MEANING OF EUROPE by Denis de Rougemont


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A brief, affirmative book places Europe not at the periphery but at the center of world experience and focuses on her characteristics, accomplishments, and future. The author sees Europe ""as an adventure of decisive significance for the whole of mankind,"" an adventure characterized by the acceptance of risk despite the inevitable lack of foreknowledge, personified by the legendary Ulysses, the historical Columbus. Her greatest accomplishment lies in her feat as ""creator of the world."" She is uniting (her will to live means her will to unite) at the very time in which her individual states are losing their colonies (de Rougemont does not equate this loss with a loss of influence, as Westernization, although not always wisely conceived, continues). Europe's future world vocation is to ""animate, balance, federate,"" to put into effect a worldwide policy of civilization. De Rougemont offers a stimulating antidote to the, tendency to discount Europe, dismisses Sartre in an appendix as intellectually a provincial who projects his petty grievances against Europe."" One may question whether his intellectual cheerleading has not led him to discount other major movements of the time.

Publisher: Stein & Day