Last Days Behind The Curtain: Trieste 79, Vienna '85, Prague '89

Hardcover | February 27, 2018

byRichard Bassett

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Part memoir, part reflection, this book will bring to life central Europe during the last ten years of the Cold War. It begins in Trieste in 1979 where the embers of the Habsburg Empire still burnt brightly. The second part moves to the darker, claustrophobic world of Vienna in 1985, where the atmosphere of the Cold War seemed to infiltrate every brick of a city hovering between two worlds, and even the most seemingly harmless of culinary establishments masked the game of espionage between east and west. In the third part, the story shifts to Prague in 1989 during the dramatic, intoxicating days of the "velvet revolution" and the long-awaited opening up of the east. Revolution, when it came was from above rather than below: Moscow was far more engaged with events during those turbulent November weeks than is generally appreciated. Throughout the book we encounter a diverse array of glittering characters: penniless aristocrats, charming gangsters, even Amazonian blondes in the service of eastern European spy agencies; fractious diplomatists and disinherited royalty supply a colourful supporting cast. With enormous charm, wit and insight, Richard Bassett recreates through his personal encounters the farce and tragedy of the last days of communism.

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Part memoir, part reflection, this book will bring to life central Europe during the last ten years of the Cold War. It begins in Trieste in 1979 where the embers of the Habsburg Empire still burnt brightly. The second part moves to the darker, claustrophobic world of Vienna in 1985, where the atmosphere of the Cold War seemed to infil...

Richard Bassett is the author of the Penguin Guide to Central Europe. He was the Times correspondent in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1980s, after which he was responsible for corporate communications at one of the German landsbanks. His previous books include For God and Kaiser: The Imperial Austrian Army, 1619-1918 (Yale) and Hit...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:February 27, 2018Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0241014867

ISBN - 13:9780241014868

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