25 October 2009

Iron Curtain – not just the Berlin Wall

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A paperback edition of my book Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War appears on 29 October 2009. OUP have timed its release to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the overthrow of the Berlin Wall, and I hope it helps to complicate the simpler and more triumphalist versions of that story.  It has been suggested (not least by the Retort group in their tract Afflicted Powers; Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War) that the ‘fall of the wall’ went on to become an unquestioned ‘policy motif’ in the background of later decisions concerning Iraq.  Understood in its longer history, the ‘iron curtain’ was never only a matter of the closed and armed frontier dividing Europe. It was a theatrical metaphor which had  to do with the control of information and the power of propaganda and official deception, none of which necessarily evaporated in 1989. 

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