EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts (Hardback)
  • EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts (Hardback)
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EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts (Hardback)

(author)
£22.99
Hardback 672 Pages / Published: 01/08/2018
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The promise of the European pursuit of ever closer union created tremendous optimism that conflict was the past and harmony would be the future. The enthusiasm for economic integration and monetary union, through the Euro, enhanced the confidence that differences among countries could be overcome. In this dynamic and incisive overview of the European project from its beginnings, Ashoka Mody convincingly demonstrates that the tensions and flaws of the European project were both baked-in and foreseen from the beginning. He focuses on personalities whose ambitious and relentless push for integration led them to choose facts and analysis consistent with their visions and to dismiss warnings of turbulence. They thus laid the seeds for disappointment. Mody examines key moments when contradictions were papered-over, compromising the integrity of integration. And throughout he shows how political and economic leaders believed the stories they told themselves about the inevitability of a united Europe as a foundation of peace, prosperity, and democratic ideals, even in the face of warnings from the earliest stages that while the political pillars seemed strong, the economic foundations were weak. Mody compellingly shows how monetary union impaired European integration rather than enhancing it. European countries have always has vastly different economic conditions, and the common currency increased divergences rather than smoothing them, as many analysts warned at the time. The economic, financial, and political pathologies of the euro were there from the beginning, even if the global economic boom hid them. With political and economic elites benefitting, they could ignore the growing the discontent of those who suffered and the growing antipathy to the European project in national heartlands. When crisis inevitably hit, leaders denied, delayed, and took half-measures that only further alienated people. And if once the inability to deliver on the economic promise caused the political handicaps to worsen, now the political splintering is making it harder to mount an economic response.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199351381
Number of pages: 672
Weight: 1076 g
Dimensions: 243 x 165 x 42 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of the many strengths of Mody's book is its detailed historical narrative of how the tragedy unfolded. * Ben Chu, The Independent *
The sweeping chronology of the euro is well told. With evident passion ... the former IMF official goes back to the start of the European project... * Martin Sandbu, The Financial Times *
EuroTragedyR is immensely valuable... it is the most detailed account yet of how the EU got things so badly wrong, and why. * Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times *
This book is a comprehensive and impressive history of the creation and subsequent performance of the Eurozone, and one of the few books on the subject where I find myself nodding in agreement most of the time... There is much more interesting detail and analysis that I cannot do justice to in one blog post. * MainlyMacro *
With eurozone unemployment high and a full recovery some way off, any book on these subjects will need to be revised as time goes on. Still, even if Mody's book does not prove to be the final word, it is currently one of the leading works on the subject and one of the few that conveys some of the passion and urgency surrounding the issue. * MoneyWeek *
EuroTragedy tells one of the greatest, and most consequential, stories of our time: Europe's attempt to build a political union around a currency. Written with deep scholarship and the wisdom of an experienced policymaker, this landmark book is also a gripping read. Shakespeare would have loved it. * George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 *
Ashoka Mody has written a magnificent book on the euro, a story that he rightly describes as a tragedy. As he documents, from the very start there were Cassandras predicting a disaster to come, and at every step of the way, they were dismissed by European leaders, hiding behind political slogans and indulging in shoddy economic thinking. As I read this powerful book, I was reminded of Winston Churchill's famous remark as he reflected on the string of disastrous military decisions that led to the First World War: The terrible ifs accumulate.' * Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance *
A magisterial overview of Europe's remarkable single currency experiment. Written in a style accessible to a wide readership, it is a must-read for researchers and policymakers. This brilliant new book would also be perfect as a main text for a university course on the euro and European integration. * Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University; co-author of This Time is Different *
One does not have to share Ashoka Mody's view that the German government should admit guilt for the Euro crisis to recognize that this book is fascinating reading, full of insight into the history of the euro and its ultimate failure. Written by a leading scholar and former senior IMF official, there is much to be learnt from this extremely well-written and important work. We need books like this to enter a frank and open debate. * Hans-Werner Sinn, author of The Euro Trap *
Mody develops a dramatic historical narrative of how European leaders brushed aside the warnings of many economists and went ahead with the euro, not knowing where this would lead them. Instead of creating unity, the euro has contributed to Euroscepticism and intensified division in Europe. Mody identifies the reason: the Eurozone is an incomplete monetary union that leads to divergence and instability. This contrarian' book will not be popular in Brussels, but all the more so elsewhere. * Paul De Grauwe, John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy, London School of Economics *

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