Luuk van Middelaar - The Passage to Europe. History of a beginning
Luuk van Middelaar makes a highly original connection between the world of European power politics since 1500 and the Brussels institutions of today. International events have repeatedly forced Europe to find a new role for itself on the world stage: the Suez crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the attacks of 11 September.
Amid the tumult of current affairs, politicians have succeeded in linking past and future, creating a passage to Europe out of the events of the moment. In the Dutch tradition of Johan Huizinga, Van Middelaar combines testimony, stories and contrasting interpretations from different countries into a single history of Europe. He shakes off the platitudes of existing literature about the EU and unravels its complex origins by focusing on unique events and telling details, doing for Europe what the brilliant American historian Joseph Ellis did for the American Republic in Founding Brothers.
Van Middelaar spent five years working behind the scenes of European politics. He draws upon his personal experiences with the erudition of a historian, the intellect of a political philosopher and the narrative instincts of a novelist to create a unique account of the birth of Europe.
Luuk van Middelaar is a philosopher and historian who studied at Groningen University and at the Sorbonne and the EHESS in Paris. His debut Politicide (1999) won him the prestigious Prix de Paris, and for The Passage to Europe he was awarded the Socrates Prize 2010 for the best and most original philosophy book. Van Middelaar is currently speech writer to the first President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
- ‘Luuk van Middelaar cannot be praised highly enough for writing a book about Europe that captivates from beginning to end, is completely free of technical jargon and prompts further reflection.’ – De Volkskrant