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9 Nov 2009 00:00 - 00:00

Nick Thorpe - 89: The Unfinished Revolution, Power and Powerlessnes in Eastern Europe

The inside story of the revolutions of 89 by the BBC’s Central Europe correspondent. Published on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Publisher: Reportage Press

ISBN: 9781906702175

Publication Date: 9 November 2009


This is a personal view, from ground level, of a revolution which never quite finished. Of how it re-emerges, in demonstrations and uprisings, on a regular basis. How the demons of the past - of collaboration, of unsatisfied national identity, above all of poverty - continue to haunt the present.

Blood drips on Thorpe’s head as he tries to escape the Romanian secret police, with a dissident's statement hidden in his clothes. Then as the Hungarian government prepares to expel him, he becomes a pawn in the Cold War as the British threaten to retaliate. Through the autumn and winter of 1989, Thorpe hops from revolution to revolution, from Budapest to Prague, Leipzig to East Berlin. And gets to Romania in time for the bloody finale.

But with the victory of democracy, his work was only just beginning. Thorpe guides us through the dramas and traumas of the 1990s, the years of 'jungle capitalism' through a taxi blockade in Hungary, and the miners invasion of Bucharest. He camps with Vaclav Havel - who borrows his sleeping bag. As Yugoslavia collapses, he reports from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia.

The book concludes in 2009, with the impact of the crisis of capitalism, 20 years after the crisis of communism.

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30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


9 Nov 2009 00:00 - 00:00


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