PLEDGE NOW
How the Wall Really Fell
Calling for democratic reforms, some of the one million demonstrators in East Berlin on November 4, 1989, hold a sign reading "Who lies once cannot be trusted" at the Palace of the Republic. The building housing the Communist Parliament is decorated with the national emblem, the hammer and pair of compasses. (AP)

Calling for democratic reforms, some of the one million demonstrators in East Berlin on November 4, 1989, hold a sign reading "Who lies once cannot be trusted" at the Palace of the Republic. The building housing the Communist Parliament is decorated with the national emblem, the hammer and pair of compasses. (AP)

Twenty years ago this fall there was an earthquake brewing in Eastern Europe.

On November 9, 1989, the almost unthinkable happened. The Berlin Wall came down. The front line of the Soviet empire fell. It was astounding.

Americans have come to think it fell because Ronald Reagan said, “Tear down this wall!” My guest today gives Reagan his due, but says that is a simplification tied directly to a myth that drove the Iraq War. The facts of 1989, he says, are far richer.

This hour, On Point: The real story of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Joining us from New York City is Michael Meyer. He was Newsweek bureau chief for Germany, Central Europe, and the Balkans from 1988 to 1992. His new book is “The Year that Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” He is now director of communications and chief speechwriter for Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the fed weighing the end of free money.

Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 2, 2015
Actor Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, in the Netflix Original Series "Narcos." (Daniel Daza/Netflix via AP)

A new Netflix series “Narcos” takes on the story of the rise of the “King of Cocaine” — Pablo Escobar. We’ll look at drug trafficking then and now.

 
Sep 2, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley addresses the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)

We talk to Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor and now Democratic candidate for the presidency. He’s been tough on Trump – and on his fellow Democrats.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On The ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates, And What America Needs
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments