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Checkpoint Charlie Reviews

Checkpoint Charlie by Iain MacGregor

Checkpoint Charlie

The Cold War, the Berlin Wall and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth

Iain MacGregor

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Constable
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 24 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781472130587

Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie is a vivid and poignant exploration of the history surrounding the Berlin Wall through the lens of interwoven first-person experiences.

3 stars out of 5
Roger Boyes
8 Nov 2019

"MacGregor has put together a lively, evocative account of the life and death of the world’s most notorious wall."

There were plenty of other edgy moments as the superpowers jostled for position. Most have been recorded, but Iain MacGregor makes them vivid again with lengthy interviews and a fund of anecdotes. His narrative follows a tidy arc from the construction of the wall, starting in August 1961, to its fall in November 1989, yet there has never been anything neat about Berlin, neither its division nor its unification.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
27 Oct 2019

"the voices he has saved, and the richly researched skill of his narrative at big moments, rescue an echo of one of the many lost Berlins"

As his title suggests, MacGregor is fascinated by the monstrosities, the web of Berlin rules that grew up in the cold war. I loved his chapter about how US diplomat Allan Lightner’s trip to the opera with his wife Dorothy in East Berlin ended by nearly incinerating Europe... MacGregor isn’t always good on history... But the voices he has saved, and the richly researched skill of his narrative at big moments, rescue an echo of one of the many lost Berlins.