Paradise and Power
America and Europe in the New World OrderRobert Kagan
11 March 2004
Published by Atlantic Books
After years of mutual resentment and tension, there is a sudden recognition that the real interests of America and its allies are diverging sharply and that the transatlantic relationship itself has changed, possibly irreversibly. Europe sees the United States as high-handed, unilateralist, and recklessly belligerent; the United States sees Europe as spent, unserious and weak. The anger and mistrust on both sides are hardening into incomprehension.
In the influential journal Policy Review, the heavyweight commentator Robert Kagan analysed this impasse so incisively that each side was able to see themselves through the eyes of the other. Tracing the widely differing histories of America and Europe since the end of the Second World War, Kagan makes clear how Europe’s need to escape a bloody past has led to a new set of beliefs about conflict, power and threat, while at the same time, the United States has evolved into the guarantor of the European order by dint of its might and global reach. This remarkable analysis is already being discussed by governments from Washington to Tokyo. It is essential reading.
‘Come the hour, come the book… Kagan’s book is neither a diatribe nor a polemic. It is a penetrating effort to shed some light on the confusion in transatlanticaffairs and to understand why Americans and Europeans are so frequently talking past each other… it ranks with Fukuyama’s “The End of Civilization” and Huntingdon’s “The Clash of Civilizations”.’ Raymond Seitz, The Times
‘Compact and arresting… highly readable.’ Brendan Simms, Sunday Times
‘A very short book with a very big argument… Kagan’s book has been the talk of diplomatic circles’ Observer
‘There is a particular intellectual pleasure to be gained form the originality and clarity of Robert Kagan’s Paradise and Power… The originality of Mr Kagan’s work is not so much that it identifies the division in attitudes between America and Europe, which has now become so visible, it is the way he explains it.’ Economist
‘Anyone who wants to discover how Europe’s policy-makers look to Americans at this crucial moment should read this book.’ Stephen Robinson, Daily Telegraph
‘The most talked-about book of the year… Provocative… Paradise and Power is energising to read… Kagan’s book has been taken as a wake-up call for European leaders’ Mark Leonard, New Statesman‘Brilliant… one of the most penetrating and influential accounts of European-American relations in recent years.’ Timothy Garton Ash, Prospect