Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

Revolution The Fall of the Soviet Empire Journalist Victor Sebestyen witnessed much of the fall of the Soviet empire at first hand and in this book he reassesses this decisive moment in modern history

  • Title: Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire
  • Author: Victor Sebestyen
  • ISBN: 9780297852230
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Journalist Victor Sebestyen witnessed much of the 1989 fall of the Soviet empire at first hand and in this book, he reassesses this decisive moment in modern history.

    One thought on “Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire”

    1. The new leader of the USSR was late for a meeting with some Western diplomats in 1985. He apologised – “I’m sorry, I had to deal with some urgent agricultural problems.” “Oh,” said one diplomat, “when did they begin?” “1917” said Gorbachev. He had a sense of humour and a nice smile. He was…unusual.When did Soviet Communism begin to disintegrate? Answer 1 : When Karol Wojtyla got the big promotion and became Pope John Paul II in October 1978. A Polish Pope! An Anti-communist [...]

    2. I bought this book on the 12th of June 2012, the day Poland drew against Russia in the Group Stage of Euro 2012 held in Poland and Ukraine. I was at a book launch of some Argentinian novel held in a quaint bookshop in a very posh part of West London and while I enjoyed the book talk and the free wine I was also inconspicuously (or so I thought at least) checking the score on my phone. It was very stressful, because for over half an hour between the 37th minute of the game (Dzagoev’s goal) and [...]

    3. Published in 2009, Victor Sebestyen's book is a good gift to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of what has since been called "The Autumn of Nations" - a wave of revolutions which swept across eastern Europe in 1989, and resulted in profound changes in the whole world. The Berlin Wall fell, and Germany was reunified; one by one, countries of eastern Europe - which have been satellite states of the Soviet Union for more than 50 years - have regained their independence through democracy and she [...]

    4. I think this is a fabulous book of non-fiction. It is clear, interesting from start to finish and the amount of detail is perfect. It is not dry, not ever. It follows the fall of the totalitarian regimes in the six countries of the Warsaw Pact: Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. You come to understand why the USSR fell apart. It follows the significant role played by leaders and dissidents in these six nations and Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Regan, George H. W. Bu [...]

    5. 1989 was an amazing in the history of the Cold War. It was the year when the satellite states of the Soviet Union in East Europe rid themselves of Communist Parties that have been ruling them for more than 40 years and decided that they deserved a better life. This book, Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebestyen was a very good introductory reader for anyone wanting to have an overview of the events in the various states.A journalist who covered the events in Eastern Eur [...]

    6. In November 1989 I was reading in USA Today that the Berlin Wall was going to come down. Impossible! I remember when it went up. I remember Kennedy speaking near it. I thought this wall would never come down. I said to my wife, "Let's go see history in the making." She said, "No, I can't, but you go."I did. In fact, I think I was one of the first Americans to travel in East Germany since World War 2. Now there is a book about WHY it came down. EconomicsVOLUTION 1989 focuses on Poland, East Germa [...]

    7. A brisk, concise account of the inspiring story of the people's revolutions that led to the decline and collapse of the six Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe. The emphasis is on Poland and Czechoslovakia (where the dissident movements were most most disruptive and effective) and East Germany (where the ultimate collapse was most visible and dramatic). Less coverage is given to Hungary (which was the first of the six countries to abandon Communism, but where the process was more gradual a [...]

    8. This book is among the books that came out in 2009, the twentieth anniversary of the democratic revolutions that toppled the smug communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. I've read of those events in college and read about them in another commemorative book, "The Year That Changed the World".The theme that was common in all the countries in Eastern Europe that underwent revolutions in 1989 was the presence of geriatic, despotic dictatorial systems so detached from the realities of their societ [...]

    9. Unlike most of the books I’ve read about the end of the Cold War and the downfall of the Soviet Union, this book focuses on the Eastern European satellite states. It begins with the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu (no spoiler alert, because honestly), then goes back in time to the creation of Solidarity in Gdansk. As the book progresses, we jump from satellite to satellite, telling the often absurd stories of the regimes and the activists who confronted them. At times, we see the Kremlin’s po [...]

    10. If you want an easy to read, fully accessible and engaging history overview of the downfall of the Soviet Empire, then this is the title for you. I've picked up (and inevitably also put down) many books on this era and found the majority dull and far too dense for me. It's almost like you need a Masters in Eastern European history just to look at some of them! So I was very happy to stumble across this one as it's a great starting point / introduction to whet your appetite with.

    11. As a witness to the events of 1989 in Romania and of what came before of course, I found this book among the better ones on the topic published for the general "Western" audience; too short and reduced to a bare bones story, I agree with its thesis but I wish the author had the space for considerable more analysis and background

    12. No passado 9 de Novembro foi comemorado o vigésimo aniversário da queda do muro de Berlim. No âmbito desta comemoração a Editorial Presença teve a gentileza de me convidar a ler esta obra de Victor Sebestyen que de uma forma geral relata os últimos dias da Guerra Fria e de todo o Império Soviético.Na altura de toda esta revolução, era eu ainda uma criança, tudo para mim era algo que acompanhei muito ao de leve na televisão. Mas de facto não tinha uma noção real do que passaram mi [...]

    13. A fascinating and wide-ranging account of the decade long Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. Sebestyen writes with a journalistic intensity, with an eye both for the personal anecdotes and political big picture. All the major players of the era are here and I gained a new appreciation in particular for Ronald Reagan, whose view of what needed to be done in international relations changed to the point we he needed to stand up to his hawkish advisors. I would have liked more on the character and [...]

    14. As in Dubcek’s famous political reform program slogan from the 1968 Prague Spring “Socialism with a Human Face”, this book presents history with a human face. An excellent brief account of the events leading to the fall of communism in the 1980-1989 time span written in a very delicious style. I only wished if the author could’ve added few more chapters covering the post revolution era and the success & failures in the democratic transition in the 5 nations.

    15. quite a big of repeat, slow after the first chapters, after 1968 at the university studying we, friends and I heard of the Czech Spring. Vaclav Havel, Alexander Dubcek these and other historic characters bring a reader of the news media during the 1968 desire for freedom, closer to understanding the wretched period of the German Invasion of the Eastern Countries, destroying some many cultures and peoples, no wonder the people Marxist and those like the Capek brothers free Czech citizens became a [...]

    16. The collapse of communism is a subject I haven't looked at in any great detail. So when I decided to read this book, it was to fill that big knowledge gap. Revolution 1989 is packed with stories from six countries - East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria - as they meandered through the 1980s. Written in episodic form, the author bounces from one country to the next, with cyclical provocations, incidents, and regime responses progressing toward the outcome we now kno [...]

    17. This journey deals with malfunctioning soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe (Namelly Soviet Empire, or Iron Curtain) in it´s last decade of existance. This is what these six countries were all about since the end of ww2: colonies or protectorates from the Soviet union. These communist dictatorships imposed by force couldn´t forge any policy without consulting their soviet masters, lest they would be invaded or intervened. The soviet invasion of Afganistan changes thence the rules, as t [...]

    18. I don't turn pages on books recounting history so when I found this on audio at the library I checked it out. Just fascinating and full of things I didn't know that happened during my lifetime. Also fascinating to hear the things I heard about on the evening news in the 70's and 80's analyzed in retrospect. I did not realize that Nicolae Ceausescu was really the Hitler of our (my) time, why Rumania had so many orphans, and that despite Gorbachov's appalling lack of knowledge about economics, he [...]

    19. I remember the fall of 1989, when in rapid succession, the Communist governments of the countries of Eastern Europe fell. Mostly without bloodshed, regimes that had retained power through fear and intimidation collapsed. Journalist Victor Sebestyen has written a very compelling and highly readable account of that amazing year, with enough historical context -- the rise and fall of Solidarity before it returned (never really gone) in the Round Table Talks in Poland in 1989; Mikhail Gorbachev's ri [...]

    20. This is a detailed account of the events leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union.The author is a journalist who has done a good research work on the subject.He ,sometimes with too much detail, chronically narrates the events which caused the fall of the Eastern Block , the Berlin Wall, the part Gorbachov and the western Powers played in its collapse and how the cold war was won.It is a very informative book on the subject,and from a journalistic point of view , a good read ,but sometimes the [...]

    21. An excellent, well-written and thought-provoking study of one of the most important events in modern world history. Drawing on his rich journalistic experience and knowledge, Sebestyen conjours up an eyewitness immediacy, while drawing in sufficient background to provide a context for the dramatic events of 1989. In essence, Sebestyen argues that the revolution was due to the combination of the imminent economic of the Eastern European countries, which since the mid-1970s had borrowed vast sums [...]

    22. A well written book that keeps the reader engaged in what could easily be a boring topic by telling great stories. (Though, for me, it seemed to slow down in the third section.)I, as an American reading this in March 2011, kept thinking about the following parallels to modern day America and other world events: * Afghanistan war (Gorbachev wanted to pull out as soon as he could because Russia couldn't afford a war they couldn't win; the Soviets were there for 10 years; US will hit the 10 year an [...]

    23. A highly readable book about the collapse of the Soviet's satellite empire in Eastern Europe. The chapters are broken up into pretty short doses, which makes it a quick read.The book covers some of the failed coups that had taken place earlier, and then shows the shift within Moscow itself from the old guard to Gorbachev. It's especially fascinating to see the indifference Moscow showed towards the loss of their satellites and how little help was extended to Comrades in power.The second half of [...]

    24. This was the kind of book that can easily lead down a path to volumes of other books on the subject of the fall of Eastern European Communism. At times it seems like the author's decision to place all these histories into the same volume was a schizophrenic one, but everyone in a while the timelines would come crashing back together with a glaring uniformity, which to me is the epitome of history. Not only was 1989 a great example of events that still shape our daily lives, but they were events [...]

    25. This book details what happened in the Warsaw Pact states in 1989: Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Each chapter is a short summary of a specific event in a location, and most chapters are no more than 3 or 4 pages long. The first half of the book explains the events leading up to 1989 and why Communism fell in that year, staring from about 1970. The second half is all about different events in 1989 throughout Eastern Europe. There is no discussion about event [...]

    26. This wonderfully readable and compelling history of the downfall of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe is well worth finding and reading. I was a grown man in 1989 but so much of this was only heard about in ways heavily veiled by the tight hold that the various communist regimes had on information in and out. It's an astoundingly exciting and interesting history. So much to know. Eg I somehow never knew that the opening of the Berlin Wall happened due to a string of simple (?) communication er [...]

    27. Amazing! I was born in the USSR four years before it collapsed but until I read this book the first time 6 years ago I had little understanding of the events of '89. My history textbook in middle school contained two scant paragraphs of the collapse of the USSR, Latvian media referred to those events as though everyone still remembered them, not elaborating. My parents' stories were very personal, they did not seem to have registered the intricacies of this revolution. This is a fascinating book [...]

    28. Charts the fall of the Soviet Union's Eastern European Bloc with a rather human perspective- it's linear chronology jumps to several different locations, letting the reader follow several interweaving perspectives to their ultimate (and overall, rather positive) conclusions. Filled also with historical anecdotes, presents an interesting history in the series of cock-ups that lead to the fall of the Soviet Union in Europe. Quite interesting.

    29. This book is excellent. It is well written and easy to read. Victor Sebestyen did well at relating the ‘back story’ of the end of Communist rule in central and Eastern Europe. I found it insightful enlightening. I strongly recommend this book.

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