Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West (Hardcover)
A Financial Times Best Political Book of 2017
An urgent examination of how the political and social volatility in Europe impacts the United States and the rest of the world.
The dream of a United States of Europe is unraveling in the wake of several crises now afflicting the continent. The single Euro currency threatens to break apart amid bitter arguments between rich northern creditors and poor southern debtors. Russia is back as an aggressive power, annexing Crimea, supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine, and waging media and cyber warfare against the West. Marine Le Pen’s National Front won a record 34 percent of the French presidential vote despite the election of Emmanuel Macron. Europe struggles to cope with nearly two million refugees who fled conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Britain has voted to leave the European Union after forty-three years, the first time a member state has opted to quit the world’s leading commercial bloc. At the same time, President Trump has vowed to pursue America First policies that may curtail U.S. security guarantees and provoke trade conflicts with its allies abroad.
These developments and a growing backlash against globalization have contributed to a loss of faith in mainstream ruling parties throughout the West. Voters in the United States and Europe are abandoning traditional ways of governing in favor of authoritarian, populist, and nationalist alternatives, raising a profound threat to the future of our democracies.
In Fractured Continent, William Drozdiak, the former foreign editor of The Washington Post, persuasively argues that these events have dramatic consequences for Americans as well as Europeans, changing the nature of our relationships with longtime allies and even threatening global security. By speaking with world leaders from Brussels to Berlin, Rome to Riga, Drozdiak describes the crises. the proposed solutions, and considers where Europe and America go from here. The result is a timely character- and narrative-driven book about this tumultuous phase of contemporary European history.
— George P. Shultz, Former Secretary of State
— Roger Cohen - New York Times
A colorful narrative....remind[s] us that the challenges faced by Europe and the West right now are seriously daunting.
— Sheri Berman - The New York Times Book Review
Drozdiak takes readers on a tour of European capitals, diagnosing the fractures he says still threaten to pull the EU apart….Europeans and Americans alike would benefit from heeding Drozdiak’s warning: That European unification may go into reverse and unravel due to blinkered nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic.
Eminently readable.... What sets Drozdiak’s inquiry apart are the ease of his prose, including lively anecdotes that put flesh on the major players, and his narrative skill.... Drozdiak is a pro at moving around the international court of political play. Fractured Continent is a sobering and significant look at an urgent problem.
— Joan Baum, National Public Radio
This is the best book I've read on the recent turmoil sweeping through Europe—excellent reporting, beautifully written and sensibly, carefully analyzed. Everything that I would expect from a journalist/scholar like William Drozdiak.
— Marvin Kalb, senior advisor to the Pulitzer Center and Murrow Professor Emeritus at Harvard University
A very good survey of what the European experiment is for and why we need to have an integrated Europe, both economically and politically.
— Giles Merritt, founder and chairman of Friends of Europe
This bracing and urgently needed account of a continent—indeed a world—undergoing seismic change should be read by all who care about the trans-Atlantic alliance. Fractured Continent once again demonstrates that Drozdiak is one of our finest journalists and sharpest observers.
— Kati Marton, author of True Believer: Stalin's Last American Spy
A compelling and urgent alert that Europe’s creation of a peaceful community in place of a warring continent may be unraveling. Great Britain is leaving. Other EU members are suffering from political and economic stresses and the burden of refugees fleeing conflicts and migrants escaping poverty. For the United States, a diminished Europe creates an alarming risk.
— James Hoge, senior advisor, Teneo Intelligence
Bill Drozdiak understands the importance of Europe and its institutions in ways that are essential for Americans to pay note. In Fractured Continent he looks at the recent upheavals that we must consider on the other side of the Atlantic if we are to understand ourselves and the West’s common predicament. The best part of reading Drozdiak is the rediscovery of how good a reporter he is.
— Carl Bernstein
In Fractured Continent, William Drozdiak accomplishes the near-impossible task of boiling down all the many problems, fissures, and cross-currents affecting Europe over the past few years into a concise, insightful narrative. If you can read only one book on where Europe stands today, this is definitely the one to choose.
— James Mann, author-in-residence, European and Eurasian Studies program, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies