Continental Divide

Can the European Union Survive?

When Harold Macmillan was asked what caused him the greatest difficulty while he was prime minister of the United Kingdom, he replied simply, “Events.” In the past two years, the events that have proved most difficult for Europe’s political leaders are rooted in the global economic crisis that, like the Great Depression of 1929, began in the United States but swiftly spread throughout the developed world.

To understand what it is at stake, it is important to remember that Europe faces...

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About the Author

James J. Sheehan, professor emeritus of history at Stanford University, is the author of Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe, among other books.