In This Review

Europe's Path to Crisis: Disintegration via Monetary Union
Europe's Path to Crisis: Disintegration via Monetary Union
By Tom Gallagher
Manchester University Press, 2014, 272 pp

Nearly everyone now agrees that the euro is dysfunctional, at least in its current form. Among the currency’s greatest liabilities is that it fuels blanket criticism of all other EU policies, most of which have actually been politically and economically successful. So in the years to come, Europe watchers should expect more books like this one, in which Gallagher tosses the baby out with the bath water. He recycles a litany of British Euroskeptical criticisms of the EU: it is, in his view, an undemocratic, left-wing superstate foisted on unsuspecting European peoples by an alliance of government bureaucrats and ideologically driven politicians. Such claims have been convincingly refuted many times, and this book provides almost no original evidence for them—even Gallagher’s potted history of how the monetary union came about is unsupported by the current historiography. Still, his description of how the monetary union is failing today is more telling, and the chapters that focus on this issue should be taken seriously.