The End of Europe

Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age

“James Kirchick is a gloomily brilliant observer of European affairs—panoramic in his survey, precise in his details and anecdotes, severe and persuasive in his judgments, always lucid, always alert.”

Paul Berman, author of The Flight of the Intellectuals and Power and the Idealists

Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, James Kirchick shows us the shallow disingenuousness of the leaders who pushed for “Brexit;” examines how a vast migrant wave is exacerbating tensions between Europeans and their Muslim minorities; explores the rising anti-Semitism that causes Jewish schools and synagogues in France and Germany to resemble armed bunkers; and describes how Russian imperial ambitions are destabilizing nations from Estonia to Ukraine. With President Trump now threatening to abandon America’s traditional role as upholder of the liberal world order and guarantor of the continent’s security, Europe may be alone in dealing with these unprecedented challenges.

Based on extensive firsthand reporting, this book is a provocative, disturbing look at a continent in unexpected crisis.

James Kirchick

About James Kirchick

James Kirchick is a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a correspondent for the Daily Beast. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Book details


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  • Format: Hardback
  • Publication date: 07 Mar 2017
  • ISBN: 9780300218312
  • Imprint: Yale University Press
  • Dimensions: 288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
  • Illustrations: 2 b/w illus.


Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, New York Times

“From brilliant American scholar James Kirchick, we have received a resounding wake-up call for Princess Europa. Reading The End of Europe from Paris is chilling, perceptive and essential to make sense of the current geopolitical state of affairs.”

Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher and author of The Genius of Judaism

“James Kirchick has given us a powerful, penetrating, and elegant analysis of the present state of Europe. This book is not a celebration but a lament and a warning—and also a call to action to Americans and Europeans alike.”

Robert Kagan, author of The World America Made

“Well-informed . . . and dismayingly infectious. Kirchick gives the reader a dismal guided tour of a continent in which extremism is gaining the upper hand.”

David Frum, senior editor, The Atlantic and author of Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic

“Those of us who lived on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall celebrated the beginning of a new era of peace and democracy when the Iron Curtain fell. Now that era may already be over, and James Kirchick vividly explains why we are now facing the end of Europe instead of the end of history.”

Garry Kasparov, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and author of Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped

“A young American’s brilliant analysis of the dire state of world politics. . . Trump and Brexit figure large and Kirchick shares my exasperation that we are turning away from liberal values and the benefits of the EU.”

Alastair Campbell, former senior advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair

“The terrifying part of James Kirchick’s The End of Europe is how spot-on his observations are.”

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia 2006-2016

“Students of geopolitics and current affairs would do well to spend time with this book, which, though deceptively slender, contains multitudes.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A tour d’horizon of a continent drifting away from its intellectual and cultural moorings . . . these are unpleasant truths that high-minded Europeans cannot admit to one another.”

The Wall Street Journal

“An urgent survey of the many threats facing European societies…It would be hard to find a better assessment of the multi-frontal assault on what had been, however briefly, a continental consensus about liberal values, trans-state integration and the essential connections between Europe and North America.”

The Times Literary Supplement

“Deeply researched . . . . Kirchick’s pessimistic view is now taken far more seriously than it would have been a few years ago.”

National Post

“An engaging meld of journalism and history. . . . The End of Europe offers a readable but historically grounded view of a deeply troubled continent.”

City Journal

“Precise and powerful . . . The End of Europe is a serious and important piece of journalism, cool-headed and even-handed, though never in doubt of which side it is on. . . . James Kirchick has written a warning letter that may have arrived too late.”


“The book plainly states its mission: to deliver 20th century European history to its readers lest they be forced to repeat it . . . an urgent SOS from across the ocean about how worthy institutions can unravel with alarming speed.”


“Kirchick…dissects the sclerotic EU with detours and stinging aperçus. This book is a brilliant tour d’horizon, filled with setting suns.”

David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple, “Best Books of the Year,” Mosaic Magazine

“Shoehorning a comprehensive topic like modern Europe into a single volume is always difficult and The End of Europe does what it does very well. . . . By the time readers finish [the book] . . . Kirchick’s suggestion that the situation ‘evokes the perilous 1930s’ doesn’t carry one whiff of hyperbole.”

The Federalist

“Young, but already extraordinarily well-seasoned as a reporter on the European beat. . . . Kirchick’s keen and highly readable reporting fills in a lot of the missing pieces in this new global jigsaw puzzle, such that the big picture comes more clearly into focus. . . . The End of Europe is essential reading for everyone trying to make sense of the current kaleidoscope of world relations wherein historical revisionism, disinformation and cyber warfare mirror constantly shifting ‘alternative truths’ remanufactured via denial, denunciation, deception and deflection.”

New York Journal of Books

“A journalistic tour de force. . . . The End of Europe goes beyond well-covered stories in the American press to uncover more subtle threats to Europe. . . . Kirchick’s prescriptions show depth and boldness on these polarizing matters.”


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