The fall of the Berlin Wall sent shock waves around the world, initiating a stunningly rapid power-shift that would bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union, give rise to new democracies in Eastern Europe, and end the Cold War superpower conflict that had governed international relations for nearly a half century. It was, quite literally, a world-changing event.
Now, from the vantage of the twentieth anniversary of the wall's collapse, The Fall of the Berlin Wall takes a fresh look at how the leaders in four vital centers of world politics--the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and China--viewed the world in the aftermath of this momentous event. A more complete picture emerges of what these leaders thought as the events were unfolding and what they anticipated would happen next. Jeffrey Engel, who contributes a chronological narrative of this tumultuous period, has brought together preeminent scholars, each offering a substantive essay: Melvyn Leffler on the United States, Chen Jian on China, James Sheehan on Germany and Europe, and William Taubman and Svetlana Savranskaya on the Soviet Union. These historians reinterpret the meaning of 1989 in the context of global history in the late 20th and early 21st century and explore such questions as why communism failed in Europe, why China took a different route following the turmoil of Tiananmen Square, and why the peace of 1989 might well prove illusory.
For general readers, scholars and students alike, The Fall of the Berlin Wall will serve as a profoundly illuminating interpretation of this transformative period.
About Jeffrey A. Engel
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Published October 22, 2009
by Oxford University Press, USA.
History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War.