Lights in the Distance

Lights in the Distance:Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe

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Immersive and engrossing report on the European refugee crisis

As the number of people displaced by conflict worldwide rises to its highest level since the Second World War, an unprecedented number of refugees suffer hardship, abuse and even death as they try to reach a continent that presents itself as a beacon of human rights. Why is this happening?

For several years, Daniel Trilling has criss-crossed Fortress Europe, following the journeys of refugees. The Lights in the Distance take readers through six "borderlands" - areas of Europe where the refugee crisis is at its most acute. Moving through places where Europe's history of conflict, nationalism, and conquest is never far from the surface, he explains how the present crisis is driven by racism and fear of the "illegal" immigrant; how Europeans came to fool themselves that Europe could ever really be a "fortress" cut off from the world around it; and how the growth of systems designed to control and deter refugees is leading to disaster. Borderlands are, by their nature, places of division but also of encounter: the ways in which refugees and their local supporters form networks of resistance to change their conditions resonate with Europe's history and raise questions about its future. Can the promise of open borders ever be more than a dream?


  • A compelling narrative ... Trilling challenges much conventional wisdom. (Praise for Bloody Nasty People)

    David EdgarGuardian
  • Chronicling the rise of anti-immigrant, ultra-right-wing parties in the United Kingdom and the changing fortunes of the British National Party (BNP), Trilling's book offers a compelling analysis of the racist fringe... Trilling insightfully rebuts the most common claims made by far-right activists, offering neat refutations of such myths as the idea that white people are the victims of institutional racism in the U.K. (Praise for Bloody Nasty People)

    Publishers Weekly
  • Trilling provides fascinating interviews with key political figures, arguing that far-right extremism remains a dangerous force in British politics today. (Praise for Bloody Nasty People)

    Daily Telegraph