• "A compelling combination of literary criticism and travelogue"

    Scotland on Sunday
  • "Westerman is a very fine writer and his stories, characters and digressions are as delicately wrought as a watch mechanism. Like Bruce Chatwin and the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, he has elevated the authorial journalist-traveller into a brilliant, magic storyteller; like them he seeks out the smaller, human-sized epics that play out their tragedies against the backdrop of history"

    Sunday Times
  • "Westerman completes a portrait at once engaging and devastating. As such, it comes closer than any conventional literary history to defining the elusive Socialist Realism."

  • "An extraordinarily compelling, imaginative and subtle mixture of history, literary criticism and travelogue"

    History Today
  • "Brilliant, illuminating and rich"

    Literary Review