Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Jean Monnet: Unconventional Statesman

Sherrill Brown Wells
Jean Monnet: Unconventional Statesman
ISBN: 978-1-58826-787-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-238-2
2011/279 pages/LC: 2011020127
"A compelling and concise new biography of the father of all Fathers of Europe.... There is a lot to learn from this book."—Yannis Karagiannis, EUSA Review

"This richly documented biography offers a captivating view of the visionary and entrepreneurial statesman Jean Monnet. Deftly interwoven into the narrative is first-hand testimony from memoirs and interviews that highlight the interpersonal genius of this midwife of European integration."—George Sheridan, University of Oregon

"Impressive.... This authoritative and easily readable book is perfect for nonspecialists who want to learn more about the early years of European integration."—Desmond Dinan, George Mason University

"Assessing the life and work of a man who never held elective office but whose ideas and salesmanship were at the core of European unification, [Wells] provides guidance about how Europe has come this far, but may go no further as a single entity."—Michael D. Mossettig, European Affairs


How did Jean Monnet, an entrepreneurial internationalist who never held an elective office, never joined a political party, and never developed any significant popular following in his native France, become one of the most influential European statesmen of the twentieth century? How did he conceive of, and become instrumental in achieving, European integration? Addressing these questions, Sherrill Brown Wells's political biography also offers insights into the role of the fledgling community of European states in establishing peace in war-ravaged Europe in the aftermath of World War II. 


Sherrill Brown Wells is professorial lecturer in history and international affairs at George Washington University. She is author of The Pioneers of European Integration, 1945-1963.


  • Introduction.
  • Cognac Roots and Formative Experiences, 1888-1938.
  • Early Wartime Contributions, 1938-1943.
  • Washington Assignments, 1943-1945.
  • The Monnet Plan, 1945-1950.
  • Creation of the Coal and Steel Community, 1950-1952.
  • Losing the Battle for a European Defense Community, 1952-1954.
  • Regaining Momentum, 1954-1958.
  • Promoting Closer Integration, 1958-1979.
  • Jean Monnet: A Critical Assessment.