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Pravda Ha Ha Reviews

Pravda Ha Ha  by Rory MacLean

Pravda Ha Ha

True Travels to the End of Europe

Rory MacLean

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 1 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781408896525

Maclean asks what happened to the optimism of 1989 and, in the shadow of Brexit, chronicles the collapse of the European dream.

4 stars out of 5
31 Oct 2019

"An exploration into Putin’s Russia asks what happened to the dream of a united, liberal Europe"

MacLean is an accomplished writer; his immersive prose crackles with wit and wry humour, and captures scenes and personalities with aplomb. As a narrator, he is frank about his own liberal beliefs and unabashedly partisan in his thumping of reactionaries, ethno-nationalists and xenophobes. But if his colourful encounters with Europeans from alt-right Polish executives to German neo-fascists offer a fascinating and grim portrait of our current predicament, how compelling is MacLean’s explanation of how we got here? Pravda Ha Ha argues that unprincipled leaders across the continent have unleashed a blizzard of lies and self-serving myths in order to deflect public anger about poverty and powerlessness on to scapegoats and imaginary enemies.


4 stars out of 5
26 Oct 2019

"This is a timely book. "

MacLean is a compassionate writer, and he balances his stories of men and women of power, such as a minor oligarch and an American banker, with those of the dispossessed; much of this ambitious book is not an easy read, with stories of forced labour, people trafficking and worse. Heart of darkness doesn’t cover it. And MacLean quotes one devastating statistic: in 1989, the year the wall fell, 11 countries worldwide had border walls or fences. Now more than 70 have them.