The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe Are Alike

Paperback | October 15, 2011

byPeter Baldwin

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There is much heated rhetoric about the widening gulf between Europe and America. But are the US and Europe so different? Peter Baldwin, one of the world's leading historians of comparative social policy, thinks not, and in this bracingly argued but remarkably informed polemic, he lays out howsimilar the two continents really are. Drawing on the latest evidence from sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and other international organizations, Baldwin offers a fascinating comparison of the United States and Europe, looking at the latest statistics on the economy, crime,health care, education and culture, religion, the environment, and much more. It is a book filled with surprising revelations. For most categories of crime, for instance, America is safe and peaceful by European standards. But the biggest surprise is that, though there are many differences between America and Europe, in almost all cases, these differences are no greater thanthe differences among European nations. Europe and the US are, in fact, part of a common, big-tent grouping. America is not Sweden, for sure. But nor is Italy Sweden, nor France, nor even Germany. And who says that Sweden is Europe? Anymore than Vermont is America?

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There is much heated rhetoric about the widening gulf between Europe and America. But are the US and Europe so different? Peter Baldwin, one of the world's leading historians of comparative social policy, thinks not, and in this bracingly argued but remarkably informed polemic, he lays out howsimilar the two continents really are. Draw...

Peter Baldwin is Professor of History at the University of California-Los Angeles. He is the author of Disease and Democracy: The Industrialized World Faces AIDS, Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930, and The Politics of Social Solidarity: Class Bases of the European Welfare State, 1875-1975.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199836825

ISBN - 13:9780199836826

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Economy2. Health Care3. The Rest of the Welfare State4. Crime5. More Broadly6. Education and the Higher Pursuits7. The Environment8. Civil Society9. Nationalism10. Religion and Science11. Assimilation12. Lumping and Splitting13. A Meeting of the Twain?14. Separated at Birth?15. The Post-Facto State16. How the West Was One17. Acorn and Oak