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Review Essay

Destination: Europe

Managing the Migrant Crisis

In This Review

The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First-Century Refugee Crisis
The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First-Century Refugee Crisis
By Patrick Kingsley
Liveright, 2017, 368 pp. Purchase
Cast Away: True Stories of Survival From Europe’s Refugee Crisis
Cast Away: True Stories of Survival From Europe’s Refugee Crisis
By Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
New Press, 2016, 352 pp. Purchase

The dramatic surge in the number of refugees and migrants that arrived in Europe over the course of 2015 should not have come as a surprise. For anyone paying attention to the civil war in Syria—as well as to the festering conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen—it was clear that the crisis had been a long time coming. Yet the arrival of so many, and in so chaotic and desperate a manner, caught European policymakers off-guard. As more than one million people entered Europe, primarily by crossing the Mediterranean, the fabled solidarity underpinning the European project began to crumble. As some governments scrambled to construct makeshift reception centers in resorts and army barracks, others looked on with indifference, and still more did so with alarm. European politicians turned on one another, blaming those who had failed to manage their borders, those who had supposedly encouraged migrants with their

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