Kevin Wilson & Jan van der Dussen, eds: The History of the Idea of Europe

Routledge, 1995
Book Description:
An ideal text-book for students of European Studies, this collection of essays puts the idea of Europe in its historical context to provide a context for the understanding of contemporary developments.
Back Cover:
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the re-emergence of central Europe and moves towards monetary, economic and political union within the European Union, Europe in the 1990s is at a crossroads. But what does Europe, and being European mean? What kind of Europe are we building and why? How does this new Europe relate to the Europe of the past?
This book puts the idea of Europe in its historical context, tracing it back to the ancient Greeks and their association of Europe with political freedom. From this starting point the first essay shows how Europe became identified with Christendom in the 15th-century and with “civilisation” in the 18th-century before being used by 19th-century reformers and reactionaries either to promote change or to defend the status quo.
Twentieth century developments are the focus for discussion in the other two essays. A number of “projects” for Europe are examined against the background of the two world wars, consideration is given to recent trends towards political and economic integration, and an assessment is offered of the contemporary relevance of the European idea.

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Ramana Maharshi