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Road Before Me Weeps: On the Refugee Route Through Europe

by Nick Thorpe Yale University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 344 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: In Stock Now
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War and chaos in Syria and Iraq, violence in Afghanistan, and hopelessness in countries bordering war zones have spurred several million refugees and migrants to set out for Europe. The West Balkans, from Turkey through Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary, became the main entry route.   


Based in Budapest for more than three decades, Nick Thorpe was perfectly placed to cover the birth of the route, its heyday, and the attempts of numerous states to close it. This is his intimate account of the daily lives of those stuck in razor-wire enclosures or on the move along forest tracks, railway lines, motorways—and of the smugglers, border police, and political leaders who help, exploit, or obstruct them. He challenges those who demonize or glorify migration, visits the arrivals in their new environment, and studies their impact on the countries which welcomed them with open arms or hesitation.
“Although the book is meticulously researched, with extensive political analysis, it is Thorpe's personal observations that resonate”— Lucy Popescu, Times Literary Supplement

“As a BBC reporter, Nick Thorpe was an eye-witness to a moment that will define 21st century Europe for a generation: the surge of refugees and migrants through the Balkan route in 2015 and 2016. In this panoramic report, a reader will relive the story as it happened, in the voices of the refugees themselves, the police, the aid workers, the smugglers and the politicians. It is a triumph.”—Michael Ignatieff, President, Central European University

“A sweeping and devastating account of the human toll of border walls and anti-immigrant politics in Europe. An essential read.”—Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders

Nick Thorpe is central Europe correspondent for BBC Radio and TV and an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. He has written for the Observer, the Guardian, and the Independent and is the author of two previous books, including The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest.