The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First Century Refugee Crisis

Patrick Kingsley. Liveright, $26.85 (368p) ISBN 978-1-63149-255-6
Guardian migration correspondent Kingsley (How to Be Danish) has written a moving and timely book that presents the crisis of the subtitle in both microcosm and macrocosm. He opens with an episode from Syrian refugee Hashem al-Souki’s harrowing trek from his embattled home country in search of a safe haven for his family in Europe. Kingsley then pulls back to put al-Souki’s situation in context, convincingly arguing that while there is a refugee crisis, “it’s one caused largely by our response to the refugees, rather than by the refugees themselves.” He points out that the number of refugees leaving Turkish shores in 2015 for the stability of Northern Europe represents just 0.2% of the E.U.’s total population, an influx that “the world’s richest continent can feasibly absorb.” Kingsley also notes that the failure to create an “organized system of mass resettlement” contributed to the situation. Alternating sections tracing al-Souki’s odyssey help keep the reader grounded in the horrify- ing realities of the tragedy, while carefully chosen details, such as smugglers setting up Facebook pages to attract business, demonstrate how even responses to crisis can become prosaic. Illus. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-63149-260-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-2498-4
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