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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent snapshot of events of 1989 and 1990 in E. Eur.
Ash, through his incomparable access to the leaders of the resistance movements in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, and Berlin, provides a very well rendered and beautifully detailed account of his observations in those cities, and he seems to have been in all the right places at all the rights time. He also includes a very insightfull and well informed interpretation of the...
Published on July 1, 1999

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great book on the Autumn Spring
Reading this book, you feel history come alive as never before. The writing itself is kind of journalistic, which is not my favorite style (I much prefer the literary masters), but it works. It was definitely a great time to be alive in Eastern Europe.
Published 22 months ago by Tom Barreiros


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent snapshot of events of 1989 and 1990 in E. Eur., July 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
Ash, through his incomparable access to the leaders of the resistance movements in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, and Berlin, provides a very well rendered and beautifully detailed account of his observations in those cities, and he seems to have been in all the right places at all the rights time. He also includes a very insightfull and well informed interpretation of the long range inplications of what he observed. It must be remembered, as he points out himself, that what he saw was only a tiny portion of all that went on, and the observations of many other people who were on the scene have to be put together to form the whole picture.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Right Person, At The Right Time, At the Right Place, June 18, 2000
By 
Aykut (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
Few people can be as lucky as Timothy Garton Ash. I've read his book "We The People" which I believe to be the same with this book. The book is divided into chapters concerning the "refolutions" (as Ash calls them) in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia. In the last 2 chapters, Ash makes a very good analysis and comparison of these 4 revolutions. If you would like to get a comprehensive idea about how these revolutions in these 4 states came out, then this book is absolutely for you. The book has certain details which cannot be found in any other book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inside account of the revolutions of '89, January 5, 2007
By 
Graham (Palo Alto, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
An often eye-witness account of the democratic revolutions of 1989 in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

The writing is a little uneven but it provides an excellent inside account of exceptional historic events. Ash left me with a very strong sense of the contingent and uncertain nature of the revolutions. Miscommunications, errors, spur-of-the-moment statements, all combined to move events forward much, much more quickly than any of the participants expected.

Yet these succeeded in being peaceful revolutions, driven by a deliberate choice by their leaders to take and hold the moral high ground. There was a corresponding inner collapse by the existing authorities, who really had nothing to which they themselves were committed or could fight to defend.

I found this an inspiring tonic after reading Richard Evans' grim "The Third Reich in Power". Ash has left me feeling much more optimistic about human nature!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, February 10, 2005
This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
This is a behind the scenes look at some of the most inspiring movements of our generation. You cannot read the pages of this book and not feel the importance of the moment and the power of the ideas. This book gives you a better understand of the climate at the time of the fall of the eastern block and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great book on the Autumn Spring, February 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
Reading this book, you feel history come alive as never before. The writing itself is kind of journalistic, which is not my favorite style (I much prefer the literary masters), but it works. It was definitely a great time to be alive in Eastern Europe.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid read from an insider's perspective, July 31, 2006
By 
Buterkup (New York City) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
A good snapshot of the mood during 1989 and how events in the four featured countries were connected. Also, thoughtful insights as to how to view this book, especially this edition, which is re-printed many years later. Ash's theory as to what, if any, learnings are to come out of how each government went about their transformation is especially relevant given the status of those same governments today. Not always the easiest read, nor the best on the subject, but a good companion for further investigations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, May 19, 2006
By 
N. Shapiro (Augusta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
It was a very informative book, especially considering the author could write it from the point of view that he did. The only major downside, which I will point out is a downside on my part and not his, is that I sometimes would get a little confused when he mentioned too many foreign names.

Nonetheless, it was an excellently written book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very nice, June 1, 2014
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This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
The package was safe, and arrived on time. And the book looked literally like new (not just good). I was very happy with it. Nice little book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Present at the Fall of the Iron Curtain, April 2, 2014
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This review is from: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (Paperback)
I've never read anything quite like this. The author was present in several eastern European countries for the fall of the iron curtain and the ad hoc formation of new governments. He gives the flavor of the crowds, the leaders, the rooms in which they met, the fear and exhilaration, as well as the practical problems, the arguments and solutions offered. It's amazing journalism about an amazing time, and especially interesting perhaps now, as Russia flexes itself again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too short journalist account with no ante-facts to explain what happened, January 3, 2014
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A journalistic account of few facts of 1989. When I bough the book I hoped in a history of 1989 revolutions but it is far from being exhaustive. The description of the events leading to the fall of Berlin wall was too short. A chapter of the event in USSR between 1985 and 1989 would have been necessary to understand what happened.
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The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
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