The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall

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Basic Books, Oct 7, 2014 - History - 320 pages
"An authoritative and fast-moving account of the events that led up to the Wall's demise." --Financial Times
On November 9, 1989, massive crowds surged toward the Berlin Wall, drawn by an announcement that caught the world by surprise: East Germans could now move freely to the West. The Wall-the infamous symbol of a divided Cold War Europe--seemed to be falling. But the opening of the gates was not planned by the East German ruling regime--nor was it the result of a bargain between either President Ronald Reagan or President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was an accident. In The Collapse, prize-winning historian Mary Elise Sarotte reveals how a perfect storm of decisions made by daring underground revolutionaries, disgruntled Stasi officers, and dictatorial party bosses sparked an unexpected series of events culminating in the chaotic fall of the Wall. With a novelist's eye for character and detail, she brings to vivid life a story that sweeps across Budapest, Prague, and Leipzig and on to the armed checkpoints in Berlin. The Collapse offers the definitive account of the night that brought down the Berlin Wall

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User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5266. The Collapse The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, by Mary Elise Sarotte (read 13 Apr 2015) There are only a few days in world affairs which stand out as sheerly happy days and Nov 9, 1989 ... Read full review

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User Review  - splinfo - LibraryThing

Too much detail for most readers I would suspect, but my personal travel in Germany connected me to this piece of history. Overwhelmingly I came away feeling that what people do, one step at a time ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Mary E. Sarotte is Dean's Professor of History at the University of Southern California. A former White House Fellow, Humboldt Scholar, and journalist, she is the author of the prize-winning 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, a Financial Times book of the year.

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