Is Europe indeed uniting or instead falling apart as a result of anti-immigrant prejudices, a massive Islamic influx, and ancient intra-European hatreds? This invative and engaging book explores the sources of Europe's culture-based divide, arguing that the idea of two Europes is grounded both in reality and myth. The accession process that brought a dozen new members into the European Union after 2004 has highlighted the persisting gulf between old and new Europe despite the many physical barriers that have crumbled. Ray Taras examines the treaties, political rhetoric, citizen attitudes, and literary narratives of belonging and separation that both bind and fray the fabric of Europe. Throughout, this interdisciplinary work provides a comprehensive, hard-hitting, and unabashed review of how enlarged Europe embraces contrasting understandings of its political home.
Ray Taras is professor of international relations and director of the world literature program at Tulane University in New Orleans.