From Publishers Weekly
Enzensberger's disillusioned travel diary based on his wanderings through six European countries is an acerbically witty look at a continent beset by corruption, shadow economies, discredited political parties, and laboring under a crazy-quilt of special-interest groups. This German essayist ( Politics and Crime ) and poet finds the Swedes docile, conformist, touched by historical innocence. His sarcastic sketch of Italy lightly mocks a people obsessed with status and intrigue. In Portugal, he contemplates the stolid natives' passive sabotage that undermines capitalist efficiency. A Polish woman tells him: "Feminism is a detested aberration! Our men worship us, it's true . . . and that's the source of our power." In Hungary, he sees a people stagnating because the political system won't tolerate needed economic reforms. "Madrid is about as festive as Moscow or Houston," the author quips. These sharply illuminating vignettes gauge the social and political realities of each country with a perspicacity rare in travel writing.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Spirited, acute, and brilliantly observant."
—The New York Times
"[Enzensberger is] a raconteur of mordant wit . . . a trenchant political thinker . . . a pleasure to read."
"[Enzensberger's] piercing perception, his talent for evoking astonishing scenes and persons . . . and finally his angry loyalty to truth, make Europe, Europe
a collection to which I'll resort for inspiration again and again."
—The New York Review of Books
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