As David Owen notes in The UK’s In-Out Referendum, the European Union’s attempts at conflict resolution have left much to be desired. In the Ukraine, Baltic States, Turkey, and much of the Middle East, a lack of coherent policy has dominated. This book argues that the negotiations around the United Kingdom’s referendum vote represent an opportunity to enact wide-scale reform, not least to ensure that the nations of an increasingly politically integrated Eurozone do not come to dominate the foreign and security policy of the European Union in the years to come. To allow them to do so, Owen argues, would almost certainly see the policy of “common defense” advance at the expense of a lasting US commitment to NATO. Ultimately, Owen contends, Britain’s continued membership of a largely unreformed European Union would have serious implications for the United Kingdom’s security, and that foreign policy and security belong at the heart of the reforms the European Union so desperately needs.
When Patricia Clough, a former foreign correspondent, bought a house in Umbria, she knew that buying her dream home did not mean that life would become a dream. By the end of this book, in which she describes the journey of making Umbria her home, she is sure that “if one has basic requirements for being happy, then Umbria provides some of the best surroundings for happiness.” Clough pores over Umbria's enchanting countryside, its tumultuous history, its ancient culture and sumptuous food, and laments that for a long time Umbria was mistaken for its fashionable neighbor, Tuscany. This is not a guide to buying a home in Italy, nor a guidebook for your holiday—though it would be useful as both of these things—but a story in which a woman discovers and marvels at the place she begins to call home.