Peter Gatrell

The Unsettling of Europe

The Unsettling of Europe

The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present


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.