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Cousins and Strangers

America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century

Chris Patten

Times Books

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.


REVIEWS

Praise for Cousins and Strangers

"Chris Patten reaches behind the clichés of the Anglo-American relationship 'to tell it like it is.' This important book is both a treasure chest of revealing stories, no-nonsense analysis, timely ideas, and a perfect reflection of its author: irreverent, witty, wise, and always on target. Those in search of enlightenment about trans-Atlantic relations will find it here."
--Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State

"Chris Patten's mixture of candor, wit, insight, and common sense is just what the transatlantic relationship needs in its current doldrums. His book glitters with the three qualities that made him such an efffective and admirable public servant and statesman: the quality of his mind, the courage of his convictions, and the brilliance he displays in expressing them. America is lucky to have such a friend and cousin, and Europe is lucky to have such an clear-headed citizen and eloquent spokesman."
--Strobe Talbott, president, Brookings Institution, and former Deputy Secretary of State

This joins the previous endorsement that was circulated earlier:

"Chris Patten, a wise European conservative, offers friendly criticism to Americans. As a personal memoir, his book is filled with wit, history, charming anecdotes, and insightful portraits of other leaders. But when it comes to policy prescription, he writes with trenchant analysis and wisdom. In both dimensions, Cousins and Strangers is a thoroughly engaging book."

--Joseph S. Nye, professor, Harvard University, and author of The Power Game: A Washington Novel and The Paradox of American Power

"Just Chris Patten's pithy discussion of the inadequate leadership provided by, respectively, Prime Minister Blair, Chancellor Schroeder, and Prime Minister Berlusconi, not to mention President Chirac and his Foreign Minister de Villepin, is well worth the price of this incisive and important book. Patten, better than most, understands why Europe needs a real Europe and why America also needs such a Europe."

--Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership

"There is no recent book that I enjoyed more than Chris Patten's Cousins and Strangers. Chris Patten has been Governor of Hong Kong, European Commissioner of External Relations, Chancellor of Oxford, affectionate friend of America. With a wealth of diverse experiences, he has written a brilliant, witty, humane, literate, and perceptive commentary on the world's troubles, challenges, and opportunities."

--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.





Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Chris Patten

  • 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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Available Formats and Book Details

Cousins and Strangers

America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century

Chris Patten

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Times Books

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