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Jean Monnet: The First Statesman of Interdependence by François Duchêne (197,000 words, 12 illustrations)

“A brilliant biography of one of the pivotal and least likely creators of a new European world. Monnet’s career in international affairs began with his place on an Anglo-French supply mission to the United States in World War I, flourished in World War II, and had its lasting impact with the postwar Monnet plan for economic renewal in France and his push for Franco-German reconciliation through the Schuman Plan. Monnet had the most extraordinary links to people in power, especially in the United States. Self-effacing, operating usually without formal office and always without direct political ambition, he could effectively mobilize his connections to promote common institutions for a new ‘civilianized’ Europe. Duchêne, who worked with Monnet for ten years, has done vast archival research and illuminates Monnet’s career in its full historical context. More, he offers a comprehensive analysis of Monnet’s basic premises, aims, and inspired, dogged ways of pursuing and often achieving his goals. Duchêne is a splendid analyst and stylist with a gift for the elegant and incisive phrase. The book is long, but so was Monnet’s life. A great achievement.” — Fritz Stern, Foreign Affairs

“[This] intelligently sympathetic but in no sense uncritical biography... shows how [
Jean Monnet (1888-1979)] this conspirator in the public interest worked with and through others to create institutions from which European unity could grow.” — Jack Hayward, The New York Times

“[A] first-rate biography of Monnet by a close collaborator-disciple.” — Max Beloff,
The National Interest

“In this absorbing, dramatic biography, Duchêne, an Economist correspondent and former aide to Monnet, closely reassesses the achievements of an ‘entrepreneur in the public interest.’ This long overdue biography brings him out of the shadows.” —
Publishers Weekly

“[T]he best available biography of the founder of modern European integration.” — George Ross,
French Politics and Society

“Duchêne, who worked with Monnet for the best part of a turbulent decade, provides a fascinating insight into [Monnet] the man, his working methods and the forces that drove him from one challenge to another. This highly-entertaining account of the [European] Union’s formative years is not only accessible to the general reader, but may also offer some much needed inspiration for the current generation of policy-makers.” —
Politico

“This wise, original and timely book should be read and pondered — not only by anyone interested in Jean Monnet, but also by everyone concerned with the European Union today. Based on personal knowledge, deep reflection and diligent research, it paints an honest, warts-and-all portrait of a quite extraordinary man.” — Richard Mayne,
The World Today

“[T]his excellent biography provides... an authoritative assessment of Monnet’s role at the centre of many great events, which all future historians will have to take into account.” — Roger Morgan,
International Affairs

“Duchêne, Monnet’s aide and a correspondent for
The Economist, here sets out to chart the remarkable, if somewhat obscure, life of the architect of the European Community and also — a lesser-known fact — of America’s wartime munitions effort... Men like Monnet, according to Duchêne, were able to create the EEC because they were not politicians but enlightened technocrats — a breed with a bad name these days. As this book makes clear, however, technocrats can be a saving grace in periods of turmoil. This is not a very personal book... But it does reveal a complete and satisfying picture of a complex age of transition for Western Europe.” — Kirkus

“[U]n travail sérieux et particulièrement honnête... Le mystère de [Jean Monnet] méritera encore de nombreuses recherches mais notre connaissance a progressé grâce à ce livre.” — Philippe Mioche,
Politique étrangère