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The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World
by Tara Zahra
“Zahra handles this immensely complicated and multidimensional history with remarkable clarity and feeling.” ―Robert Levgold, Foreign Affairs
Between 1846 and 1940, more than 50 million Europeans moved to the Americas in one of the largest migrations of human history, emptying out villages and irrevocably changing both their new homes and the ones they left behind. With a keen historical perspective on the most consequential social phenomenon of the twentieth century, Tara Zahra shows how the policies that gave shape to this migration provided the precedent for future events such as the Holocaust, the closing of the Iron Curtain, and the tragedies of ethnic cleansing. In the epilogue, she places the current refugee crisis within the longer history of migration.