The Quiet Miracle

The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said that watching Edmund Kean, the great tragedian of the London stage 200 years ago, was like "reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning." That's how we like our great moments in history to be, surrounded by drama, attended by heroes. By those standards, the process that led to the signing of the Treaty of Rome 50 years ago was almost ineffably mundane — a series of long meetings of forgotten bureaucrats in rooms foul with tobacco smoke. No blood was shed, few memorable speeches made; the heroes were those who could cajole a compromise into...

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