Few Americans have even the faintest idea of the scope and dynamism of the ""New Europe,"" but Krause, corporate editor of the International Herald Tribune, helps to give some perspective--even in such a once-over-lightly account as this. There has been a remarkable change in Europe since the ""Europessimism"" of 1981, when unemployment and inflation were high and industry relatively stagnant. Today there is a confidence born of the undeniable success of a 12-nation Common Market with 340 million inhabitants throwing off barriers and border controls, regulations and restrictions--a freeing-up that resembles, Krause believes, the expansion of the US in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Krause deals with the origin of the idea of Europe, from Charlemagne; the remarkable transformation wrought by Jacques Delors, president of the Community; the business consortiums that have transformed Europe's competitive position vis-Ã -vis the US and Japan (sometimes with the help of what many would regard as unacceptable subsidization); the blurring of national and international lines as Europe expands into the US, and as American and Japanese companies make new alliances in Europe. It is apparent to Krause that the promise of the New Europe may also be a threat: Its sheer appeal and dynamism have led dozens of countries (the European Free Trade Area countries, the Eastern European nations, etc.) to apply to join, and such a development, though welcomed by those like Mrs. Thatcher who would seek to reduce the political unity of Europe, would, to Krause, make that unity harder to achieve. Krause reserves final judgment on these matters, and he has used his remarkable access to political and business leaders less effectively than one would have hoped: They talk to him with all the revelatory impact of an annual report. Nonetheless, his own report should help those seeking to understand the dimensions of the new challenge.