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Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe

Rory MacLean

$29.99

Paperback

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Bloomsbury
01 February 2020
Biography: literary; Travel & holiday; Travel writing
'A gem of a book, informative, companionable, sometimes funny, and wholly original. MacLean must surely be the outstanding, and most indefatigable, traveller-writer of our time' John le Carre In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In that euphoric year Rory MacLean travelled from Berlin to Moscow, exploring lands that were - for most Brits and Americans - part of the forgotten half of Europe. Thirty years on, MacLean traces his original journey backwards, across countries confronting old ghosts and new fears: from revanchist Russia, through Ukraine's bloodlands, into illiberal Hungary, and then Poland, Germany and the UK. Along the way he shoulders an AK-47 to go hunting with Moscow's chicken Tsar, plays video games in St Petersburg with a cyber-hacker who cracked the US election, drops by the Che Guevara High School of Political Leadership in a non-existent nowhereland and meets the Warsaw doctor who tried to stop a march of 70,000 nationalists. Finally, on the shores of Lake Geneva, he waits patiently to chat with Mikhail Gorbachev.

As Europe sleepwalks into a perilous new age, MacLean explores how opportunists - both within and outside of Russia, from Putin to Home Counties populists - have made a joke of truth, exploiting refugees and the dispossessed, and examines the veracity of historical narrative from reportage to fiction and fake news. He asks what happened to the optimism of 1989 and, in the shadow of Brexit, chronicles the collapse of the European dream.
By:   Rory MacLean
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   560g
ISBN:   9781408896532
ISBN 10:   1408896532
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   01 February 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rory MacLean is one of Britain's most expressive and adventurous travel writers. His books - which have been translated into a dozen languages - include the Sunday Times bestseller Stalin's Nose, Under the Dragon and Berlin: Imagine a City, which was named a Book of the Year by the Washington Post.

Reviews for Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe

This is a tremendous thing that MacLean is creating; a new kind of history, in several dimensions and innumerable moods, that adds up to - across the span of his books - a great and continuing work of literature -- Jan Morris A gem of a book, informative, companionable, sometimes funny, and wholly original. MacLean must surely be the outstanding, and most indefatigable, traveller-writer of our time -- John le Carre No one writes quite like Rory MacLean -- Robert Macfarlane MacLean combines vivid reportage with unabashed soapboxing. The result is an engrossing travelogue that's both trenchantly observant and deeply felt * Publishers Weekly *


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