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The Unsettling of Europe

The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present

Peter Gatrell



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13 April 2021
'Peter Gatrell has produced a tour de force ... This important and timely work on one of the most challenging issues in modern Europe deserves to be widely read' Ian Kershaw A striking characteristic of modern Europe has been the extreme fluidity of its populations. Whether trying to escape war and persecution or to find a better life, whether moving from the countryside to the city, or between countries, migrants have stood at the heart of the continent's experience.

Peter Gatrell's powerful new book is the first to bring together all these stories into one place. He creates a compelling narrative bracketed by two nightmarish periods- the great convulsions that followed the final defeat of the Third Reich and the mass attempts in the 2010s by migrants to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. The Unsettling of Europe is a new history of a continent on the move, charting the ever-changing arguments about the desirability or otherwise of migrants and their central role in Europe's post-1945 prosperity. Above all Gatrell has written a book which makes the reader deeply aware of the many extraordinary journeys taken by countless individuals in pursuit of work, safety and dignity, all the time.

This is a major book on a subject that, decade by decade, will always haunt Europe.
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   417g
ISBN:   9780141984797
ISBN 10:   0141984791
Pages:   576
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Peter Gatrell is a renowned historian of modern migration and a Professor of Economic History at the University of Manchester. He is the author of six previous books on migration history and modern European history, including The Making of the Modern Refugee and A Whole Empire Walking- Refugees in Russia during World War I. He lives in Manchester.

Reviews for The Unsettling of Europe: The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present

Peter Gatrell has produced a tour de force ... This important and timely work on one of the most challenging issues in modern Europe deserves to be widely read. -- Ian Kershaw A meticulously researched and documented survey ... Gatrell's closely focused studies help us to see this set of issues as illuminating some much wider questions about the way we live now. -- Rowan Williams * New Statesman * Excellent ... an absorbing and highly readable narrative that ought to be required reading for anyone concerned with modern migration, and not just in Europe either. -- Richard Evans * BBC History * The Unsettling of Europe is a definitive book in which Peter Gatrell proves that 'what we used to have' is a chimerical idea ... A clearly written and essential history. -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * A calmly humanist history ... Surprisingly, I was left feeling optimistic - by Gatrell's informed vision of an unstoppably interconnected world, unsettled, not by migration but by inequality, yet full of possibilities, provided we have the courage to own our history. -- Kapka Kassabova * The Spectator * Gatrell's eye for detail and sensitivity make this a compelling account that challenges the us and them framing into which much discussion of migration is forced. Its great strength is that it treats the emotional and cultural aspects of the subject with as much respect as the historical facts and figures. -- Daniel Trilling * The Guardian * The Unsettling of Europe is a positive and sympathetic book that seeks to rebalance the conversation. It is a bold, meticulously researched and frequently compelling account ... Readers are taken on a fascinating, albeit troubling journey through the moments and revolutions that shaped postwar Europe. -- Matthew Goodwin * The Sunday Times * Gatrell's historical long view provides a valuable reminder of what Europe went through after 1945 ... These now-distant events have every right to a place in the history books, and Gatrell has done us a service in chronicling them so engagingly. -- Paul Morland * Financial Times * Timely and ambitious ... Gatrell [offers a] nuanced and sympathetic treatment of the variety of the immigrant experience - and its impact on European societies. -- Jonathan Portes * The Observer * The Unsettling of Europe is an immense achievement ... The range and the quality of scholarship are magnificent. But more than that, this is an optimistic and deeply humane book, qualities found all too rarely in our time. -- Randall Hansen, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, University of Toronto With migration often characterized as a new and threatening 'crisis' in Europe, acclaimed historian Peter Gatrell recasts the history of postwar Europe as a history of migration ... This timely and must-read book offers valuable lessons from the past as well as new ways to understand just what is at stake in the debate over immigration today. -- Erika Lee, author of The Making of Asian America

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