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Revolution 1989 is the first in-depth, authoritative account of a few months that changed the world. At the start of 1989, six European nations were Soviet vassal states. By year's end, they had all declared national independence and embarked on the road to democracy. How did it happen so quickly? Victor Sebestyen, who was on the scene as a reporter, draws on his firsthand knowledge of the events, on scores of interviews with witnesses and participants, and on newly uncovered archival material. He tells the story through the eyes of ordinary men and women as well as through the strategic moves of world leaders. He shows how the KGB helped bring down former allies; how the United States tried to slow the process; and why the collapse of the Iron Curtain was the catalyst for the fall of the entire Soviet empire.
A native of Hungary, Sebestyen lives in England where he has worked for numerous British newspapers, including the London Evening Standard; his family fled from Hungary when he was a small child. On the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, he presents a new account of the event, based on newly released official Hungarian and Soviet documents, his family's diaries, and eyewitness testimony. The text demonstrates that Hungary was "... just one battleground in the great East-West struggle in the second half of the twentieth century... a pawn, trapped between bigger powers" of Moscow and Washington, D.C.
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