Iain MacGregor is an editor and publisher of nonfiction in the UK. His father served with the British Army on the Rhine in the 1950s, and enjoyed R&R in West Berlin. As a student he visited the Baltic and the Soviet Union, avidly followed events that unfolded in Berlin on the night of 9th November 1989 when the Wall fell and then LATER travelled through into the former Warsaw Pact territories and Berlin, visiting Checkpoint Charlie, still untouched. He lives with his wife and two children in London.
This remarkable book about the Berlin Wall, which has been the subject of everything from diplomatic histories to spy thrillers, is different. Based on extensive, detailed interviews with people on both sides of the wall - soldiers and civilians, communists and anti-communists, spies, intellectuals and ordinary citizens - it offers a riveting panorama of everyday life as it was actually lived at ground zero of the cold war - William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His EraFascinating and original... the story not just of the Berlin Wall, but of the people on either side of it - Jeremy BowenWith its wealth of eyewitness stories, this book proves how understanding the last Cold War is crucial for anyone who wants to understand the new one - Martin SixsmithAs an aspiring student of modern history in the 1980s, the Berlin Wall and the monstrous regime at its heart, dominated my thinking. It is difficult to believe now - much like the Cold War itself - that we all thought the Wall was so immortal. As a writer of oral history, I have enjoyed MacGregor bringing the stories of the people who populated this barrier to life. We need to remember - Joshua Levine, bestselling author of DunkirkA peoples' history of the wall that is tense, exciting and moving, telling us the stories of the families the wall tore apart, the soldiers who faced one another across it, the spies and journalists who operated behind it, and the East Germans who risked everything to break through it to freedom - James Barr, author of Lords of the DesertMacGregor compellingly portrays Berlin's overarching geo-political story, and brings it alive through the personal experiences of the individuals at its heart - Jonathan Fenby, author of The GeneralThe fall of the Berlin Wall was a seismic event in the story of the 20th century. In Checkpoint Charlie, Iain Macregor re-creates the drama and meaning of that moment. With a gripping narrative and vivid interviews with those on all sides whose lives were directly affected by that grim symbol of the East-West divide that poisoned Europe for almost half a century, he has made an important contribution to the history of our times - Jonathan DimblebyA wonderful approach to the history of the Cold War, tackling the complex legacy of the Berlin Wall through the men and women who lived in its shadow. Weaving together personal testimonies, this book offers a valuable insight into history as it was lived, and shine an illuminating new light on an icon of the twentieth century - Duncan Barrett, New York Times bestselling author of GI Brides