In This Review

Stars With Stripes: The Essential Partnership Between the European Union and the United States
Stars With Stripes: The Essential Partnership Between the European Union and the United States
By Anthony Luzzatto Gardner
468 pp, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020
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This memoir relates the impressions of the Obama administration’s final U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Gardner’s term began with the 2014 Ukraine crisis, which ironically helped deflect attention from transatlantic differences over a litany of other issues, including digital surveillance, the euro crisis, and a proposed transatlantic trade agreement. Gardner spent much of his time trying to pry decisions from the bureaucratic and procedure-bound EU system. But he insists nonetheless that the interests of the EU and the United States are more closely aligned than those of any other two parts of the world. They can and should cooperate closely not just on economic issues but also on law enforcement, counterterrorism, sanctions, energy, the environment, foreign aid, and military security. This compelling book also makes a strong case for the EU as a preferred U.S. partner and dismisses Brexit as absurd. Gardner’s term ended in 2017. Just three years later, after his successor admitted pursuing U.S. President Donald Trump’s domestic political objectives in Ukraine, the former ambassador’s cultural sensitivity, deep experience, and genuine belief in transatlantic cooperation seem like relics of a forgotten era.