The Narcissism of Minor Differences

The Narcissism of Minor Differences : How Europe and America are Alike

3.15 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

There is much heated rhetoric about the widening gulf between Europe and America. According to the American right, Europeans are lazy, defeatist and irreligious, while Americans are entrepreneurial, optimistic, and pious. And according to Europeans, America is harsh, dominated by the market, crime-ridden, violent, and sharp-elbowed. But are the US and Europe so different? Peter Baldwin, one of the world's leading historians of comparative social policy, thinks not, and in this bracingly argued but remarkably informed polemic, he lays out how similar the two continents really are. Drawing on the latest evidence from sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and other international organizations, Baldwin offers a fascinating comparison of the United States and Europe, looking at the latest statistics on the economy, crime, health care, education and culture, religion, the environment, and much more. It is a book filled with surprising revelations. For most categories of crime, for instance, America is safe and peaceful by European standards. But the biggest surprise is that, though there are many differences between America and Europe, in almost all cases, these differences are no greater than the differences among European nations. Europe and the US are, in fact, part of a common, big-tent grouping. America is not Sweden, for sure. But nor is Italy Sweden, nor France, nor even Germany. And who says that Sweden is Europe? Anymore than Vermont is America? Writing with flair and armed with an impressive stock of evidence, Baldwin paints a truly eye-opening portrait of Europe and America. Anyone interested in American foreign relations-or simply curious about American and European society-will want to read this revelatory volume.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 150 line drawings
  • 0195391209
  • 9780195391206
  • 775,922

About Peter Baldwin

Peter Baldwin is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Disease and Democracy: The Industrialized World Faces AIDS, Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930, and The Politics of Social Solidarity: Class Bases of the European Welfare State, 1875-1975.show more

Review quote

Overall the book is erudite, cogently argued and remarkably readable. * Peter Heogegan, Sunday Business Post * Meticulous, insistent and elegant book. * John Lloyd, Financial Times * Provocative book. * David Haworth, European Voice *show more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.15 out of 5 stars
5 5% (1)
4 26% (5)
3 47% (9)
2 21% (4)
1 0% (0)
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