THE GUARDIAN: The Unsettling of Europe by Peter Gatrell review – the great migration, 1945 to the present

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 15/8/2019

Description

What shines out brightest from Peter Gatrell’s panoramic history of migration in Europe since 1945 is that this is a story of comings and goings, not just arrival. Ideas about home and belonging are constantly shaped by the forces of state power, capital and everyday human interaction. You can feel it most strongly in the accounts of individual experience that Gatrell has woven into his narrative. There are the “starved, frightened, suspicious, stupefied” ethnic Germans expelled from eastern Europe at the end of the war, who arrive in a country most have never set foot in before; or the returning British colonial settlers who decide in the 1960s that they prefer Portugal’s Algarve to Blighty, because the cheap booze, servants and warm weather remind them of the Raj. Western European officials are surprised when the “guest workers” from Turkey, north Africa and elsewhere they invited in to help rebuild their economies in the 1950s and 60s don’t want to return when recession sets in – but don’t entirely want to give up their connections to the old countries either.

Media coverage

TitleThe Unsettling of Europe by Peter Gatrell review – the great migration, 1945 to the present
Media name/outletThe Guardian
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date15/08/19
DescriptionWhat shines out brightest from Peter Gatrell’s panoramic history of migration in Europe since 1945 is that this is a story of comings and goings, not just arrival. Ideas about home and belonging are constantly shaped by the forces of state power, capital and everyday human interaction. You can feel it most strongly in the accounts of individual experience that Gatrell has woven into his narrative. There are the “starved, frightened, suspicious, stupefied” ethnic Germans expelled from eastern Europe at the end of the war, who arrive in a country most have never set foot in before; or the returning British colonial settlers who decide in the 1960s that they prefer Portugal’s Algarve to Blighty, because the cheap booze, servants and warm weather remind them of the Raj. Western European officials are surprised when the “guest workers” from Turkey, north Africa and elsewhere they invited in to help rebuild their economies in the 1950s and 60s don’t want to return when recession sets in – but don’t entirely want to give up their connections to the old countries either.
URLhttps://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/15/the-unsettling-of-europe-by-peter-gatrell-review-the-great-migration-1945-to-the-present
PersonsPeter Gatrell