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The year that changed the world: the untold story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall

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Pub. Date:
2009.
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Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

President Ronald Reagan's famous exhortation when visiting Berlin in 1987 has long been widely cited as the clarion call that brought the Cold War to an end. The United States won, so this version of history goes, because Ronald Reagan stood firm against the USSR; American resoluteness brought the evil empire to its knees.

Michael Meyer, who was there at the time as a Newsweek bureau chief, begs to differ.

In this extraordinarily compelling account of the revolutions that roiled Eastern Europe in 1989, Meyer shows that American intransigence was only one of many factors that provoked world-shaking change. He draws together breathtakingly vivid, on-the-ground accounts of the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the stealth opening of the Hungarian border, the Velvet Revolution in Prague, and the collapse of the infamous wall in Berlin. But the most important events, Meyer contends, occurred secretly, in the heroic stands taken by individuals in the thick of the struggle---leaders such as poet and playwright Vaclav Havel in Prague; the Baltic shipwright Lech Walesa; the quietly determined reform prime minister in Budapest, Miklos Nemeth; and the man who privately realized that his empire was already lost and decided, with courage and intelligence, to let it go in peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet general secretary of the Communist party.

Reporting for Newsweek from the frontlines in Eastern Europe, Meyer spoke to these players and countless others. Alongside their deliberate interventions were also the happenstance and human error of history that are always present when events accelerate to breakneck speed. Meyer captures these heady days in all of their rich drama and unpredictability. In doing so he provides not just a thrilling chronicle of the most important year of the twentieth century but also a crucial refutation of American political mythology and a triumphal misunderstanding of history that seduced the United States into many of the intractable conflicts it faces today. The Year That Changed the World will change not only how we see the past, but also our understanding of America's future.

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ISBN:
9781416558453
9781400194421
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Grouped Work IDef089647-71af-89e0-dd67-678d75c80aaf
Grouping Titleyear that changed the world the untold story behind the fall of the berlin wall
Grouping Authormichael meyer
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-09-17 02:30:10AM
Last Indexed2021-09-17 03:06:26AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9781400144426

Solr Details

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display_description

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

President Ronald Reagan's famous exhortation when visiting Berlin in 1987 has long been widely cited as the clarion call that brought the Cold War to an end. The United States won, so this version of history goes, because Ronald Reagan stood firm against the USSR; American resoluteness brought the evil empire to its knees.

Michael Meyer, who was there at the time as a Newsweek bureau chief, begs to differ.

In this extraordinarily compelling account of the revolutions that roiled Eastern Europe in 1989, Meyer shows that American intransigence was only one of many factors that provoked world-shaking change. He draws together breathtakingly vivid, on-the-ground accounts of the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the stealth opening of the Hungarian border, the Velvet Revolution in Prague, and the collapse of the infamous wall in Berlin. But the most important events, Meyer contends, occurred secretly, in the heroic stands taken by individuals in the thick of the struggle---leaders such as poet and playwright Vaclav Havel in Prague; the Baltic shipwright Lech Walesa; the quietly determined reform prime minister in Budapest, Miklos Nemeth; and the man who privately realized that his empire was already lost and decided, with courage and intelligence, to let it go in peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet general secretary of the Communist party.

Reporting for Newsweek from the frontlines in Eastern Europe, Meyer spoke to these players and countless others. Alongside their deliberate interventions were also the happenstance and human error of history that are always present when events accelerate to breakneck speed. Meyer captures these heady days in all of their rich drama and unpredictability. In doing so he provides not just a thrilling chronicle of the most important year of the twentieth century but also a crucial refutation of American political mythology and a triumphal misunderstanding of history that seduced the United States into many of the intractable conflicts it faces today. The Year That Changed the World will change not only how we see the past, but also our understanding of America's future.

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subject_facetBerlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
Communism -- Europe, Eastern -- History -- 20th century
Communism -- Germany (East) -- History
Europe, Eastern -- History -- 1945-1989
Germany (East) -- History
Meyer, Michael, -- 1952- -- Travel -- Europe, Eastern
Meyer, Michael, -- 1952- -- Travel -- Germany (East)
Social movements -- Europe, Eastern -- History -- 20th century
Social movements -- Germany (East) -- History
World politics -- 1989-
title_displayThe year that changed the world : the untold story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall
title_fullThe Year That Changed the World The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The year that changed the world : the untold story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall / Michael Meyer
The year that changed the world : the untold story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall [electronic resource] / Michael Meyer
title_shortThe year that changed the world
title_subthe untold story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall
topic_facetBerlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
Communism
History
Meyer, Michael
Nonfiction
Social movements
Travel
World politics