The American Dream was based on economic growth, personal wealth and independence. It was synonymous with love of country and patriotism, frontier mentality and the unbridled exercise of power. Yet what were once considered prime virtues – cherished and idealised not only in America but throughout the world – are increasingly seen by many as drawbacks and even impediments. But while the American Dream tires and languishes in the past, a new European Dream is being born. Today we see a new set of values emerging which are focused on sustainable development, quality of life and multilateralism. More cosmopolitan and less concerned with the brute exercise of power, the European Dream is better positioned to accommodate the many forces that are propelling us into a more interconnected and interdependent world.
Where does Britain fit into this story? The British find themselves betwixt and between a fading American Dream and a newly emerging European Dream which is gaining the upper hand in our contemporary global age. Rifkin argues that Britain is uniquely positioned to play a bridge role between Europe and America and has the potential to help create a synergy between the two superpowers of the 21st century. But in order to exercise any real influence in world affairs, Britain must choose to be part of a larger political entity. In a globally connected world, no people can exist any longer as an island unto themselves. The only question for Britain is whether it will make its home with America or with Europe.
New Lessons from the Old World.
1. The Slow Death of the American Dream.
2. The New Land of Opportunity.
3. The Quiet Economic Miracle.
The Making of the Modern Age.
4. Space, Time and Modernity.
5. Inventing the Ideology of Property.
6. Forging Capitalist Markets and Nation States.
The Coming Global Era.
7. Network Commence in a Globalized Economy.
8. The “United States” of Europe.
9. Government Without a Centre.
10. Romancing the Civil Society.
11. The Immigrant Dilemma.
12. Unity in Diversity.
13. Waging Peace.
14. A Second Enlightenment.
15. Universalizing the European Dream
Andrew Moravcsik, Financial Times
"Jeremy Rifkin, whose European Dream compares the economic and cultural boasts of the United States against the statistical and European reality, is that rare phenomenon: a management guru on the left of US politics, who eschews jargon, questions assumptions and feels as comfortable in Europe as in the US. Rifkin′s argument is so compelling because it uses simple facts and figures to challenge US claims of supremacy."
Mary Dejevsky, The Independent,
"Rifkin gives Europeans something to cheer us up and to which we should urgently aspire. "
Chris Patten, The Guardian
Occasionally, in history, an outside observer is best able to define the spirit of a people. In 1831, for example, the French political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited a young America and wrote about his experiences in a book entitled Democracy in America. De Tocqueville helped Americans understand the American Dream and its importance for the world. Now, an American observer, Jeremy Rifkin, has written a book about the new European Dream which captures the very essence of the great experiment unfolding in Europe and its importance for a globalizing society. Europeans are in the midst of a profound debate about our vision of the future. Mr. Rifkin’s book mirrors the European soul, providing us a clear reflection of who we are, and what we stand for and aspire to in the new Europe. The European Dream is a thoughtful and inspiring work."
Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission