Boris Johnson's 'Dream of Rome' - is the EU the Roman Empire restored?
For some reason, he fails to probe some of the contemporary issues (like the lack of an 'emperor' to hold the union together), and as a result misses some of the obvious answers. He ignores completely the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, and the profound effect the concept of Christendom has had (and continues to have) on the development of the EU. You only have to observe the continuing wranglings over whether or not 'God' should get a credit in the Constitution to understand the importance of Europe's spiritual heritage. In fact, Boris come across as somewhat anti-Christian. On p188 he states: 'In their suicidal behaviour, in their belief in an afterlife, and in their rejection of the values of the culture in which they found themselves, the early Christians evoke obvious comparisons with Islamic suicide bombers of today'. As one commentator on Boris' blog has observed: 'I don't recall Tacitus or Eusebius mentioning large explosions and multiple deaths when a Christian was put to death by others for their beliefs'. Indeed not.
That said, 'The Dream of Rome' is a fine introduction to a cogent thesis, but it needs following by Adrian Hilton's 'The Principality and Power of Europe' for analysis of the enduring effects of the concept of Christendom upon the EU's development.