This is Europe

Ben Judah

15 June 2023
808 pages


'Vivid, urgent and unsettling' - Tom Holland, author of Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World

What does it now mean to call yourself European? Who makes up this population of some 750 million, sprawled from Ireland to Ukraine, from Sweden to Turkey? Who has always called it home, and who has newly arrived from elsewhere? Who are the people who drive our long-distance lorries, steward our criss-crossing planes, lovingly craft our legacy wines, fish our depleted waters, and risk life itself in search of safety and a new start?

In a series of vivid, ambitious, darkly visceral but always empathetic portraits of other people’s lives, journalist Ben Judah invites us to meet them. Drawn from hours of painstaking interviews, these vital stories reveal a frenetic and vibrant continent which has been transformed by diversity, migration, the internet, climate change, Covid, war and the quest for freedom.

Laid dramatically bare, it may not always be a Europe we recognize – but this is Europe.

'Thrilling' - The Financial Times
'An astonishing achievement' - Evening Standard
'Brilliantly told . . . highly readable' - The Times
'A hallucinatory tour de force . . . life affirming' - The Jewish Chronicle
'Moving, poignant and compelling' - Jenny Kleeman
'Judah paints another Europe with tense and dramatic detail' - Andrey Kurkov
'Will make you lurch between fascination, laughter and tears' - Sophy Roberts

Imagine Ballard and Houellebecq teaming up on a Grand Tour, and you will have some idea of just how vivid, urgent and unsettling this superbly written book is.
Thrilling, first-hand tales that explore the danger and ambitions of life in Europe.
Unflinching . . . a powerful piece of reportage.