Laqueur, who has four-plus decades of experience writing on Europe's recent and contemporary history, arrives at an essay that seems to be a valediction of his career's geopolitical concern. Viewing Europe's future, he discusses current trends in three areas: the immigration of Muslims, financing of the welfare state, and the European Union. They dominate European political life today, and as Laqueur addresses how these foci of popular and elite attention manifest themselves country by country, the author drives his treatment toward the conclusion that reform is nigh impossible yet unavoidable. Muslim immigrants, he argues, have not been assimilated, don't wish to be, and are profoundly alienated from their host societies. Europe's munificent social-welfare systems don't add up, as Laqueur illustrates with an array of demographic statistics pointing downward and economic numbers pointing sideways. As for the EU, its centralizing aspirations have halted with recent rejections of a constitution and its inability to create a credible military force. Venturing conditional prognostications on these matters, Laqueur delivers a pessimistic assessment. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"In the midst of our own immigration debate, Americans cannot afford to miss The Last Days of Europe. . . . Laqueur has no tolerance whatever for political correctness, and doesn't mince words. . . . Laqueur's tone may be calm, but his substance is explosive. . . . Bold, subtle, hopeful, piercing, and absolutely terrifying dissection of Europe's prospects. . . . The Last Days of Europe's chilling climax is not to be missed." --The National Review Online
"One of the more persuasive in a long line of volumes by authors on both sides of the Atlantic chronicling Europe's decline. . . . Mr. Laqueur's short book is measured, even sympathetic. . . . This temperate quality makes the book's theme--that Europe now faces potentially mortal challenges--all the more compelling." --The Wall Street Journal
"Succinct and clearly written . . . [Laqueur] says it better and with a greater degree of tolerance of nuance . . . Exemplary clarity. . . . Laqueur is neither apocalyptic nor optimistic but measured and open-minded about the future."
--The American Conservative
"The Last Days of Europe spotlights an uncomfortable reality. Hopefully it will generate greater awareness, more open dialogue, and the courage to take steps to deal with Europe's problems."
--Henry A. Kissinger, former secretary of state and national security adviser
"An eloquent and eye-opening epitaph for a civilization as much as for a continent--all the more impressive for its depth of historical understanding as well as its illuminating transatlantic perspective. The preeminent historian of postwar Europe has become the prophet of its decline and fall."
--Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University, and author of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West
"An appraisal of Europe's present and future that reveals Walter Laqueur at his analytical and reflective best. Compelling . . . A marvel of dispassionate analysis."
--James R. Schlesinger, former Director of Central Intelligence and Secretary of Energy and of Defense