Reviews

  • Peter Gatrell has produced a tour de force. With great sensitivity he follows the experiences of migrants as they encounter an often hostile and discriminatory environment in their new homes in Europe. This important and timely work on one of the most challenging issues in modern Europe deserves to be widely read.

    Ian Kershaw
  • The Unsettling of Europe is a definitive book in which Peter Gatrell, a historian of population movement at the University of Manchester, proves that "what we used to have" is a chimerical idea. [...] A clearly written and essential history.

    David Aaronovitch, The Times
  • One of the major contributions of Peter Gatrell's meticulously researched and documented survey is to remind us of the levels of displacement and mobility that were routine and widespread across Europe in relatively recent times. [...] 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. Few readers will underestimate the urgency of those wider questions in an age of graceless fictions and dog-whistle prejudices.

    Rowan Williams, The New Statesman
  • In 21st-century Europe, when politicians equate 'migration' with 'crisis', Gatrell's calmly humanist history fills a large memory hole. [...] 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, The Financial Times
  • The Unsettling of Europe is an immense achievement. Gatrell places migration where it belongs - at the core of postwar European History. Refusing to confine himself to the well-worn territories of France, the United Kingdom and Germany, Gatrell explores migration in northern and southern Europe but also - particularly impressively - in the former Soviet Union. The topics range from the familiar - guestworkers in West Germany - to the novel - how migrants approach and understand death. 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. From the repatriation of forced laborers and prisoners at the end of World War Two to the recent arrival Syrian refugees, Europe, he shows, has always been about people on the move. 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
  • Magisterial

    Praise for THE MAKING OF THE MODERN REFUGEE, Journal of World History