George Stern

Body Beautiful

Europe of Many Circles

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New European Publications 182pp £14.95 order from our bookshop

Europe: A History of Its Peoples

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Viking 423pp £25 order from our bookshop

Not too likely judging by my current rate of promotion, but if I were God and mulling over a bit of fire and brimstone for the House of Commons, Richard Body’s membership might stay My hand. We get plenty of cloudy abstractions about Europe but Sir Richard, the very model of the English genius-eccentric, quietly asks ‘yes, but what would a United Europe be like?’ Body represents our richest farming constituency, but his quiet modesty has enabled him to survive three books (another on the way) asking why we should subsidise agriculture at £10,000m+ a year for poisoned food and polluted land.

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