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Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age Paperback – January 19, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520261372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520261372
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In a new book, Steven Hill extols the European social contract for better government services. Life in Europe is more secure, he argues, and therefore more agreeable." -- The Economist

“Steven Hill is a lucid and engaging writer. He makes you sit up and think." -- Financial Times

"Europe’s Promise marshals an impressive army of facts and comparative statistics to show that the United States is behind Europe in nearly every socio-economic category." -- Reuters International

“Timely and provocative...Steven Hill explains why in most areas, it is Europe's economic regulations and social values, not those of the US, that are the most popular models for new democracies. The oldest one should take note.” -- Foreign Affairs

"Steven Hill has just published a book, Europe's Promise, which argues that the European way is the best hope in an insecure age." -- The Guardian.

"Like a reverse Alexis de Tocqueville, Steven Hill dauntlessly explores a society largely unknown to his compatriots back home." -- Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker

"An engrossing book...Hill has a gift for capturing cogent themes in a single image...he  examines the evolving trajectory since World War II of Europe's 'fulcrum institutions' on which their societies pivot." -- Providence Journal

"Hill's thesis is that Western Europe treats its people better in many ways than the United States does its people. Read, wonder and galvanize!" -- In the Public Interest

"An important new book...Steven Hill rebuffs many of the distortions we've heard for years about Europe's supposedly broken economic system. Europe has a vibrant, capitalistic economy — but one with a heart AND a brain." -- Oakland Tribune

"U.S. militarism has long been a core part of the American Way,” writes Steven Hill in Europe’s Promise, that compares the US and Europe.” -- Reuters International

"Hill is surely right in saying that Europe’s prosperous, peaceful, democratic social market economy looks attractive when contrasted with the excessively deregulated United States or with China's politically repressive capitalism." -- Financial Times

From the Inside Flap

"Steven Hill ends the transatlantic debate over which economic and political system is superior: Europe wins. While America and China fight for oil and minerals, Europe already achieves more with less. Indeed, the path to the American Dream is the European Way."—Parag Khanna, author of The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order

"Like a reverse Alexis de Tocqueville, Steven Hill dauntlessly explores a society largely unknown to his compatriots back home. Sweeping away the ideological posturing, he shows us exactly how the modern European Way works and the promise it holds for an America which has slipped to become, in terms of social, economic and energy policy, the Old World."—Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor, The New Yorker, author of Obamanos!: The Birth of a New Political Era

"Europe's Promise should startle, inform, and galvanize Americans in raising the ante in favor of a political economy where people matter first."—Ralph Nader

“As Steven Hill compellingly argues in his excellent Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age, Europe has become a dynamic, transformational force in the world and stands as a clear model of success on so many fronts that we must push reset in our assessment of Europe's course. Americans today should learn a bit about how Europe has quietly and incrementally added to its size and global weight and maintained an innovative approach to broad public challenges like renewable energy, capital punishment, social welfare, and even corporate dynamism.”—Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, author of the political blog, The Washington Note

"Europe's Promise is a provocative and illuminating book that should lead Americans to think hard about our own assumptions and priorities. By closely examining Europe's economic and political practices, Hill reveals a new Europe that has become the world's leader during this century challenged by global economic crisis, climate crisis, and new geopolitical tensions. In these times of hope and fear, read this captivating book to discover new and creative models for building a better future.”—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation

“Hill's book is an elegant and counterintuitive manifesto for a new politics of interdependence that could take the world through the turmoil of the economic and global warming crises.”—Mark Leonard, Executive Director, European Council on Foreign Relations

"What can the United States learn from Europe? If you believe what's said in Washington, the answer is 'not much'. If you read Steven Hill's intelligent, broad-ranging, and deeply researched book, you'll find the correct answer is 'a great deal'—and now is the time to learn it."—Jacob S. Hacker, author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Security and the Decline of the American Dream

More About the Author

Steven Hill is a writer, lecturer and political professional based in the United States with two decades of experience in politics. Mr. Hill is a frequent speaker at academic, government, NGO and business events, speaking on a wide range of topics related to politics, economics, climate change, global complexity, and future trends. He is the author of five books, the most recent being "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy: A More Perfect Union, 2012 Election Edition" (www.10Steps.net). His previous books include the internationally-praised "Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age" (www.EuropesPromise.org) (selected one of the "Top Fifteen Books of 2010" by The Globalist) and "Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics" (www.FixingElections.com), which has been called "the most important book on American democracy that has been published in many years."

Mr. Hill is a prolific writer and commentator who has been widely published and quoted in media around the world. His articles and opeds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, Washington Monthly, Salon, Slate, Politico, HuffingtonPost, American Prospect, Die Zeit, International Politik (Germany), Project Syndicate, Prospect (UK), ESharp (Brussels), Le Monde Diplomatique, Hürriyet Daily News (Turkey), Prague Post, Courrier Japon, Taiwan News, Korea Herald, Toronto Star, Montreal Review, India Times, Burma Digest, Egypt Daily News, Roll Call, The Hill, Sierra, Ms., San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and many other leading publications. He writes a monthly column for Social Europe Journal and a weekly blog for IP-Die Zeitschrift.

Mr Hill has been interviewed by many leading media outlets, including C-SPAN, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Fox News, National Public Radio, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), Netwerk (Netherlands), Dubai-TV, Democracy Now/Pacifica, Sirius, FireDogLake.com, Politico and leading daily newspapers Le Monde (France), La Croix (France), Vima (Greece), Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Lidové Noviny (Czech Republic), Der Standard (Austria), Today's Zaman (Turkey), Capitol Weekly (Sacramento) and others.

Mr. Hill has lectured widely in the United States and Europe, including to business, government, policy institutes, universities and NGOs, including the European Commission, UK House of Commons, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Greek government, U.S. Embassy, Brno, Czech Republic, European Ideas Network, European People's Party, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, Ritter Institut (Vienna, Austria), Foundazione FareFuturo (Rome), Institute for Regional Dialogue and Strategy (IPEDIS, in Athens), Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Heidelberg University, Germany), Goethe-Institut (Prague), German-American Institute (DAI-Heidelberg), Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, German Marshall Fund, World Affairs Council, Commonwealth Club, Cambridge Forum, Town Hall (Seattle), Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Economic Opportunity Institute (Seattle), Demos, Brookings Institution, New America Foundation, Bioneers Conference, Bay Area Council (business group), German American Chambers of Commerce, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley Joint Venture and others. In 2010 he delivered the Jacquemin Seminar lecture at the European Commission.

Mr. Hill is cofounder of FairVote and former director of the political reform program at the New America Foundation. He is a graduate of Yale University and Western Washington University/Fairhaven College, and lives in San Francisco, CA.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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One need only look at the state of US today.
William Hopke
Inform yourself, read Steven Hill's book, discuss it with friends in livingroom get-togethers, in classes, forums, and seminars.
Dr. Frederick B. Lacey
My main concern is to add another '5' to the evaluations of this fine book.
Thomas Atwater

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By William Hopke on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Europe's Promise is an interesting comparison of the American and the European ideas vis-à-vis the "Social Contract." That is if you even think there is one any more, or are part of, what was once the social contract between American workers and employers. This idea, of an obligation from employers, the government and individuals to the "whole" is the subject of this book. It delves into why universal health care WORKS in Europe, but why it will not in the US. The answer is simple. In Europe the purpose of health care is to provide CARE for people. In the US the purpose of health care is to make a PROFIT. After all, you don't think the reason the health care INDUSRTY opposes a single payer system is because it won't work- it is because they WONT MAKE AS MUCH MONEY! And for those of you with no exposure to Europe, I have some. But the best example I can give you is that of my neighbor who lives across the street. He was on vacation in Rome. He had a heart attack while in Rome at dinner on night. He was taken to a hospital, had heart surgery, and then recuperated in the hospital before flying home. Cost - Zero. If you get sick in Europe you are taken care of. In Europe EVERYONE has health coverage.

The book rightly points out that what Europeans pay in "taxes" they get back in social benefits. Only a small portion of US citizens get the level of benefits that Europeans get. When you add up the cost of ALL taxes - federal, state, local, municipal, plus the cost for items such as health care, child care, education, what we pay in the US is just as much or more and what we get less, because we live in a "For Profit" society, not in a "for the General Good" society. Europe has no CEO's like that of United Health Group who make $100 million a year. Health care in Europe is non-profit.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Myrtle AD on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
From the Financial Times, February 8, 2010

Review of "Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an
Insecure Age" by Steven Hill

Review by Tony Barber

(excerpt)

Steven Hill, director of the political reform programme at the New America
Foundation think-tank, has two purposes in writing this book. One is to set
out the case that Europe's methods of economic management, cradle-to-grave
social support systems, democratic structures, ecological consciousness and
temperate foreign policy are the way forward for the world. The global order
is being remade, he says, and what will emerge on the other side will be a
new world based on the European model. Europe is a beacon for humanity's
future, no less, and it holds the greatest potential for the planet.

Hill's second goal is to show that the US, far from being an example for the
world, is nowadays no model at all. Compared with Europe, he says, the
United States is behind in nearly every socioeconomic category. Its economy
is an obsolete, hyper-militarised model"and, even under Barack Obama, is
mired in an antiquated free market ideology.

US democratic institutions are "unrepresentative, divisive and
disenfranchising", characterised by de facto one-party fiefdoms and 70m
unregistered voters almost one-third of those eligible. The nation wastes
colossal quantities of energy and fails to provide decent healthcare for
millions of uninsured citizens. US foreign policy is trapped in a
Vietnam-era mentality of using military muscle and even invading nations as
a way of dealing with unsavoury elements".

No question, Hill makes you sit up and think.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have traveled extensively throughout Europe, from Spain in the west to Hungary and Croatia in the east and everything in between, and I have always been struck by how well everything works in Europe, and how much support families and individuals recieve, increasingly important in this age of globalized capitalism that is breeding economic inequality around the world. Yet whenever I returned to the US, I was struck by the uninformed and sneering US media descriptions of Europe as "sclerotic", "economic basketcase" etc. So I was thrilled to recently come across Steven Hill's fantastic new book "Europe's Promise" that helped me articulate what I had witnessed with my own eyes.

Whether you are looking at health care and various social supports for families, or preparing for global warming by introducing conservation and renewable technologies, Europe is leading the way. But this is not "socialism," as some critics have claimed; the author instead calls it "social capitalism," since Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than the US, and the World Economic Forum rates Europe as having some of the most competitive national economies in the world. What the author shows is that Europe has figured out how to take the amazing ability of capitalism to generate wealth and to harness that wealth for a more broadly shared prosperity. Meanwhile the US-style Wall Street capitalism has caused a worldwide economic collapse, a decline in US manufacturing, rising inequality and an economy that is too dependent on finance and paper wealth.

One of the knocks against Europe is that Europeans allegedly pay more in taxes. But Steven HIll points out how erroneous that is, and shows how this is a distorted stereotype. It really depends on which American you're talking about.
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