Drozdiak’s subtitle, referring to Macron’s mission to save the world, might seem overblown. Yet he shines compared with the men referred to as “the gang of four” by Le Monde editorialist Alain Frachon. The autocratic rulers of the US, China, India and Russia have ushered in a Darwinian international system where might makes right and presidents are the virtual owners of their countries.
This is a reminder that no matter how bleak things may look, it is always a mistake to underestimate the political dynamics that continue to drive European integration. It is also a reminder that Europe’s fortunes will never depend on the fate of any single politician, not even one as energetic and charismatic as Macron.
It is a coherent and in many ways compelling argument. The question is whether it really needs distilling, since the president frequently and eloquently makes it himself, including in the pages of the Financial Times. The mystery is why Mr Macron’s argument, and French proposals for stronger EU policies and institutions over the past three years, have gained so little traction in Europe.
Could this change with the coronavirus pandemic, which unfolded after the book was written? Mr Macron’s arguments for more solidarity in the eurozone may be gaining ground but are far from the consensus view. An inevitable retreat from global markets could simply become every EU country for itself.