Revolution 1989 The Fall of the Soviet Empire

ISBN-10: 0375425322

ISBN-13: 9780375425325

Edition: 2009

Authors: Victor Sebestyen

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A revelatory account of the collapse of the Soviet Union's European empire during several months of astonishing revolution that profoundly changed the world. At the start of 1989, ten European nations were Soviet vassal states. By year's end, they had all declared national independence, embarking on the road to democracy. How did it happen so quickly? Why did the USSR capitulate so readily? Victor Sebestyen draws on his firsthand knowledge as a reporter of the events of 1989, on scores of interviews with other witnesses and participants, and on newly uncovered archival material to answer these questions in unprecedented depth. Sebestyen tells the story through the eyes of ordinary men and women, some of whom found themselves almost miraculously transformed: the furnace stoker who became the Czech foreign minister; the Romanian poet who, just freed from jail, was made vice president of the newly liberated nation. We see power wielded or ceded by Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, and Margaret Thatcher, among others. We learn how the KBG helped bring down former allied regimes, how the United States tried to slow the process, and why the collapse of the Iron Curtain was the catalyst for the fall of the entire Soviet empire. Authoritative, riveting in both its broad political sweep and its abundance of personal detail, this is an essential addition to the annals of contemporary history.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Size: 6.50" wide x 10.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Victor Sebestyen was born in Budapest. He was an infant when his family left Hungary as refugees. As a journalist, he was worked on numerous British newspapers. He reported widely from Eastern Europe when Communism collapsed in 1989. He covered the war in former Yugoslavia. At the London Evening Standard he was foreign editor, media editor and chief leader writer. His highly acclaimed first book, TWELVE DAYS (W&N 2006), was an account of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

List of Illustrations
Map of Europe in 1989
Cold War
The Workers' State
A Message of Hope
The Electrician
Civil War
The Bleeding Wound
The Power of the Powerless
Able Archer
America's Leading Dove
A Pyrrhic Victory
The Thaw
The New Tsar
The Sword and Shield
Lenin's Apostle
Silent Memories
'We Cannot Win'
'Let Them Hate'
Chernobyl: Nuclear Disaster
Ethnic Cleansing
Humbled in Red Square
The Gang of Four
Gorbachev's Vietnam
Old Men's Tales
Endgame in Poland
President Bush Takes Charge
Triumph in Manhattan
The War of Words
Havel in Jail
The Round Table
Shoot to Kill
The Friendship Bridge
The Curtain Falls
The Cautious American
The Loyal Opposition
The Dictator Pays his Debts
A Stolen Election
Expulsion of the Turks
The Landslide
Funeral in Budapest
A Presidential Tour
Trail of the Trabants
A Government of Dissidents
The Birthday Party
People Power
The Wall Comes Tumbling Down
The Coup
The Velvet Revolution
The Moment of Weakness
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