A translation and expansion of a German work published five years ago. Beginning with a sweeping analysis of the decline of Europe in the pre-1945 period, based on a fine command of the literature, Lipgens, a German historian, describes "the incubation period" of the movement toward European unity from the Resistance hopes of 1943 to the announcement of the Marshall Plan in 1947. The book focuses on nongovernmental groups in seven West European countries and their promotional efforts for Europe, at a time when governments temporized and the two superpowers in 1945-46 opposed European integration in any form. Lipgens is an enthusiast for Europe and for minutiae; the phenomenal price includes excessive detail and a few minor slips. Invaluable for the specialist, its analysis of the political scene of those three years gives the book a still wider importance.