A mini book review: The Year That Changed The World by Michael Meyer
Subtitled "The Untold Story Behind The Fall of The Berlin Wall"
The author was the Newsweek bureau chief for Germany and surrounding areas from 1988 to 1992. This gave him the opportunity to be present as eastern Europe countries gave up communism.
There are many who believe the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin wall was a result of Reagan's oft quoted demand, "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall". Meyer had access to many of the leaders of the eastern bloc of communist countries before and after the fall. The truth is that the actual fall of the wall and communism was an inside job. Individuals within the the Warsaw Pact communist parties realized that communism wasn't working. Their goal was to work within the existing system to convert communism to socialism.
At the same time, Russia was dealing with a financial crisis with low oil prices. The message went out from Gorbachev that the Warsaw Pact members were on their own. Russia could no longer afford to back the communist governments. After 30 to 40 years of entrenched leadership, those Warsaw Pact leaders did not believe the message nor did they get the message that things were changing in their own countries or within their own party.
The book is fast moving and with the mystery and intrigue of governments, this makes the book almost appear as fiction. However, the author's frequent first hand accounts states the reality as he witnesses real history.
This is the real story of the fall of the Berlin wall rather than the common belief to attribute the fall to Reagan's demand.
Note: The book was written 20 years after the fall and is copyright dated 2009.