T. R. Reid
The United States of Europe:
The New Superpower and the End of
American Supremacy.
The Penguin Press, 320 pages, $9.95

On May 1st 2004, ten countries with a combined population of 74 million became members of the European Union, bringing the total number of member states to twenty-five and the E.U. population to 454 million. This means that the E.U. now has a population half as big again as that of the United States and a gross domestic product almost as great as that of its Atlantic relation.

However, quite what kind of political entity has been created is a matter of dispute and, in important respects, the future of this flawed but vastly ambitious project remains uncertain. According to Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, the E.U. is “a superpower but not a superstate”—although it is...

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