Fortress Europe

Dispatches from a Gated Continent

Ripped from today’s headlines, an explosive investigation into Europe’s violent borders and refugee crisis

“An eye-opening journey around the periphery of Europe, observing humanity on the move and injustice in action. . . . A gripping, troubling, shocking account.” —Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values

Singled out by Foreign Affairs for its reporting on “the brutal frontiers of new Europe,” Fortress Europe is the story of how the world’s most affluent region—and history’s greatest experiment with globalization—has become an immigration war zone, where tens of thousands have died in a humanitarian crisis that has galvanized the world’s attention.

Journalist Matthew Carr brings to life remarkable human dramas, based on extensive interviews and firsthand reporting from the hot zones of Europe’s immigration battles, in a narrative that moves from the desperate immigrant camps at the mouth of the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France, to the chaotic Mediterranean Sea, where African migrants have drowned by the thousands. Speaking with key European policy makers, police, soldiers on the front lines, immigrant rights activists, and an astonishing range of migrants themselves, Carr offers a lucid account both of the broad issues at stake in the crisis and of its exorbitant human costs.

The paperback edition includes a new afterword by the author, which offers an assessment of the current crisis and a searing critique of Europe’s response to the new waves of refugees.


Kirkus Reviews
“This disturbing but hopeful book humanizes the face of 21st-century immigration.”
Publishers Weekly
“A crucial book for anyone seeking to understand how dreams of unfettered personal freedom and mobility for all transformed into a Europe dominated by ranks of gates, cordons, biometrics, and camps.”
—Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society, Newcastle University
“The power of this stirring, authentic account comes from Carr’s ability to capture the refugee experience through his face-to-face interviews and his passionate observation of the current scene, including human trafficking, in which women and minors are forced to choose between deportation and exploitation.”
Booklist (starred review)

News and Reviews

In These Times

Tom Landendorf interviews Matthew Carr about refugees, migration, and Leftist politics.


Matthew Carr writes on the European refugee crisis in the wake of the Paris attacks for Politico.

The Guardian UK

The Guardian UK calls Fortress Europe a "very necessary book" in their review.

Books by Matthew Carr

The Infernal Machine
A History of Terrorism

Matthew Carr

The Savage Frontier
The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination

Matthew Carr

Sherman’s Ghosts
Soldiers, Civilians, and the American Way of War

Matthew Carr

Blood and Faith
The Purging of Muslim Spain

Matthew Carr

Goodreads Reviews