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I wrote a novel about the construction of the Berlin Wall (The Story of Henri Tod) in my Blackford Oakes series. I traveled to inspect the wall, submitting to the indignities of Checkpoint Charlie. The near mystical idea of the wall, bisecting the capital of a modern, industrialized country, as if it were the fancy of a Genghis Khan, fascinated me beyond the stark ideological meaning of it. I returned to Berlin after the wall came down, and found that bits and pieces of it eerily remained, framed, here and there, like curios of a prehistoric age. I now tell the story of the wall's abandonment, and of the life that sprang from it not only for Berlin, but for the entire world, the symbol of the end of a seventy-year long menace. And undertaking this in the Wiley series, the length brief, but the story luxuriant, has had for me a special appeal. William F. Buckley Jr.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was the turning point in the struggle against Communism in Eastern Europe. The culmination of popular uprisings in Hungary, Poland, and East Germany, the Wall's fall led inexorably to revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania, the reunification of Germany, and, ultimately, the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself. Now, America's senior conservative pundit explains how and why the Cold War ended as it did-and what lessons we can draw from the experience. Writing with his usual perspicacity and wit, William F. Buckley, Jr. brings to life Communism's last gasp, showing how Reagan's hard-nosed foreign policy and Gorbachev's reforms undermined Warsaw Pact dictators, emboldened dissidents, and finally made the dream of freedom a reality in Eastern Europe. Sure to delight conservatives, annoy liberals, and enlighten everyone who reads it, The Fall of the Berlin Wall is William F. Buckley, Jr. at his inimitable best. William F. Buckley, Jr. (New York, NY, and Stamford, CT) is an award-winning author, editor, columnist, television host, lecturer, and adventurer. The father of modern conservative thought in America, he founded National Review in 1955, started writing his syndicated "On the Right" newspaper column in 1962, and began hosting the Emmy Award-winning Firing Line in 1966. His many bestselling books include God and Man at Yale, Atlantic High, Airborne, and ten Blackford Oakes spy novels. He has been awarded 35 honorary degrees and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991.
William F. Buckley Jr. reflects on the event that marked the fall of Communism in Europe The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was the turning point in the struggle against Communism in Eastern Europe. The culmination of popular uprisings in Hungary, Poland, and East Germany, the Wall's fall led inexorably to revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania, the reunification of Germany, and, ultimately, the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself. In this book, American conservative pioneer and National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. explains how and why the Cold War ended as it did-and what lessons we can draw from the experience. Writing with his legendary wit and insight, he brings to life Communism's last gasp, showing how Reagan's hard-nosed foreign policy and Gorbachev's reforms undermined Warsaw Pact dictators, emboldened dissidents, and finally made the dream of freedom a reality in Eastern Europe. Written by one of America's most erudite and influential political thinkers and writer. Includes a new foreword by Henry Kissinger marking the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall Hailed as "eloquent [and] immensely readable" ( Baltimore Sun), this account "celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit and the will to achieve freedom" ( Publishers Weekly). Sure to delight conservatives, annoy liberals, and enlighten everyone who reads it, The Fall of the Berlin Wall is William F. Buckley Jr. at his inimitable best.
eBay Product ID (ePID)
William F., Jr. Buckley
Number Of Pages
Turning Points in History
Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, John
Series Volume Number
LC Classification Number
Table Of Content
Acknowledgments.Introduction.1. Ulbricht's Berlin Problem.2. The Continuing Crisis.3. In the Shadow of the Wall.4. The Wall Came Tumbling Down.5. The End of the Cold War.Notes.Index.
"Eloquent...immensely readable...the saga of the victory of capitalism over the brutal and irrational fraud that was state socialism." ( Baltimore Sun , March 21, 2004) "[A] great narrative of democratic survival and democratic victory." ( Washington Time , March 30, 2004) "This is a small masterpiece of the narrative tradition. The Fall of the Berlin Wall keep[s] readers turning the page." ( National Review , March 22, 2004) "...decodes the Cold War endgame..." ( Vanity Fair , March 2004) From the day the Berlin Wall went up, in August of 1961, separating East and West Berlin, to the day it came crumbling down in November 1989, it stood as a symbol of the denial of freedom and the horrors of communism. In his latest book, renowned conservative writer Buckley tells the story of the Wall from its historic inception to its fateful fall. This new entry in Wiley''s Turning Points series is not an in-depth historical account of East German communism but a brief overview of cri tical events, accompanied by Buckley''s insightful and occasionally witty commentary. Despite the author''s political orientation, the book does not evince a strong political bias (traditionally, conservatives tout Reagan as a major player in the fall of communism, but Buckley devotes a scant couple of pages to Reagan''s policies and his famous "te ar down this wall" speech); the story of the Berlin Wall is remarkable in itself, capable of being appreciated by all, regardless of their politics. It''s a story about separated families, thousands of East Berliner s who risked their lives to taste freedom on the other side; those who did not make it-shot down by Communist police as they attempted to scale the wall. Buckley is at times funny, at times genuinely horrified by the Communist regime, and at times exultant over its fall. His lucid account celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit and the will to achieve freedom. Map. Agent, Lois Wallace. (Mar. 26) ( Publishers Weekly , March 1, 2004) Early in his presidency, Ronald Reagan called communism a "sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." Ten months after he left office, one of the grimmest symbols of communism''s inhumanity -- the Berlin Wall -- was breached, and the Soviet empire itself soon lay on the ash heap of history. In " The Fall of the Berlin Wall " (Wiley, 212 pages, $19.95), William F. Buckley Jr. describes the Wall''s final dramatic moments, as his title suggests, but he also tells the story of its construction and its role in the Cold War. The book is part of a publishing series called Turning Points, in which prominent writers take a fresh look at key moments in history. As stories go, few can match the intrigue and tragedy of the Berlin Wall. Imagine other great cities slashed through the middle: New York at 42nd Street, say, or Paris at the Champs-Elysees. Mr. Buckley himself tackled this subject in a 1984 novel in which his East German resistance hero came close to forcing the Soviets to back down from their plan to splice the city in two. This was not sheer fancy on Mr. Buckley''s part. In 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev informed the East Germans: "We Soviets are not willing to risk a major engagement with the West" and ordered them to withdraw if the Allies reacted to the Wall''s construction with force. It turned out that John F. Kennedy and other Western leaders were relieved that Khrushchev''s bluster only sealed off the city and didn''t actually threaten West Berlin. Erich Honecker, the East German official in charge of building the Wall, kept direct knowledge of the project limited to 20 people. The troops who started stringing barbed wire at 2 a.m. on Aug. 12, 1961, were told of their mission only when they got to the border. Once he became East German leader, Mr. Honecker declared himself proud of his "anti-fascist protective barrier." Too proud, it turned out.