CSS Spring Lecture, Iain MacGregor
Tuesday 3 March at 6.30pm
We are delighted to welcome Iain MacGregor as our guest speaker.
Iain is editor and publisher of non fiction at Simon & Schuster, with over twenty-five years’ experience of working with authors such as Jonathan Fenby, Simon Schama, and Max Hastings, to name but a very few. He is the author of To Hell on a Bike—Riding Paris–Roubaix, The Toughest Race in Cycling and most recently, Checkpoint Charlie.
Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie is a vivid and poignant exploration of the history through the lens of interwoven first-person experiences. In what promises to be a fascinating evening, Iain will be talking about the key events and people that populate his latest book.
East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, an eleven-foot-high barrier consisting of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempted to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it.
In November 1989, the East German leadership buckled in the face of a civil revolt that culminated in half a million East Berliners demanding an end to the ban on free movement. The world’s media flocked to capture the moment which, perhaps more than any other, signalled the end of the Cold War. Checkpoint Charlie had been the epicentre of global conflict for nearly three decades.
Checkpoint Charlie includes never-before-heard interviews with the men who built and dismantled the Wall; children who crossed it; relatives and friends who lost loved ones trying to escape over it; military policemen and soldiers who guarded the checkpoints; CIA, MI6, and Stasi operatives who oversaw operations at and across its borders; politicians whose ambitions shaped it; journalists who recorded its story; and many more whose living memories contributed to the full story.
Please book your tickets using the form below, there is no charge for this event.