Related to: 'Lenin the Dictator'

W&N

Revolution 1989

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

'A compelling and illuminating account of a great drama in the history of our times which showed once again that ordinary men and women really can change the world' Jonathan Dimbleby, MAIL ON SUNDAYFor more than 40 years after the Second World War the Iron Curtain divided Europe physically, with 300 km of walls and barbed wire fences; ideologically, between communism and capitalism; psychologically, between people imprisoned under totalitarian dictatorships and their neighbours enjoying democratic freedoms; and militarily, by two mighty, distrustful power blocs, still fighting the cold war. At the start of 1989, ten European nations were still Soviet vassal states. By the end of the year, one after another, they had thrown off communism, declared national independence, and embarked on the road to democracy. One of history's most brutal empires was on its knees. Poets who had been languishing in jails became vice presidents. When the Berlin Wall fell on a chilly November night it seemed as though the open wounds of the cruel twentieth century would at last begin to heal. The Year of Revolutions appeared as a beacon of hope for oppressed people elsewhere who dared to dream that they too could free themselves. In a dizzying few months of almost entirely peaceful revolutions the people's will triumphed over tyranny. An entire way of life was swept away. Now, twenty years on, Victor Sebestyen reassesses this decisive moment in modern history.

W&N

Twelve Days

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

The defining moment of the Cold War: 'The beginning of the end of the Soviet empire.' (Richard Nixon)The Hungarian Revolution in 1956 is a story of extraordinary bravery in a fight for freedom, and of ruthless cruelty in suppressing a popular dream. A small nation, its people armed with a few rifles and petrol bombs, had the will and courage to rise up against one of the world's superpowers. The determination of the Hungarians to resist the Russians astonished the West. People of all kinds, throughout the free world, became involved in the cause. For 12 days it looked, miraculously, as though the Soviets might be humbled. Then reality hit back. The Hungarians were brutally crushed. Their capital was devastated, thousands of people were killed and their country was occupied for a further three decades.The uprising was the defining moment of the Cold War: the USSR showed that it was determined to hold on to its European empire, but it would never do so without resistance. From the Prague Spring to Lech Walesa's Solidarity and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the tighter the grip of the communist bloc, the more irresistible the popular demand for freedom.

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

Adrian Goldsworthy

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including PAX ROMANA, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Alan Furst

Alan Furst is widely recognised as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of novels including MISSION TO PARIS, SPIES OF THE BALKANS - a TV Book Club choice - THE SPIES OF WARSAW, which became a BBC mini-series starring David Tennant and THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris and travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune. He now lives in Long Island.www.alanfurst.net

Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba read History at King's College London then joined Reuters as a foreign correspondent based in London and Rome. She has written eight works of non-fiction, including THAT WOMAN and LES PARISIENNES, presented BBC radio documentaries, and is an accredited NADFAS lecturer. She is married with three children.www.annesebba.comhttp://www.facebook.com/anne.sebbahttps://twitter.com/annesebba

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Boris Akunin

BORIS AKUNIN is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in London.

David James Smith

David James Smith was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1956 and has been a journalist all his working life. He writes for the Sunday Times Magazine.For more information visit www.davidjamessmith.net. Follow David James Smith on Twitter at https://twitter.com/htimssemajdivad and join him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/david.j.smith.7906.

Edvard Radzinsky

Edvard Radzinsky is after Chekhov, Russia's most frequently staged playwright, and his plays have won him international acclaim. A trained historian, Radzinsky spent twenty-five years on research and writing his life of Nicholas II, THE LAST TSAR, which was an international bestseller. His most recent book is a life of Stalin. He is also known in Russia for his work in television, having twice won the TEFI award, most recently for his series on Napoleon.

Edward Young

Edward Young gained a first-class degree in history from Clare College, Cambridge, and won a Mellon Scholarship to Yale where he studied history and international relations as part of the Grand Strategy Program. He has since worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron and as Chief of Staff to the Conservative Party Chairman. At the 2017 General Election, he stood as the Conservative candidate for York Central, and he is currently the Corporate Communications Director at Tesco PLC. Edward's third book in collaboration with Lord Hurd, DISRAELI, was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, having worked as a research assistant for his biography of Sir Robert Peel, and co-authoring CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS, a history of British foreign policy.

Efraim Halevy

Efraim Halevy, the former head of the Mossad, is now the Head of the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was also Israel's ambassador to the European Union before his appointment to the Mossad. During the time he worked for the Israeli government, he was the secret envoy to five of that country's Prime Ministers: Rabin, Shamir, Netanyahu, Barak and Sharon. In April 2005 he received the prestigious Chaim Herzog Prize for extraordinary contributions to the state of Israel.

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Leonie Frieda

Swedish by birth, but educated in Britain, France and Germany, Leonie Frieda speaks five languages and is a member of the Institute of Linguists. She is the author of a bestselling biography of Catherine de Medici, and THE DEADLY SISTERHOOD: A STORY OF WOMEN, POWER AND INTRIGUE IN THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE and FRANCIS I: THE MAKER OF MODERN FRANCE. She lives in London and has two children. http://www.leoniefrieda.com/

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. In October 2012, she was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was honoured with the NATIONAL PEACE PRIZE in Pakistan in 2011. She is the youngest ever person nominated for a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. She was shortlisted for TIME magazine Person of the Year and has received numerous other awards. Malala continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund. She is the author of the memoir I AM MALALA, the children's book MALALA'S MAGIC PENCIL and WE ARE DISPLACED.

Mick Flynn

Squadron Corporal Major Mick Flynn CGC MC is currently the most highly decorated serving soldier in the British Army. He has seen active service in Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He is currently based in Windsor with his wife and children. He is the author of BULLET MAGNET and TRIGGER TIME.

Nancy Goldstone

Nancy Goldstone is the author of FOUR QUEENS, JOANNA, THE MAID AND THE QUEEN, THE RIVAL QUEENS and DAUGHTERS OF THE WINTER QUEEN. She lives in New York. Visit her website for more information: www.nancygoldstone.com.

Nigel Nicolson

Nigel Nicolson, the younger son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, was a publisher, a Member of Parliament, an editor (including six volumes of Virginia Woolf's letters and three of his father's diaries) and the author of many books on history, politics, architecture and literature. He lived at the family home, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, now a property of the National Trust, until his death in 2004.

Ophelia Field

Ophelia Field was born to American parents in Australia in 1971. She read English at Christ Church, Oxford, and gained a Master's in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She subsequently worked as a policy analyst for several refugee and human rights organisations. Until 2008, she was Director of the Writers in Prison Programme of English PEN. Her first book, THE FAVOURITE, was published to wide acclaim in 2002, followed by THE KIT-KAT CLUB in 2008.

Robert Hutton

Robert Hutton is UK political correspondent for Bloomberg News. He studied Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University before going on to work at the DAILY MIRROR and the FINANCIAL TIMES. He is the author of ROMPS, TOTS AND BOFFINS: THE STRANGE LANGUAGE OF NEWS and WOULD THEY LIE TO YOU? HOW TO SPIN FRIENDS AND MANIPULATE PEOPLE, both of which were shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.@RobDotHuttonwww.roberthutton.co.uk