Writing in the Guardian
, Andy Beckett nominates Jeremy Harding's Border Vigils
as Book of the Week, describing its "ambitious... economical, sometimes elegant, usually understated prose". Border Vigils
is a powerful work of reportage, combining analysis of the politics of migration with first hand accounts of the people struggling to survive as they are faced with anti-immigration zealots.
In recent years, the economic slump has made immigration even more politically sensitive than during more confident eras. His underlying stance is liberal: broadly supportive of the migrants, highlighting the human cost when their desires are blocked. But as a longstanding writer on the ambiguous relationships between rich and poor countries, he is too streetwise to be pious. He is alert to the complexities of a world where refugees and economic migrants are not always easy to tell apart – even in the minds of the immigrants themselves – and where the same traffickers smuggle people, willing and not, and other illegal cargoes. "Nothing in the world of unauthorised migration," he writes early on, "is quite what it seems."