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From the Publisher
"This is a kind of writing—it could be called the history of the present—for which it is not easy to find examples in earlier literature. . . . Garton Ash is, in the most literal sense of the term,
a contemporary historian. He writes primarily as a witness to the events he is treating, and not just as an outside witness but often as an inside one as well; for his own involvement in these events, emotional and intellectual, is of such intensity that he can speak, in a sense, from the inside as well as the outside.
Yet the sense of the historic dimension of the events in question is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature."
—George F. Kennan, on The Uses of Adversity