In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In that euphoric year Rory MacLean travelled from Berlin to Moscow, exploring lands that were – for most Brits and Americans – part of the forgotten half of Europe. Thirty years on, MacLean retraces his original journey, backwards, travelling from revanchist Russia through Ukraine’s bloodlands, to illiberal Hungary, Poland, Germany and the UK, across countries confronting old ghosts and new fears. Along the way he shoulders an AK-47 to go hunting with Moscow’s Chicken Tsar, plays video games with a St Petersburg cyber-hacker who cracked the US election, drops by the Che Guevara High School of Political Leadership in a non-existent nowhereland and meets the Warsaw doctor who tried to stop a march of 70,000 nationalists. Finally, on the shores of Lake Geneva, he waits patiently to chat with Mikhail Gorbachev.