "Fulfilling his campaign pledge, Corbyn withdrew the U.K. from NATO and expelled American military bases from Britain." ... "The breakup of the EU was proceeding apace. " ... "The outer edges of Europe were beset with their own crises. The secessionist flame lit by the successful Scottish independence campaign spread like wildfire: Catalonia finally voted to split from Spain, and the Veneto region seceded from Italy." ... "What you have just read is a work of speculative fiction." (US soldiers arrive in Lithuania to ‘reassure’ NATO allies amid Ukrainian crisis. American soldiers stand on the tarmac after arriving at the air force base near Siauliai Zuokniai, Lithuania, on April 26, 2014. (AFP Photo/Petras Malukas) (Soldiers of armored infantry battalion Panzergrenadierbataillon 122 of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, attend a ceremony to mark their pending deployment to Lithuania on 19 January, 2017 in Oberviechtach, Germany Johannes Simon/Getty Images) 8,000 NATO troops launch exercise near Russian-Norwegian border (PHOTOS, VIDEO) In: https://www.rt.com/news/379641-8000-n... Et voilá: "Russia is destabilizing the Continent in every front" James Kirchick, March 15, 2017 Mar 09, 2017 UPDATE "A specter is haunting Europe. The specter of populist nationalism" James Kirchick, November 15, 2017 He was referring to the post-communist German left-party, Marine Le Pen in France and the Italian 5-stars movement. What would he say of today? (Maybe that the specter reached gigantic proportions, in the Hungary of Orban, with Brexit, with Salvini in Italy...or Vox in Spain, to name a few. Plus, Steve Bannon in the USA...and Europe) Why not speaking of renewal and new opportunities?? Or the crumbling of the Old Order. Why not saying "The End of the EU"?. Long lives Europe. (blue Europe)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Selbst

    Kirchick is better on politics than economics. His analysis of the rise of illiberal parties and governments and the dangers of Russia's perpetual efforts to undermine the West are perceptive and informative. But his analysis of the Greek economy is superficial and flawed. It's just a scolding regurgitation of a banker's catalog of alleged Greek sins. Moreover, although he chastises both far right and leftist/populist movements, he never acknowledges why many European voters are tired of existin Kirchick is better on politics than economics. His analysis of the rise of illiberal parties and governments and the dangers of Russia's perpetual efforts to undermine the West are perceptive and informative. But his analysis of the Greek economy is superficial and flawed. It's just a scolding regurgitation of a banker's catalog of alleged Greek sins. Moreover, although he chastises both far right and leftist/populist movements, he never acknowledges why many European voters are tired of existing political choices, and why the new-ish parties, although repugnant to him, are attracting votes and support. This book had a ton of pre-publication buzz, but I was underwhelmed. The signal/noise ratio made me question the effort of slogging through some deeply turgid prose.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    This is a highly biased account of the difficulties facing Europe by an American neocon. He makes his points by means of analyses of contemporary Germany, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Greece & the EU. There is a lot of good information but the obvious bias & inclusion of opinion make it very hard to digest not to speak of trusting. This is a highly biased account of the difficulties facing Europe by an American neocon. He makes his points by means of analyses of contemporary Germany, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Greece & the EU. There is a lot of good information but the obvious bias & inclusion of opinion make it very hard to digest not to speak of trusting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Barker

    A clear-eyed relatively unbiased analysis of the current state of Europe and where it could go in the future. Kirchick isn't pushing an agenda and offers factual analysis. If you are reading this as a partisan reader there's a chance you'll be offended by at least one of his points that will disagree with your narrative.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jaffe

    This was a very good book about the current status of Europe - or more accurately how an era of European history appears to be falling by the wayside, and a nastier period beginning. I don't always agree with everything Kirchick says in his analysis, but he backs up his points fairly well. That makes sense, as he is a member of a foreign policy think tank in Washington and has written articles on Europe. Aside from a brief intro and a similarly length conclusion, the book consists of eight chapte This was a very good book about the current status of Europe - or more accurately how an era of European history appears to be falling by the wayside, and a nastier period beginning. I don't always agree with everything Kirchick says in his analysis, but he backs up his points fairly well. That makes sense, as he is a member of a foreign policy think tank in Washington and has written articles on Europe. Aside from a brief intro and a similarly length conclusion, the book consists of eight chapters. Seven detail the ongoings in a particular European country, and the eighth on the European Union itself. Each chapter looks at how something is going wrong in modern Europe. The first chapter is on Russia, the most important country in the demise of the old European order. Putin has a neo-Breznhev Doctrine, but one mixed with a fascist blood-and-soil belief. Putin is a kleptocrat, but he has a genuine belief in Russian exceptionalism that guides his policies. Putin sees Russia as a force to oppose western decadence, hedionism, self-indulgence, and materialism. He seeks Russian dominion in the former Soviet republics - and influence beyond. He squeezes the Baltics, seeing that as a way to possibly end NATO (and he could be right). He finances disruptive Russian organizations in the Baltics. He has gotten Russia involved in other countries' affairs, most notably the 2016 DNC hack. (And Kirchick is pretty critical of how the Obama administration consistently minimized the real threat Russia posed until then). Kirchick notes that declining powers are often the most least risk aversive, and there has been an uptick in loose talk on using nukes in Russia. Next, Kirchick goes to Hungary. There, the ruling party is falsifying their WWII past, ignoring Hungarian compliciancy with the Nazis and pretending the crimes were equally against all Hungarians, with nothing especially heavy directed at Jews. They dispute the singularity of the Holocaust. They argue that communism was a Jewish revenge on them. Only Russia does more to manipulate its history with WWII. Many maps and bumper stickers et al in Hungary portray Greater Hungary, not just the current borders. They blame the WWII-era treaty for losing the land, and ignore the Nazi alliance that caused them to lose it. Budapest, mind you, has 100,000 Jews, the most in East Europe. But Budapest has doubled down on Magyar nationalism, and has harrassed NGOs. They point to the alternative party, Jobbik, as worse. It is, but the ruling party doesn't really seem to mind it much. The ruling party's approach is meanwhile catching on in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. A chapter on Germany is a bit weaker because it takes a while to get into the point. He basically argues that Germany desire for peace and tranquility has a nationalist edge to it, as they talk the most about it when it serves their interest, and they are willing to do business with unsavory sorts. The SPD is the weak link in the west's united front against Russian subversion. He notes the Germany tends to downplay Russian problems more, and tends to be especially annoyed at American issues. The chapter begins with wikileaks and how Germany was far more offended by it than France. (He also doesn't think much of Edward Snowden, arguging that all states do espionage, and if Snowden really was so offended by US governmental actions he should've focused more on internal issues). Wikileaks turned into the biggest wedge in US-Germany relations since the Iraq War. As Russia has become more aggressive, Germany has become more conciliatory. Kirchick argues that the modern Ostpolitik elevates peace above all other concerns, even if it means letting someone take advantage of you. I think Kirchick presses his points too far in this section, but he makes a decent overall point. We finally get the chapter on the EU itself. Kirchick thinks that the EU needs to re-figure its approach to asylum seekers. You get many low-skilled, young, unattached men showing up. 73% are men. That's a receipt for a messy situation, and then you add in the cultural differences (in general an in gender relations) between secular Europe and the Muslim Mid-East. Europe has less prosperous immigrants than the US and a more robust welfare states, which both causes problems and friction. Parties like the Swedish Democrats have come to the fore opposing the migrants. Mainstream parties refuse denounce this, decrying all anti-asylum attitudes as racist. Kirchick argues that the blanket use of this term overlooks the real problems going on, and then plays into the hands of the actual racists. Russian disinformation campaigns plays into this as well. Again, Kirchick does a good job making the argument, but I think he misses another more serious problem with the current EU: economically it's been doing a really bad job serving the needs of the many. If there really was a rising economic tide lifting boats, people wouldn't be so put off by the immigration issue. But Kirchick never really addresses it, focusing on cultural/immigration matters alone. Kirchick goes to France, h0me to Europe's largest Jewish population and its largest Muslim population. And this is a problem as Jews have begun migrating out of France in larger numbers. (Problem: I never got much of a sense of scale. He notes that 8,000 Jews left in 2015, a four-fold increase in four years - but out of how many? 300,000 is a number mentioned early in the chapter but it isn't clear if that is the actual number or not. Kirchick argues that the French are in denial about the bad relations between Jews and Muslims in France, especially by Muslims towards Jews. He argues that Jews have been having to re-ghettoize themselves for protection, their synagogues are becoming fortresses. Meanwhile, he says that cops, firemen and social workers fear to tread in Muslim areas. (Really? I'd like some more info on this as it sounds a bit hyperventilating). He also says that ignoring this issue has led to a greater presence for anti-Semitism, as people blame Jews for having the problems, find no problem in a conflation of anti-Semitism/anti-Israel feelings, and decry any opposing viewpoints as Islamophobic. The chapter on England focuses, naturally, on Brexit. UKIP and Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson pushed for it, though it isn't clear that they all wanted it to win. Tories are in disarray. England is learning the wrong lessons from its history, as they can't be passively disengaged toward the continent. Labour ignore anti-immigrant feelings by their rank-and-file as racist. Corbyn is an old leftist with no new ideas, and more tolerance of problems from Russia. Fringe ideas/parties are on the rise as the old ones do nothing. They are looking more towards China than Europe (which to me sounds like a reasonable plan, actually), and might lose Scotland. Greece is the next topic. He looks at its breakdown and argues that they need to reform their system. They want a big welfare state but still also want to have lots of tax evasion. They need to embrace modernization, Kirchick says, but it's not fully clear what he means by it. Frankly, it sounds like he means austerity and gutting their welfare state. But this is the heart of the problem I have with this book. Greece (and others) have done that, and it just has caused more hardship with little/no rewards. Really, throughout this book Kirchick turns a blind eye to economic problems caused by current policies supported by dominant political groups. Those are never singled out as problems in this book. Instead its Russian disinformation, and immigrants, and nationalism causing all those things. But why are those things so problematic for Europe now? Really, it doesn't sound like Kirchick has any solutions to Europe's current problems, in part because he doesn't get to a key root of the problems. Kirchick does note how Greece's Syriza party has been congratulated by Jobbik and the UKIP, which may seem odd because it's on the far left and they're on the far right. But it makes sense since they're all anti-status quo. Finally, a chapter on the Ukraine. Putin sees everything going on there as stuff the West is causing. He looks to upheavel in Kyrzstan in 2010 and sees the west doing the same in the Ukraine in 2014. That there are actual Urkanians involved is nothing to him - they're western stooges. Russia, once the world's leader in revolution, is now the world's leader in counter-revolution. That said, a successful democratic Ukraine IS a threat to Russia. So he takes Crimea and supports separatist militias there. Its a lot more cynical and nihilist than the Cold War, when Russia had an overall goal it was fighting for. However, Putin has a more receptive audience in the West, from Jobbik, to UKIP, to Trump. Ukraine is about more than just the Ukraine. It's a challenge to the west, and a failure there would be a failure to traditional western liberalism in Europe. Vaclev Havel died and his death could be symbolic for the end of an era; an era when European leaders sought to integrate and work together. Now its an era of short-sighted populists and nationalists. But Europe's biggest problems can only be solved by connections.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jakub

    Moja recenzia: https://historyweb.dennikn.sk/clanky/... Moja recenzia: https://historyweb.dennikn.sk/clanky/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Warman

    First book of the year! I'd honestly like to say I enjoyed this book more than I actually did. Did I learn a lot, perhaps. Was it elegantly written? One could argue, yes. However, a number of his points seemed more afloat in emotions, than grounded in fact. Something that also did not settle well with me was the questions about the supposed liberal defense of Islam (red-green alliance?). As an openly gay man, I'll admit I have asked "why might the liberal left join the in the defense of others wh First book of the year! I'd honestly like to say I enjoyed this book more than I actually did. Did I learn a lot, perhaps. Was it elegantly written? One could argue, yes. However, a number of his points seemed more afloat in emotions, than grounded in fact. Something that also did not settle well with me was the questions about the supposed liberal defense of Islam (red-green alliance?). As an openly gay man, I'll admit I have asked "why might the liberal left join the in the defense of others who do not necessarily share my thoughts on LGBQT freedoms?" And to that I would say, since we know what it feels like to be discriminated against, we should stand up to prevent others from experiencing that when we can. In so doing, maybe we can change thier minds.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    Very dire outlook on the future security of Europe and the future of the EU and the Transatlantic Alliance. With the wave of refugees in 2015, Brexit, rising nationalism, a resurgent far right, Russian designs at resetting the map of Europe and the disintegrating EU and Transatlantic Alliance. Things look bad all across the west. This is a period where we have lost our moorings and the future is up in the air. Not pleasant to read but necessary.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Florian Bieber

    It makes some good points, but is to simplistic in its view, not trying to understand the rise of dictators in a more nuanced manner. It also is extremely critical of the rise of authoritarianism and populism in Europe, but not reflecting on similar dynamics back in the US, thus ignoring the wider picture.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charles J

    This is a silly and shallow book. But it is not worthless, because it serves to exemplify and clarify modern political fracture lines. In the West, the major political split today is between those who view the modern liberal project of maximum individual freedom and maximum democracy (as long as the voters make the correct choices) as the ultimate and unquestionable good, and those who view that project as either inherently defective or sharply limited in the good it brings to humanity. If Rysza This is a silly and shallow book. But it is not worthless, because it serves to exemplify and clarify modern political fracture lines. In the West, the major political split today is between those who view the modern liberal project of maximum individual freedom and maximum democracy (as long as the voters make the correct choices) as the ultimate and unquestionable good, and those who view that project as either inherently defective or sharply limited in the good it brings to humanity. If Ryszard Legutko, in his criticism of European “liberal-democracy” in "The Demon in Democracy" had conjured that demon to physical form, it would be James Kirchick—although, perhaps, Kirchick would manifest only as an imp or familiar, in thrall to some greater demon lurking in the wings, such as George Soros. In "The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age," Kirchick (a clever but ignorant American thirty-something, whose admirably polished prose serves to obfuscate his puerility), lavishes unreflective worship on every single thing that Legutko despises. Kirchick offers very many dark mutterings, but he does very little reasoning, and like many millennials, his historical knowledge can most charitably be described as spotty. The net effect is that of a lengthy, unreasoned tirade, but one which serves to clearly mark one pole of today’s politics. Despite his alarmist subtitle, Kirchick makes no effort to actually persuade the reader that there looms a “coming dark age.” Rather, his book has two related objects. The first is to claim that “liberal democracy” is the best system ever invented, with no drawbacks at all, and the measure of any society is solely where it stands on a scale drawn by Kirchick, with only movement toward the end of the scale being permissible, where a big red crayon has written out “100% LIBERAL DEMOCRACY!!!!!” The second, closely related, goal is to persuade the reader that modern Russia is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron, whose baleful lidless eye is fixed on Europe, eager to twist to his evil purposes the uniquely powerful talisman of 100% LIBERAL DEMOCRACY, anything else than which is necessarily a “dark age.” Kirchick begins with clearly laying out, without discussion or introspection, his view that the European Union is “the greatest experiment in political cooperation in human history,” whose only relevant characteristic is its supra-national commitment to “liberal democracy.” He identifies any deviation from this paradise as “The European Nightmare” (the title of his Introduction), and he identifies such deviations in a number of so-called crises, each arising in a particular country and being a crisis only and to the extent it shows deviation from liberal democracy. Kirchick makes extreme claims for the liberal democracy of the EU. All these “crises share a root cause: the lack of solidarity. They can be ameliorated only by cohesion: political, economic, military, and cultural.” None of “protection of individual rights . . . freedom of speech and religion . . . would be possible without European cooperation.” Not for Kirchick any response to those who, like Legutko, note that the EU is only for individual rights and freedom of speech and religion if and to the extent to they serve liberal democracy—Legutko’s “coercion to freedom.” No, for Kirchick, 100% LIBERAL DEMOCRACY is a delicious and refreshing melding of the Holy Grail and the Fountain of Youth. Kirchick ends his Introduction by trying to show why Americans should care about Europe, claiming that “the arguments you are about to read stem from a conviction that the values and interests uniting Americans and Europeans are far more numerous, and of greater import, than anything which divides us.” But there are no arguments in this book. Instead, there is a series of what amount to journal entries on individual countries, in which Kirchick quotes and defers to exclusively left-wing and radically pro-EU academics and politicians, assembling not arguments but a litany of what are supposed to be horror stories about any individual or entity that does not bow down with joy before the EU’s priests. And, since every morality play needs a devil, that role in every chapter is played by Vladimir Putin, whom Kirchick treats as interchangeable with “Russia.” Despite referring to “liberal democracy” in reverent tones on nearly every page, and referring constantly to “illiberal democracy” as its supposed opposite, Kirchick nowhere attempts any type of definitions. For him, a protean conception is useful, for reasons I discuss below, as well as easy, since, after all, thinking is hard, especially if you’re uneducated. But I infer his definition is much the same as Legutko’s—it is a system where maximization of individual liberty is seen as paramount and inevitable, and more direct governance by the masses is always better—except where the holder of liberties dares to use it to suggest that maximum liberty is not always better, or that there should be limits on autonomic individualism, or that authority outside of the individual should exist, or where the holder of votes dares to vote for anyone who opposes what Kirchick demands. In those cases, the holders of liberties and votes are the enemies of Man who would bring the “Coming Dark Age.” And those enemies of Man are legion, at least in Kirchick’s fever dreams. Naturally enough, Kirchick begins with Russia. In order to grab the reader’s attention, he starts with the threats Russia poses to its neighbors, the Baltic states and Ukraine. Those threats are real enough, and if I were Estonian, I’d bury machine guns in back yards too (something Estonia is having its citizens do, although Kirchick doesn’t mention it, probably since outlawing any private holding of guns is a key component of liberal democracy, in which only certain freedoms are permitted). But Kirchick quickly pivots to his real objection to Russia—it lacks “our values,” and the only way it can be allowed to be “regarded as an equal in the international system” is by “earning that privilege” through achieving “measurable tasks (modernization and liberalization).” Russia must be treated as a pariah unless it pursues “joining the West and embracing its liberal values,” for after all, the West is nothing but a “group of societies defined by shared values.” Thus, Russia’s values are the opposite of the West’s supposedly “shared values.” And what are Russia’s unacceptable, “reactionary,” values? Why, Christianity and nationalism, of course, which are “illiberal [and] authoritarian.” Kirchick is appalled, and assumes the reader is equally appalled, by Putin saying of the West: “We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religion and even sexual.” Kirchick’s deep and panicked fear is that “Russia now provides a sort of intellectual glue to unite disparate illiberal forces across the continent and around the world.” He quotes an American academic, that because of “Moscow’s leadership . . . norms privileging state security, civilizational diversity, and traditional values over liberal democracy now enjoy significant backing, and they are reshaping the international environment.” Kirchick presents no argument about this—he simply assumes that is obviously a terrible outcome. The unmitigated horror of “privileging state security, civilizational diversity, and traditional values” is apparently self-evident. I don’t know about you, but all that makes me think Putin is awesome, because he’s totally right, and he’s totally privileging the right things. Let’s not go too far—Putin is very much not a nice man, and Russia’s interests diverge from America’s (just as ours do from Europe’s). But that doesn’t mean he’s not correct about many things, and that he is correct, frankly, makes him more of a potential ally to American conservatives in the real global struggle to renew our civilization than Angela Merkel or any analogue. Perhaps aware that his claims are weak and far from self-proving, Kirchick deliberately and repeatedly conflates Soviet Russia with today’s Russia and strongly implies that today’s Russia is the greater threat because of its evil values of Christianity and nationalism, for the one value that cannot be questioned is that “a human being is an end unto himself.” This is the core of Kirchick’s “thought” and the closest he comes to an argument in favor of liberal democracy. No traditional conservative would agree with that sentiment; why, precisely, is beyond the scope of this review, but we can agree that Kirchick has hoisted his pirate flag and flown it high, such that there is no doubt where he stands, even if we are never given any clear reason why. Having done the reader the favor of showing his real fear, which is a set of universal, and formerly universally honored, values rather than the country or rulers of Russia, Kirchick turns to other countries. First up is Hungary, about which I know quite a bit, since I’m half Hungarian and have spent quite a bit of time there. It does not appear that Kirchick has spent any time there, and he apparently knows none of the language, since he refers to it as “inscrutable.” Instead, he relies on the rantings of a handful of leftist academics and journalists. Naturally, he begins with a highly inaccurate history of Hungary’s role in World War Two and the Holocaust, seemingly attempting to establish that anyone whose highest value isn’t liberal democracy really wants to kill Jews. Then he spends the rest of the chapter attacking the wildly popular right-of-center government led by Viktor Orbán for having the wrong values and bad taste in sculpture to boot. Orbán’s unforgivable sin is that he has dared to call for “breaking with the dogmas and ideologies that have been adopted by the West and keeping ourselves independent from them.” Kirchick does not give any examples of actual illegitimate behavior by Orbán, since Hungary (unlike Russia) very much has “the rule of law . . . a free press, individual rights, an independent judiciary, and respect for due process.” Instead he claims Hungary is not a “real democracy,” because “a key feature distinguishing real democracies from ones that exist solely on paper is respect for the culture and spirit of democracy, a quality defined, in the truest sense of the word, as ‘liberalism.’” In other words, if you don’t agree with Kirchick’s program, you have false consciousness, so you’re not a democracy at all. Kirchick therefore demands that Hungary be punished by the EU, by aggressive financial penalties and expulsion if Hungary will not do as it is told, thus exemplifying what tolerance actually means to people like him. Kirchick does not at any place state what “traditional values” are or why they bad, just that they reside in the outer darkness relative to the life-giving light of liberal democracy. They are dreadful and even referring to them in a positive manner should result in removal from any civilized community of nations. Presumably he thinks any objective moral standards are “traditional values,” since to be an end to oneself, totally atomized and under no authority, is explicitly Kirchick’s highest human good. Although he nowhere mentions it in the book, Kirchick’s primary career is being a homosexual activist, whose main claim to fame is appearing in 2013 as an invited guest on Russian television and being kicked out after refusing to address the topic at hand (Bradley Manning’s sentencing), instead ranting about Russia’s inadequately enlightened treatment of homosexuals. His homosexuality is not incidental to his views in this book. As has become clear in America, and more generally in the West, homosexual activists (though not necessarily homosexuals per se) are the enemy of all traditional values and of Christianity, which embodies those values, in particular. Rather than accepting a compromise of sorts, which could have been envisioned just a few years ago, homosexual activists increasingly demand the extermination of all opposing views and the destruction of traditional Christianity (and of Islam—perhaps one reason Kirchick is highly Islamophobic). The reader is justified in concluding that much of Kirchick’s demand for liberal democracy is the smokescreen of a bigot, concealing a demand for greater acceptance of his sexual practices and the destruction of opposition to his sexual practices, which, if you look at his personal website and other writings, are clearly the main focus and driver of his political thought. As far as Hungary goes, fortunately, Orbán is still in power, and Kirchick and his dubious friends are not. I note with pleasure that this month (April 2017) Hungary passed a law effectively attacking Central European University in Budapest, which the malevolent George Soros has used as a beachhead to attack traditional values (full disclosure: I took courses there in 1991). In fact, such actions by Orbán should serve as a model for American conservatives. For decades, liberals have attacked and repressed conservatives, while conservatives refused to stoop to brutal political tactics and the use of personal and career destruction. This was a mistake. The only way to win is to punch back twice as hard, and keep punching. We should all emulate Orbán in this, and celebrate his successes. I certainly do. Next Kirchick has a long chapter on Germany, a country about which, unlike Hungary, he actually seems to know a lot. (It appears he lives, or lived, there, and speaks fluent German.) Germany, of course, has all the correct values (other than a few benighted souls, who have been effectively and justly repressed in order to end repression), so the point of his chapter is that the Germans as a country need to step up and aggressively defend liberal democracy against Sauron. Again, Kirchick treats Putin as at least a great a threat to the West as the Soviet Union; he lectures us that the Cold War worked out for Germany despite widespread and dubious unilateral pacifism, but it may well not work out against the equally great threat of Putin. This boring chapter segues into the next, on the European Union as a whole. Here Kirchick, to his credit, is honest about the huge problems caused by Muslim immigration to Europe, from economic parasitism to massive increases in rape, as well as the illiberal measures taken by countries such as Germany and Sweden to suppress native-born dissent and pretend Everything Is Wonderful. At first glance, this seems a bit odd, since Kirchick’s position here opposes that of the EU’s liberal democratic rulers, who uniformly preach how wonderful unrestricted immigration is. But upon reflection, Kirchick does this in service of his broader thesis, since his main point here isn’t the problems created by immigration, but the reaction by conservatives and right-wing groups in Europe, which is meant to show that the fascists are lurking everywhere, just waiting for the will of liberal democracy to waver so they can take over and impose evil “traditional values.” Naturally, Kirchick nowhere notes that the EU itself is highly undemocratic, with its structures deliberately designed to prevent elections resulting in any change of or deviation from the ruling ideology. Kirchick rejects offhand the main practical justification for allowing unfettered immigration—that since Europeans have such a low birth rate, young people have to come from somewhere to work and maintain the welfare state. (We can leave aside the question whether immigration in practice actually accomplishes that goal.) His (brief) argument is that unemployment is already high, so why do we need more workers? That seems simplistic to me, but more importantly, other than one mention here of “declining birthrates and an aging population,” at no place in the book does Kirchick even once address the massive demographic decline, and associated enervation and stagnation, that constitutes one of the, if not the, main structural challenge for Europe as a whole. Perhaps this is because it does not fit his thesis of “liberal democracy makes everything wonderful,” or because Putin’s Russia has a higher birthrate that is getting higher, presumably showing the confidence of Russians in Russia’s future. Next up is France, where again Kirchick’s focus is on the problems caused by Islam, including (but hardly limited to) extensive anti-Semitic violence (the title of the chapter, in fact, is “France Without Jews”). Then Kirchick covers Britain. The UK, of course, is a huge problem for Kirchick, since Brexit suggests that in a democracy, the people may in fact not want more liberal democracy, and he can’t make up lies about Britain like he can about Hungary, because Americans actually have direct access to the truth. Kirchick flails about, incorrectly claiming that Brexit has brought economic catastrophe to Britain—in fact, as of April 2017, the British economy has done better than before Brexit. He breathlessly claims “a 500 percent increase in hate crimes in Britain”—but his “evidence” is a left-wing newspaper article published a week after the vote, where online (!) “331 hate crime incidents [were] reported to [a] site compared with a weekly average of 63.” These incidents included the horror of “negative social media commentary” and apparently involved no violence at all, if any of the reports were even true at all (unlikely given that we have seen that essentially all reports of pro-Trump violence after the November election were fabricated, as these probably were too). He attacks Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson (and again Kirchick shows his literary/historical ignorance, quoting an anonymous attack on Johnson as “Boris told such dreadful lies/it made one gasp and stretch one’s eyes,” unaware that is a quote from Hilaire Belloc’s satirical children’s poem Matilda: Who Told Lies, And Was Burned To Death). Kirchick jitters about like a decapitated Chicken Little, whose severed head chants “The sky is falling!” Which, for him, perhaps it is, as shown by Brexit’s very happening. Kirchick finishes his list of “crises” with a chapter on Greece, which, like the country, is dull and pointless, not to mention that Greece is totally peripheral to Europe; and a chapter on Ukraine, about which Kirchick doesn’t care except that if Putin manages to dominate Ukraine, it “would signal a decisive blow against the values of liberalism,” and therefore cause Kirchick’s head, already in terrible pain from Brexit, to explode. [Review (briefly) finished as first comment.]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gilda Felt

    I’m of two minds when it comes to this book. While many of Kirchick’s arguments are sound, I wonder at how much he lets the EU off the hook. Especially when it comes to Greece. Yes, the country made mistakes, but taking more money away from people is no way to grow an economy. Government spending as opposed to austerity is the difference between much of Europe’s anemic growth and the US’s robust growth. But I very much agree with him about the threat the Russia poses.Their interference in our ele I’m of two minds when it comes to this book. While many of Kirchick’s arguments are sound, I wonder at how much he lets the EU off the hook. Especially when it comes to Greece. Yes, the country made mistakes, but taking more money away from people is no way to grow an economy. Government spending as opposed to austerity is the difference between much of Europe’s anemic growth and the US’s robust growth. But I very much agree with him about the threat the Russia poses.Their interference in our election, as well as those of France and Ukraine, show that Putin is willing to do just about anything to forward his agenda. Whether that agenda is to recreate the Soviet Union, or to only grow his own wealth and power, it’s a threat that we are foolish to ignore. That doesn’t mean that the only path open to the West is business as usual. There are reasons that so many are now suspicious of their own governments. We can make real changes without causing the downfall of our democracies.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rusmir

    Devastating but important read. If you're looking for your next wonky non-fiction, this is it. Jamie points out trends that have been slowly eroding the foundation of European ideals. The chapter on Ukraine was killer - I kept underlining every other sentence for insights into how Russians funded the disinformation campaign there. I hope this book is a warning, not a prophecy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    FULL Real Time With Bill Maher 5/17/19 FULL Real Time With Bill Maher 5/17/19

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisett

    Loved this. Thought-provoking and yes, terrifying, but Kirchick understands Europe much better than most American commentators (or even many European ones) seem to, and he pulls no punches in detailing the worrying trends in today's Europe. These include the rise of far-right politicians, anti-semitism and failure to collaborate adequately in the face of external threats. As an Estonian in London, several of the elements of the story hit close to home. The Russian bear has been flexing its muscl Loved this. Thought-provoking and yes, terrifying, but Kirchick understands Europe much better than most American commentators (or even many European ones) seem to, and he pulls no punches in detailing the worrying trends in today's Europe. These include the rise of far-right politicians, anti-semitism and failure to collaborate adequately in the face of external threats. As an Estonian in London, several of the elements of the story hit close to home. The Russian bear has been flexing its muscles for more than a few years now, and back home, everyone is prepared (military training and canned foods included). Over here in London, most everyone seems unwilling to accept Russia as any kind of threat, and dismisses the East Europeans' concerns as mere hysteria. At the same time, as an European living in the UK, I was here to watch the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and commiserate with shellshocked Londoners who really didn't believe this would happen. Even now, a year later, there seems to be no coherent plan for how to handle this - neither the government nor the opposition has any idea what to do. The UK seems like a wilful child intent on disobeying its parents, but without a clue as to how. And yet, despite it all, the idea of Europe is still (or perhaps more than ever) a dream that seems worth fighting for. As the world backslides on its path towards freedom and democracy, and the US shows a concerning trend towards illiberalism, we need the European idea more than ever. Kirchick makes a great case for it - and I for one am more energised than dismayed by his bleak, straightforward view. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, after all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Fun little glimpse into the NeoCon mindset with its many pathologies, which is really the only reason why I’m giving it 2 start. It is important, I think, to remind oneself that these “conservatives“ are really one‘s enemies every bit as their far left brethren are. Works such as these are good for that, if nothing else.

  17. 4 out of 5

    lieberries

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In sum: Europe is embracing authoritarian demagogues as it deals with the migrant crisis, sovereign debt crisis, and Russian attempts to deepen the schism between Western Europe & the US. Summary of author's views on: NATO Europe’s peace and generous welfare is partly subsidized by US military guarantees, allowing many members of NATO to demilitarize & spend under 2% of their budget on their own military. NATO’s purpose was: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down." – Has In sum: Europe is embracing authoritarian demagogues as it deals with the migrant crisis, sovereign debt crisis, and Russian attempts to deepen the schism between Western Europe & the US. Summary of author's views on: NATO Europe’s peace and generous welfare is partly subsidized by US military guarantees, allowing many members of NATO to demilitarize & spend under 2% of their budget on their own military. NATO’s purpose was: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down." – Hastings Ismay, Secretary General of NATO, on the purpose of NATO Russia Repeatedly violated treaties, using postmodern means to achieve premodern aims. Eg. cyber terrorism & minority agitation against the baltic states. It still views affairs through the lens of superpower politics, suspecting US involvement in Ukraine’s Maidan protests, and influences former USSR nations in its sphere of influence through carrot (deals on gas) & stick (threat of military intervention). Russia readily sheltered Snowden, who not only leaked on domestic surveillance, but also foreign intelligence. Hungary Its clerisy are openly irredentist toward territory lost in the Treaty of Trianon, and the Right are revisionists, arguing Hungary was a victim of Nazis & Communists as much as a collaborator in the Holocaust. Orban’s steering Hungary toward an authoritarian, illiberal democracy. Germany For its dark past, Germany avoids the trappings of power and the assertion of military or political might. She also feels a reliance on Russian oil (Norstream), and a la Ostpolitik, feels the creep of moral equivalence between East (Russia) & the West (US) in wishing for equidistance. Germans outraged at revelation of US espionage, as its own intelligence depended on US tutelage. However, some of it is espionage against islamic extremism & counterintelligence against the Russians & Chinese. UK Free from foreign domination in the modern era, the UK doesn’t feel as urgent a need for the EU as a means of a balance of power or containment of an otherwise dominant germany. Brexit means the UK would lose preferential access to the EU market, and may catalyze Scottish independence, given their support for Remain. Leave side exaggerated the loss of sovereignty under Brussels, and conflated (eastern) european migrants who are net contributors to the tax base, and has lower welfare usage, & migrants from outside of europe. The leftward shift of the Labour Party hurt its popular support. Greece Officials fudged financials to fulfill monetary union requirements. Afterwards, instead of using easy credit to balance the budget, it greatly expanded the public sector & welfare spending. Greece has low societal social trust, with politics being short-term zero-sum game, and has among the highest rates of tax evasion. Populace wishes to remain in the EU, but are unwilling to bear the needed consequences. Contrary to the stereotype, Greeks work among the most hours in Europe, but suffer from low economic productivity. EU & Migrant policy Open doors policy lead to influx of mostly-male migrants, the majority of which were economic migrants vs refugees. Europe has a dismal track record of assimilation for employment vs North America, and its pursuit of multiculturalism led to parallel societies / ghettos emerging in major cities. The mass sexual assaults (Taharrush = gangrape games) in Cologne & Rotherham & the subsequent media blackout led to backlash of swelling support for far right. There’s a double standard towards liberal values, with any critique of Islam met with cries of Islamophobia. European jews are also under attack as the West tolerates intolerance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonas VD

    Het Europese project zit onmiskenbaar in de hoek waar de klappen vallen. Dat is ook de Amerikaanse journalist James Kirchick niet ontgaan. Maar er is meer aan de hand. In zijn boek 'Het Einde van Europa: dictators, demagogen en de komst van donkere' tijden schetst Kirchick een weinig vrolijke toekomstvisie. Hoewel de titel erger doet vermoeden, voorspelt hij geen oorlog op het continent en vreest hij ook niet voor het einde van de Europese Unie. Wat volgens hem wel bedreigd wordt, is het vertrou Het Europese project zit onmiskenbaar in de hoek waar de klappen vallen. Dat is ook de Amerikaanse journalist James Kirchick niet ontgaan. Maar er is meer aan de hand. In zijn boek 'Het Einde van Europa: dictators, demagogen en de komst van donkere' tijden schetst Kirchick een weinig vrolijke toekomstvisie. Hoewel de titel erger doet vermoeden, voorspelt hij geen oorlog op het continent en vreest hij ook niet voor het einde van de Europese Unie. Wat volgens hem wel bedreigd wordt, is het vertrouwen in de universele, humanistische waarden waar Europa op gebouwd is. De concrete aanleiding voor het boek was de bijna geruisloze Russische annexatie van de Krim in maart 2014, de eerste vijandige bezetting van Europees grondgebied sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Volgens Kirchick, die voor Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Europa woonde en werkte, legde deze daad van agressie de pijnlijke kwetsbaarheid van Europa bloot. De Sovjetunie is dan wel vervangen door een traditionalistische en maffiose bullebak, Rusland lijkt er nog steeds op uit om Europa los te weken van de VS en verdeeldheid te zaaien in de EU, om zo de Russische invloedssfeer in Oost-Europa te vergroten. Van alle bedreigingen die Kirchick bespreekt, is dit verreweg de meest fundamentele. De oorlog die zich momenteel voortsleept in Oekraïne gaat immers over veel meer dan Oekraïne alleen. Volgens Kirchick is het conflict een ernstige bedreiging voor de broze veiligheidsorde in Europa én de wereld. Daarnaast gaat deze oorlog over het voortbestaan van de waardengemeenschap die de EU is. Het Einde van Europa is een vlot leesbaar en overzichtelijk boek. Het is geografisch en thematisch geordend in acht hoofdstukken die elk een specifieke crisis bespreken. Kirchick schrijft helder en slaagt er wonderwel in om complexe problemen niet saai te laten worden. De keerzijde van die medaille is dat hij vrij scherpe standpunten inneemt of zich laat gaan in stevige rants. Zo worden onder meer Edward Snowden en Jeremy Corbyn een paar keer onverbiddelijk de mantel uitgeveegd. Dit sterk opiniërende aspect zorgt ervoor dat je als lezer kritisch moet blijven, maar stoort op zich niet. De bevlogenheid van Kirchicks betoog is aanstekelijk en de vraag die hij stelt is brandend actueel. Lees de volledige recensie: https://vreemderdanfictie.be/2017/06/...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is disappointing, mostly because it suffers from the same problem that most English writing about Europe does: It does not understand Europe. Two examples to illustrate what I mean about the writer in this case. In the chapter about Germany he references a study / report by the "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz" and equates it to the FBI. This is patently wrong. The BfV is the constitutional police, tracing it's history back to the Prussian Empire where it was the political police. The BKA (Bu This is disappointing, mostly because it suffers from the same problem that most English writing about Europe does: It does not understand Europe. Two examples to illustrate what I mean about the writer in this case. In the chapter about Germany he references a study / report by the "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz" and equates it to the FBI. This is patently wrong. The BfV is the constitutional police, tracing it's history back to the Prussian Empire where it was the political police. The BKA (Bundeskriminalamt) is the counter part to the FBI in Germany. For someone who claims to have lived in Germany and understand it, that's not just a minor mistake. When it comes to the UK chapter he makes the argument that the UK, after BREXIT, will have to negotiate a new trade deal with each of the 27 member states. This is also patently false. The EU negotiates on behalf of ALL of it's members. These members then vote on the agreement, but nobody will have to knock at 27 doors to get 27 separate deals. This is something the UK political class, ironically enough, also never understood. Furthermore, the whole argument in the book seems to boil down to: "America and the West Good, Russia and especially Putin bad!". The truly sad thing is that there ARE some good points in the book and topics worth discussing, but those seem to be more accident than actually raised on purpose. If you hope to understand Europe and what's going on there better, this is not the book I am afraid.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Kirchick, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Initiative, outlines several keys factors that threaten to destabilize and, eventually, dismantle the European Union; fecklessness in the face of Russia, persistent unemployment, slow growth, and uncontrolled migration. To illustrate the impact these issues have on the integrity of the EU, Kirchick outlines eight cases studies from eight key nations in the EU, doing so by framing the contemporary issue from a historical precedent and offering potential so Kirchick, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Initiative, outlines several keys factors that threaten to destabilize and, eventually, dismantle the European Union; fecklessness in the face of Russia, persistent unemployment, slow growth, and uncontrolled migration. To illustrate the impact these issues have on the integrity of the EU, Kirchick outlines eight cases studies from eight key nations in the EU, doing so by framing the contemporary issue from a historical precedent and offering potential solutions to solves each issue. Some of the case studies include exploration and analysis into France’s massive emigration of Jews and the rampant anti-Semitism in the EU, the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, the annexation of Crimea, Hungary’s whitewashing of fascist crimes committed during World War II, the economic fallout of Greek’s bailout and austerity measures, and Germany’s active goal of being a neutral balance between America and Russia and energy dependency on the latter. Kirchick warns that unless the continent can push back against the rise of fascism, rightfully acknowledge the problems of open borders for North African and Syrian refugees, and remain energy dependent on Russia, the principles of the EU as a multinational community working together and righting the wrongs committed by the nations in the past, it faces dissolution which will not only severely negatively impact the continent, it impacts America and the principles of democracy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tori Shaw

    A truly fascinating book that provides insight into how the rise of populism, xenophobia, and mass migration in Europe pose challenges to a free and democratic society. As someone who has lived and studied in Hungary, I found his assessment of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's threat to the cohesiveness of the European Union particularly intriguing, from his desire to emulate Russia's "illiberal democracy" to his financial admonishment of journalists who criticize his politics. Kirchick's character A truly fascinating book that provides insight into how the rise of populism, xenophobia, and mass migration in Europe pose challenges to a free and democratic society. As someone who has lived and studied in Hungary, I found his assessment of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's threat to the cohesiveness of the European Union particularly intriguing, from his desire to emulate Russia's "illiberal democracy" to his financial admonishment of journalists who criticize his politics. Kirchick's characterization of the tendency for Hungarians to embody the "victim complex" and therefore omit any responsibility for their part in the Holocaust is completely spot on, and he uses the propagandist elements of the famed tourist site "House of Terror" to exemplify this. What I found especially timely was his discussion of Russia, and specifically Vladimir Putin's desire to revive the spirit of the Soviet Union by reclaiming geopolitical hegemony. Kirchick makes evident that Putin's ultimate goal is to fracture Europe by supporting fringe political movements, such as the alt-right. In doing this, he creates a favorable political climate for Russian authoritarianism and the death of NATO. I would recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the future of liberal democracy. It won't disappoint you, but it will make you think.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacco

    Note, I read the Dutch translation and will do the review in Dutch. Met zo'n titel weet je van tevoren al dat het geen vrolijk boek gaat worden. Wel leerzaam en inzichtgevend. Hoe Poetin maar aan de macht blijft, en zijn vleugels steeds verder probeert uit te slaan. Hoe hij daarmee door zal gaan zolang niemand er iets van zegt. Hoe Hongarije onder Orbán terug in de tijd gaat, minder democratisch wordt. Hoe Duitsland na WO II haast doorslaat naar de andere kant, op tenen lopend, conflict uit de we Note, I read the Dutch translation and will do the review in Dutch. Met zo'n titel weet je van tevoren al dat het geen vrolijk boek gaat worden. Wel leerzaam en inzichtgevend. Hoe Poetin maar aan de macht blijft, en zijn vleugels steeds verder probeert uit te slaan. Hoe hij daarmee door zal gaan zolang niemand er iets van zegt. Hoe Hongarije onder Orbán terug in de tijd gaat, minder democratisch wordt. Hoe Duitsland na WO II haast doorslaat naar de andere kant, op tenen lopend, conflict uit de weg gaand. Brexit. De moeilijke relatie tussen Griekenland en EU (met een mooie geschiedenisles waar ik nog wat van kon leren; hoe het allemaal zo is gekomen met Griekenland). Oekraïne. Al met al veel onderbouwd journalistiek onderzoekswerk over wat de EU allemaal doet wankelen, en wat dat voor diezelfde EU en voor de wereld kan betekenen. Soms taaie kost, ik weet niet of het de vertaling is of de schrijfstijl van de auteur, maar sommige zinnen zouden beter in 2 of 3 gesplitst zijn. De leesbaarheid is niet altijd even geweldig. Nu ja, ik ben wel weer even aan wat lichtere kost toe, doe mij nu maar even een stukje fictie. Maar ik kan dit wel aanraden voor wie meer wil weten over de achtergrond van een verenigd Europa, vanuit welke richtingen er spanning op deze unie staat, en wat daar dan weer de gevaren van zijn.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    In 'The End of Europe' James Kirchick makes an interesting and provocative case for the United States focusing more on Europe. Focusing on a wide array of issues confronting Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Europe as a whole, Kirchik argues that the EU and liberalism are in trouble. He advocates for a pro-EU, liberal, brand of politics within Europe that is honest about the threats of unfettered immigration and revanchist Russian foreign policy. Kirchik also suggests that European In 'The End of Europe' James Kirchick makes an interesting and provocative case for the United States focusing more on Europe. Focusing on a wide array of issues confronting Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Europe as a whole, Kirchik argues that the EU and liberalism are in trouble. He advocates for a pro-EU, liberal, brand of politics within Europe that is honest about the threats of unfettered immigration and revanchist Russian foreign policy. Kirchik also suggests that European security should be a higher concern for American policy. I find Kirchik's argument compelling, but largely because I was already convinced of his points before I read the book. Kirchik's provocative tone, especially when it comes to the subject of immigration, does not do his case many favors. His volleys against the evils of 'right-think' may be well placed, but any readers that don't already agree with Kirchik on the majority of his arguments would likely find them alienating. That being said, Kirchik is writing about an important subject and this book is worth reading even if you find his ideas and beliefs challenging.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wijnand Marchal

    In this book an American correspondent shares his valuable observations of contemporary Europe based on his experiences during his years as a journalist traveling the continent. He sums up the most characteristic challenges for Europe in the past decade. The challenges are daunting, but none of them are insurmountable, such as combating anti-Semitism, managing migration flows, financial crisis, halting electoral meddling, counterbalancing nationalists in the Kremlin, in Budapest and Warsaw, and In this book an American correspondent shares his valuable observations of contemporary Europe based on his experiences during his years as a journalist traveling the continent. He sums up the most characteristic challenges for Europe in the past decade. The challenges are daunting, but none of them are insurmountable, such as combating anti-Semitism, managing migration flows, financial crisis, halting electoral meddling, counterbalancing nationalists in the Kremlin, in Budapest and Warsaw, and dealing with Brexit. All these challenges show that there is no credible alternative to European cooperation. Europe’s most pressing problems can only be solved collectively. Without it, we are nowhere. The title indicates a doom scenario, but it must have been chosen for marketing purposes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daan Wahle

    Ik denk dat ik in tijden niet zo'n slecht boek heb gelezen. Je kan merken dat dit geschreven is door een Amerikaanse conservatief. Eigenlijk verteld dit boek: - Rusland is slecht en het echte kwaad. - Oost Europa zit vol met nazi's - Europa wordt overspoeld door immigranten en we doen alsof er niks aan de hand is. - Alles wat progressief is in Europa is communisme en dus het grote kwaad. - Amerika is geweldig. Uit goed fatsoen heb ik het uitgelezen, maar het was de moeite niet waard. Een aaneensluiting Ik denk dat ik in tijden niet zo'n slecht boek heb gelezen. Je kan merken dat dit geschreven is door een Amerikaanse conservatief. Eigenlijk verteld dit boek: - Rusland is slecht en het echte kwaad. - Oost Europa zit vol met nazi's - Europa wordt overspoeld door immigranten en we doen alsof er niks aan de hand is. - Alles wat progressief is in Europa is communisme en dus het grote kwaad. - Amerika is geweldig. Uit goed fatsoen heb ik het uitgelezen, maar het was de moeite niet waard. Een aaneensluiting van tunnelvisie en aannames. Zoals de beschrijving doet vermoeden wordt er een beeld over Europa in de toekomst geschetst. Echter is het vooral een beklacht over de landen en is er weinig toekomstvisie te vinden.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Riet

    Een goed geschreven, maar niet helemaal uitgebalanceerd verhaal over de problemen nu in Europa. Duidelijk vanuit een Amerikaanse invalshoek geschreven; wel even voor Trump echt aan de macht kwam. Vooral de stukken over Duitsland en Baltische landen vind ik ongenuanceerd, de stukken over Engeland (Brexit), Polen, Hongarije, Frankrijk en Griekenland zijn beter doordacht. De waarschuwingen voor het opkomend populisme en anti-semitisme zijn terecht. Maar de oplossingen zijn niet zo simpel als de sch Een goed geschreven, maar niet helemaal uitgebalanceerd verhaal over de problemen nu in Europa. Duidelijk vanuit een Amerikaanse invalshoek geschreven; wel even voor Trump echt aan de macht kwam. Vooral de stukken over Duitsland en Baltische landen vind ik ongenuanceerd, de stukken over Engeland (Brexit), Polen, Hongarije, Frankrijk en Griekenland zijn beter doordacht. De waarschuwingen voor het opkomend populisme en anti-semitisme zijn terecht. Maar de oplossingen zijn niet zo simpel als de schrijver denkt.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Olivia A

    The book raises some interesting points and I liked that the chapters focus on one country/perspective each, though descriptions are simplistic. But if you write a book on Europe, you shouldn’t make simple errors like mixing up the Commission and the Council (Donald Tusk was president of the European Council) or get EU trade policy wrong (no, the UK post-Brexit would not have to negotiate 27 trade deals with EU members)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Mikołajczyk

    A survey of the rise of demagoguery across Europe in Poland, France, Hungary, Ukraine, Greece, Britain (with Brexit), and even in Germany. Russian financial influence on all these parties and their annexation of Crimea have pushed the EU to the brink of political collapse. The immigration/migrant crisis from Africa and the Middle East have also exacerbated the rise of these far right-wing parties.

  29. 5 out of 5

    victor harris

    Complicated and on the wordy side, but worth taking note of as Putin continues to try to extend his influence. Probably a valid claim that there is a shift to less Enlightenment-minded governments in Europe that undermine the liberal traditions in place since WW II. Accept as cautionary but not predictive.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  31. 4 out of 5

    Elliott

  32. 4 out of 5

    George

  33. 4 out of 5

    Mary D

  34. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  35. 4 out of 5

    Chris Jackson

  36. 5 out of 5

    James Martin

  37. 5 out of 5

    Shah

  38. 4 out of 5

    Haydar

  39. 5 out of 5

    Steven Starry

  40. 5 out of 5

    Alex Livingston

  41. 5 out of 5

    Bill Christison

  42. 5 out of 5

    Malorie

  43. 5 out of 5

    Tom Fencl

  44. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Anderson

  45. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  46. 5 out of 5

    David

  47. 5 out of 5

    Guayec Perdomo

  48. 5 out of 5

    Torkel

  49. 4 out of 5

    Ucleden

  50. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  51. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  52. 5 out of 5

    steven

  53. 5 out of 5

    Jack Hu

  54. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  55. 5 out of 5

    Guillaume De Sadeleer

  56. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  57. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

  58. 4 out of 5

    Andreas Skalleberg

  59. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Mooij

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