In recent weeks, a lot of very interesting writing, looking back at 1989, has come out. My suggestions for further reading follow. Readers of age 40 and below should try particularly hard to read these and other materials so as to comprehend these earth-shaking events. These events matter because they have had a huge influence on the world that we see today. And, they matter because they help us think more effectively about the drama that will come about in China in coming years.
- 1989! by Timothy Garton Ash in The New York Review of Books. Am eagerly waiting for part 2 of this. Also by him in The Guardian: This tale of two revolutions and two anniversaries may yet have a twist (May 2008) and 1989 changed the world. But where now for Europe? (now).
- A great story of the big day by Alison Smale. Also see Serge Schmemann.
- The unknown war by Matt Welch on reason.com. We feel this intuitively, but the statistics are stunning:
In 1988, according to the global liberty watchdog Freedom House, just 36 percent of the world's 167 independent countries were `free,' 23 percent were 1partly free,' and 41 percent were `not free.' By 2008, not only were there 26 additional countries (including such new `free' entities as Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia), but the ratios had reversed: 46 percent were `free,' 32 percent were `partly free,' and just 22 percent were `not free.' There were only 69 electoral democracies in 1989; by 2008 their ranks had swelled to 119.
- A beautiful section from The Economist:
Walls in the mind;
So much gained, so much to lose;
The man who trusted his eyes;
A globe redrawn;
Keep calm and carry on;
Down in the dumps
- The peaceful revolution of 1989 by Adam Roberts in The Independent.
- Brain drain in reverse behind fallen Berlin Wall by Carter Dougherty, in the New York Times.
- A slideshow by Erik Berglof which summarises the Transition in crisis? report released by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
- My take on the new dangers that we face today.