The West at Bay

The West at Bay

The West at Bay

The West at Bay

Excerpt

No corner of the world—except perhaps ancient Greece— has contributed as much as Western Europe to the development and enrichment of mankind. There is quite simply no sphere of life today that does not owe its origins and its impetus to the countries which together with Western Germany formed the first Committee of Sixteen to consider the Marshall Plan. Catholic Christianity flowered in Western Europe, Protestantism has its roots there. Democratic society and parliamentary government evolved in the West. The industrial revolution began in Britain. The colossal forces of modern science began modestly in the studies and workshops of Western Europe and its most shattering discovery— the release of atomic energy—was in the first place the work of European scientists—Lord Rutherford and the Curies. Communism was Marx's amalgam of German philosophy, French politics and British economics, and Fascism was Europe's disastrous reaction to it. Some of the greatest works of art in the history of all civilizations were created in the West, and what superlatives should one use to describe the vitality of a society which within a few hundred years produced Dante, Shakespeare, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Teresa of Avila, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michael Angelo, the music of Bach and Beethoven, the masterpieces of Gothic and Baroque architecture? Nor was all this vitality confined to the limits of the Continent. From the fifteenth to the twen-

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