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This is Europe: The Way We Live Now

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What is Europe? A continent beset by war and recently plague, countries often more remarkable by their difference than their similarity, a political union increasingly unsure of itself. It’s a knotty question. This is Europe by Ben Judah knits 23 vignettes from people who live here, from Ireland to Turkey, attempting to understand what makes this continent work. Or perhaps, more foundational: what makes it a continent?

Following his prize-nominated epic feat of reportage on the dizzyingly diverse multicultural and migrant underbelly of contemporary London, This is London (2016) — written in the spirit of George Orwell’s classic narratives of proletarian life in the 1930s — Judah has widened his angle of vision to take in Europe itself. Thumbnail image is a modified version of a photo originally created by Julian Herzog, available at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Car2Go_Charging_Station_Stuttgart_2013_01.jpg.

Summary

Ben Judah is director of the Transform Europe Initiative and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center. His current research focus is on the European consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, transnational kleptocracy, European energy and decarbonization politics, and Britain’s attempts to reset its diplomatic posture after Brexit. In Washington, DC, he has worked closely with the offices of Democratic senators, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in seeking to develop a global anti-money-laundering agenda as a central plank of US foreign policy. Will Charles III be a radical king? As his coronation ceremony approaches, I spoke with Will Lloyd, Commissioning Editor and Writer at the New Statesman, to discuss his recent cover article about the King’s views and his relationship with the UK public at large. A kaleidoscope of bright human experience. Moving, poignant and compelling - I devoured this in a day. * Jenny Kleeman, author of Sex Robots & Vegan Meat * UkraineAlert is a comprehensive online publication that provides regular news and analysis on developments in Ukraine’s politics, economy, civil society, and culture. UkraineAlert sources analysis and commentary from a wide-array of thought-leaders, politicians, experts, and activists from Ukraine and the global community.

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. Ben Judah: I first decided to write my book on London when I had returned mentally and physically to the city after spending a lot of time working on Russia, and I felt that I didn’t recognize the London that I’d grown up in. The city had been so transformed by a giant influx of migration and money from the rest of the world, and I wanted to bring some of the techniques of a foreign correspondent to London, and the chief amongst them was the assumption that you don’t know what you’re facing, and that you approach things with an open mind. So my book, This Is London, it’s a journey around London with me, as a narrator… And when I wanted to write a follow-up book, I decided I wanted to write a book about Europe, and I decided that I wanted to push that technique one bit further, and that is by getting rid of the narrator. I felt that the narrator is the sort of old-fashioned European travel writer, this sort of great white male wandering around in tweed across Europe or the Middle East; it sort of got in the way of speaking and listening to the people I’ve met. While Judah would doubtless be alarmed by the comparison, it’s notable that a number of those he documents, in particular migrants themselves, complain about the migrants they encounter – whom they characterise as immoral or criminal. He has interviewed and profiled global figures including French President Emmanuel Macron, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and former First Lady Melania Trump. As a journalist, he has reported on the Russo-Georgia War; unrest in Central Asia, the Arab Spring, and elections in the United Kingdom, France, and United States. MyHome.ie (Opens in new window) • Top 1000 • The Gloss (Opens in new window) • Recruit Ireland (Opens in new window) • Irish Times Training (Opens in new window)

More from Life and Culture

Judah, Ben (October 2008). "Caucasus: Diary, August–September, 2008". Standpoint Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016 . Retrieved 19 February 2016. Rich Goldberg: Your new book, This Is Europe, a follow-up to a very similar genre, which was critically acclaimed, This Is London: Life and Death in the World City. I’m curious, how did you come to writing this kind of book, and especially this kind of series?

Vivid, urgent and unsettling' - Tom Holland, author of How the Christian Revolution Remade the World All of which he achieves, after a fashion, by becoming a porn star in his low-budget, self-directed videos that have apparently taken the Arab world by storm. His is an extraordinary story, recounted with such urgency and immediacy that the reader is projected headlong into a world about which most of us know next to nothing. A Latvian teenager is drawn into online sex work, an Ivorian migrant goes through hell to get to France

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Tajikistan: In Search of the Yeti | Standpoint". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016 . Retrieved 19 February 2016. What does it now mean to call yourself European? Who makes up this population of 750 million, sprawled from Portugal to Ukraine, from Sweden to Turkey? Who has always called it home, and who has newly arrived from elsewhere, hoping for better? Who are the people who drive our long-distance lorries, steward our criss-crossing planes, craft our legacy wines, fish our depleted waters, and risk life itself in search of safety and a new start? Is Charles a modernizing figure for the monarchy? Why have Charles III’s philanthropic ventures gone largely unnoticed? Is it fair to say that Charles III even likes Britain? In a series of vivid, ambitious, sometimes darkly funny, often painfully visceral portraits of other people’s lives, Ben Judah invites us to meet them. As they tell their important stories, they reveal a frenetic and vibrant continent transformed by complex supply chains, by migration, Islam, ideologies, the internet, by climate change, Covid and war. How is electrification changing the global car market? How did EU policies accidentally encourage more China-based EV manufacturing? Should Europe lower its targets for domestic manufacture of key green goods?

In a series of vivid 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 vibrant continent which has been transformed by diversity, migration, the internet, climate change, Covid, war and the quest for freedom. Heir to the great literary-journalistic travellers of the recent past — Ryszard Kapuściński, James Fenton, Bruce Chatwin, Jonathan Raban — but resisting their urge to fabricate for the sake of a good story, Judah is alert to the darker currents swirling through our beleaguered times — climate breakdown, the depredations of Covid, hostility to immigrants, the mass movement of millions towards sanctuary and a new life within self-protecting Western societies often ill-disposed or ill-equipped to offer a modicum of hospitality. He was previously a fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, leading research on the institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative. He was also previously a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London and the European Stability Initiative in Istanbul. The son of author Tim Judah [2] and Rosie Whitehouse, he was born in London. [ citation needed] He is of Baghdadi Jewish descent. [ citation needed] He spent a portion of his childhood in the Balkans [2] before returning to London where he was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle. He attended the University of Oxford. [3] Career [ edit ] Is migration changing the very essence of Europe? Could the European Union become the tool of right-wing populists? Is it possible for Britain to rejoin the European Union under a future Labour government?

This Is Europe: The Way We Live Now review - All of human life is here

The book is divided into 23 chapters that each take the name of a different town or city, and essentially focus on the plight of one person therein. So in Budapest we find Ibrahim, a Syrian refugee who yearns to act, to attain financial success, to be a celebrity.

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