Missing the truth in Europe

In The Spectator, Sara Wheeler reviews Rory MacLean’s Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe (Bloomsbury, £20). It’s being published in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9), and in it MacLean retraces, in reverse, a journey he made in 1989 from Berlin to Moscow. At that time, he points out, 11 countries worldwide had border walls or fences; now more than 70 have them. “This is a timely book,” Wheeler writes. “It addresses the challenges of a fractious and fractured Europe. The first word of the title means ‘truth’ in Russian, and the author’s point is that we have collectively lost sight of that essential commodity.”

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