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Borderlines

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399723763

Price: £25

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‘Thrillingly unique, knowledgeable, perceptive and profound’ IAN DUNT

‘A light-footed journey along the fault lines of history.’ KATJA HOYER


The history of Europe told through twenty-nine key borders that define the past, present and future of our continent

Europe’s internal borders have rarely been ‘natural’; they have more often been created by accident or force.

In Borderlines, political historian Lewis Baston journeys along twenty-nine key borders from west to east Europe, examining how the map of our continent has been redrawn over the last century, with varying degrees of success. The fingerprints of Napoleon, Alexander I, Castlereagh, Napoleon III and Bismarck are all there, but today’s map of Europe is mostly the work of the Allies in 1919 and Stalin in 1945.

To journey to the centre of the story of Europe, Baston takes us to its edges, bringing to life the fascinating and often bizarre histories of these border zones. We visit Baarle, the town broken into thirty fragments by the Netherland-Belgium border, and stop in Ostritz, the eastern German town where Nazis held a rock festival. We meander the back lanes of rural Ireland, and soak up the atmosphere in the coffee houses of the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. Through these borderlands, Baston explores how places and people heal from the scars left by a Europe of ethnic cleansing and barbed wire fences, and he searches for a better European future – finding it in unexpected places.


Extraordinarily perceptive and original’ ANTHONY SELDON

‘Refreshing and important’ RAFAEL BEHR

Reviews

'A stunningly topical and timely book. Lewis Baston is a remarkable talent, very gifted as a writer and quite extraordinarily perceptive and original in his thinking'
ANTHONY SELDON
'Lewis Baston has incredibly strong research skills, thanks to his brilliant ability to make connections combined with an extraordinary wealth of knowledge. His writing is clear, witty and charming'
ALEX VON TUNZELMANN
"A thoughtful tour of boundaries, identities and places in-between... refreshing and important."
RAFAEL BEHR
Free of dogma or indeed of anything even remotely stereotypical. Lewis Baston's writing is thrillingly unique, knowledgeable, perceptive and profound. This is the story of Europe told through the changing places, where one thing becomes another and two things can be true at the same time, blending psychology, travel, politics, history and geography. I'm not sure I've ever read anything quite like it.
IAN DUNT
'A light-footed journey along the fault lines of history. Baston reveals a forgotten Europe, one that was and may have been.'
KATJA HOYER, bestselling author of, Beyond the Wall
An original, charming and thought-provoking journey along many Europe's most interesting borders, visible, invisible and fiercely contested
TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, author of, Homelands: A Personal History of Europe
'The past, that foreign country, haunts Borderlines in often surprising and unexpected ways... A vivid, deeply researched and fascinating story.'
JOHN FREEMAN, Reaction