Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Cousins and Strangers

Cousins and Strangers

America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century

Chris Patten

Holt Paperbacks


Trade Paperback

"A magisterial volume—a cocktail of autobiography, political analysis of the state of the world, and policy prescriptions." —Foreign Affairs

For fifty years, the Americans, British, and Europeans were close partners, yet today the Western alliance is strained to a moment of reckoning. In Cousins and Strangers, Chris Patten, one of Europe's most distinguished statesmen, scrutinizes what has happened in the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, pinpointing the shifts in power and security that have reshaped our world.

In penetrating and sparkling analysis, Patten argues that to face the urgent threats of the twenty-first century—terrorism, nuclear proliferation, failed and failing states, massive environmental change—the Western alliance must stop bickering and kowtowing and start asserting cooperative leadership. Bad habits and easy, self-absorbed slogans must give way to smart politics in order to ensure the world's, and our own, best interests. Drawing on his decades of experience in government and international diplomacy, Patten sharply assesses the leadership of the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, and the stakes for all three if the West breaks apart.


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

“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

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.

Chris Patten

Chris Patten

From the Publisher

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