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

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

by Peter Baldwin

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Overview

There is much heated rhetoric about the widening gulf between Europe and America. 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? "Meticulous, insistent, and elegant." --John Lloyd, Financial Times "A must-read...filled with intriguing facts that add nuance to what can often be a black-and-white debate." --Foreign Affairs "An exhaustive and enthralling catalogue of our commonalities that begs a reconsideration of just what it means to be European or American." --Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199745784
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/05/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Economy 2. Health Care 3. The Rest of the Welfare State 4. Crime 5. More Broadly 6. Education and the Higher Pursuits 7. The Environment 8. Civil Society 9. Nationalism 10. Religion and Science 11. Assimilation 12. Lumping and Splitting 13. A Meeting of the Twain? 14. Separated at Birth? 15. The Post-Facto State 16. How the West Was One 17. Acorn and Oak

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