On the morning of August 13, 1961, the residents of East Berlin found themselves cut off from family, friends and jobs in the West by a tangle of barbed wire that ruthlessly cut a city of four million in two. Within days the barbed-wire entanglement would undergo an extraordinary metamorphosis: it became an imposing 103-mile-long wall guarded by three hundred watchtowers. A physical manifestation of the struggle between Soviet Communism and American capitalismtotalitarianism and freedomthat would stand for nearly thirty years, the Berlin Wall was the high-risk fault line between East and West on which rested the fate of all humanity. Many brave people risked their lives to overcome this lethal barrier, and some paid the ultimate price.
In this captivating work, sure to be the definitive history on the subject, Frederick Taylor weaves together official history, archival materials and personal accounts to tell the complete story of the Wall's rise and fall, from the postwar political tensions that created a divided Berlin to the internal and external pressures that led to the Wall's demise. In addition, he explores the geopolitical ramifications as well as the impact the wall had on ordinary lives that is still felt today. For the first time the entire world faced the threat of imminent nuclear apocalypse, a fear that would be eased only when the very people the Wall had been built to imprison breached it on the historic night of November 9, 1989.
Gripping and authoritative, The Berlin Wall is the first comprehensive account of a divided city and its people in a time when the world seemed to stand permanently on the edge of destruction.
Taylor has penned a compelling, thrilling, narrative history of the rise and fall of The Berlin Wall from a hastily constructed barbed-wire fence to the 30 miles of concrete and 300 watchtowers that followed shortly after. He looks not just at the barrier that partitioned a city, and the human stories of those effected by the Wall, but also at the global politics behind its construction in 1961, 16 years after the war had ended and 13 years after Stalin's failed attempt to seal off the city had been foiled by the Berlin airlift. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The New York Times - William Grimes
Rarely does history wind up its dramas so neatly, with the same actor reciting both prologue and epilogue, and Frederick Taylor quite rightly savors the coincidence in The Berlin Wall, his gripping, impassioned history of the cold war’s most malevolent symbol
Starred Review. Taylor's enthralling story, combined with impeccable research and its rich human interest, makes this as dramatically gripping as any of the spy thrillers that used the wall as a backdrop.
The London Review of Books - Neal Ascherson
Taylor’s book is a vivid, comprehensive account of how the Berlin Wall came
about, of the repulsive or inspiring events which took place along it during its
28-year life, and of its eventual fall in 1989. He backs this narrative with a
summary of Prussian and Berlin history leading up to the defeat of the Third
Reich in 1945, a close study of the devious postwar struggles within the ruling
Socialist Unity Party under Walter Ulbricht and then Erich Honecker, and an
account of developing East-West relations before, during and after the great
‘Berlin Crisis’ of 1958-61 .... in other ways – language, historical assessment,
boldness of opinion – this book falls below the standard set by Dresden.
.... there’s also an impression that a publisher has told him to find a more
popular style for readers whose attention to the past is fragile.
Hadrian's Wall was
built in AD 122. It measures 80
Roman miles (73.5
miles/117 km). It was the second
of three stone and turf
fortifications the Romans built
across Britain to prevent
military raids by the Picts (who
inhabited what is now Scotland)
but is best known as it is the
best preserved. The lesser known
Gask Ridge, built about 40
years before Hadrian's Wall, and
Antoine Wall, built farther
north about 20 years later.
The Great Wall of China
was started in the 3rd century and was
rebuilt and rerouted a number of
degree panorama of a small
section of the wall)....
Set in the weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dr. Rudi Rosenharte, formerly a Stasi foreign agent, is sent to Trieste to rendezvous with his old lover and agent, Annalise Schering. The problem: Rudi knows shes dead.
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