SchwabeJean Monnet

At a time when extreme notions of sovereignty and exaggerated demands for centralized regulation are tending to lead the European Union into difficulties, a more profound knowledge of the roots of European integration seems desirable. This is what this biography of Jean Monnet, the inventor of the Schuman-Plan and the tireless promoter of European unity, attempts to contribute to. The author, professor emeritus at the University of Aachen, focuses on the three decades after the end of World War Two. This was the period when the Common Market was founded and Western Europe, as a partner of the United States, had to assert itself in the Cold War. The author explains how Monnet coped with the legacies of the war: the German problem, clashing Franco-German interests, and how he derived lessons for the future from them. A critical biography also has to interpret the failures Monnet experienced and to answer the question of how this resourceful Frenchman, despite such disappointments, managed to keep European integration moving ahead.