cover image The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

William F. Buckley Jr, William F. Buckley, JR.. John Wiley & Sons, $19.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-471-26736-2

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 critical 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 ""tear 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 Berliners 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)