Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk

End Game: The 1989 Revolution in East Germany

Studies in German History. Vol. 26. New York: Berghahn Books, 2022.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, and the chain of events leading up to it, arguably constitute one of the most thoroughly documented episodes in recent history. Nonetheless, most accounts have focused predominantly on high-level politics and diplomacy along with the most dramatic and photogenic public displays. End Game, a rich, sweeping account of the autumn of 1989 as it was experienced “on the ground” in the German Democratic Republic, powerfully depicting the desolation and dysfunction that shaped everyday life for so many East Germans in the face of economic disruption and political impotence. Citizens’ frustration mounted until it bubbled over in the form of massive demonstrations and other forms of protest. Following the story up to the first free elections in March 1990, the volume combines abundant detail with sharp analysis and helps us to see this familiar historical moment through new eyes.

Translated from the German by Patricia C. Sutcliffe