Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Berlin Wall

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Berlin Wall

A World Divided, 1961-1989

by Frederick Taylor

The Berlin Wall by Frederick Taylor X
The Berlin Wall by Frederick Taylor
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2007, 512 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 528 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

A short guide to some notable historic barriers:

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 walls are Gask Ridge, built about 40 years before Hadrian's Wall, and the 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 times (360 degree panorama of a small section of the wall). At its height it stretched 6352 km/3948 miles (map & more). In 1644 AD, the Manchus breached the wall by bribing a border general and seized Beijing, thus bringing an end to the Ming dynasty and establishing the Qing dynasty in its place. Under Qing rule, China's borders extended beyond the walls so repairs to the Great Wall were discontinued.

Offas Dyke is a massive earthwork roughly following the current border between England and Wales. In places, it is up to 65 feet (20 m) wide and 8 feet (2.5m) high. The 192 mile boundary was built in the 8th century AD by the King of Mercia as a border between his lands and the Welsh kingdom of Powys.

The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications built by the French along its border with Germany and Italy between the two World Wars. The French thinking was based on the defensive trench warfare of World War I. The fortifications did successfully dissuade a direct attack, but the Germans simply went around it.

The Atlantic Wall: The Germans poured millions of tons of reinforced concrete from Belgium to La Havre to build fortresses, batteries and defenses to protect the Atlantic flank of "Fortress Europa", but the Allies tricked the Germans into thinking the real invasion was to come at Calais, and by the time the Germans realized their mistake several hundred thousand troops had breached the "wall".

The Belfast Peace Lines (click on "Cupar Street" to see a 360° panorama of one wall) are a series of barriers ranging in length from a hundred yards to over three miles, separating Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods designed to minimize intercommunal sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics. Constructed in the early 1970s, during "The Troubles", they multiplied over the years, from around 20 in the early 1990's to 40 today, stretching over 13 miles in total. Due to the current peace in Northern Ireland, the walls have now become popular tourist destinations.

The United States–Mexico barrier is intended to deter illegal entry of Latin Americans into the USA from Mexico. The plan is for a 700 mile barrier across the more inviting stretches of the 2,100 mile border. In 2006, Congress appropriated $1.5 billion in the fiscal 2006 and 2007 budgets for fencing, vehicle barriers and border lighting, and the White House requested $1 billion more in fiscal 2008." This April, the Department of Homeland security announced plans to waive more than 30 environmental and cultural laws to speed construction of the barrier.

The Israeli West Bank barrier is a physical barrier being constructed by Israel located mainly within the West Bank. The length of the barrier will be 703 kilometers/436 miles (95% trenches, 5% walls). As of 2008, about 60% has been completed with final completion estimated for 2010.

This article was originally published in June 2007, and has been updated for the May 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.