Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Acclaimed Author and Journalist To Speak About The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, March 29

CHESTERTOWN – Author and journalist Michael Meyer will present a talk on his latest book, The Year That Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall, at Washington College’s Hynson Lounge, Hodson Commons on Monday, March 29, at 7:30 pm. A book signing will follow.

            Meyer will provide a riveting eyewitness account of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe that rewrites our conventional understanding of how the Cold War came to an end and holds important lessons for America’s current geopolitical challenges. The Washington Post lauded Meyer’s book, published by Simon & Schuster in 2009, as “brilliant,” noting that “history is seldom written with such verve.”

            But Meyer’s story is more than a history of the events of 1989; it is an eyewitness account of a period of tremendous social change. In 1989, Meyer was Newsweek’s bureau chief for Germany, Central Europe, and the Balkans. While writing on the fall of communism, German unification, and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, he had a birds-eye view of the reinvention of Eastern Europe.

Meyer worked at the Washington Post and Congressional Quarterly before joining Newsweek in 1988. In 1993, he became Newsweek’s general editor for business and technology, and the focus of his writing switched to the Internet revolution. From 1992 to 1993, he was the Los Angeles bureau chief, where he reported on a wide array of issues, including the politics of immigration and the Los Angeles riots. From 1999 to 2001, Meyer left Newsweek to join the UN mission in Kosovo, where he was a senior staff officer for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. In 2001, he returned to Newsweek as Europe Editor for Newsweek International.

            Currently Meyer is Director of Communications and Speechwriting for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was an Inaugural Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He is the winner of two Overseas Press Club Awards, the 1995 Computer Press Award, and the 1993 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. In addition to The Year that Changed the World, Meyer is the author of The Alexander Complex, published by Times Books in 1989. He appears regularly as a commentator for MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, C-Span, NPR, and other broadcast networks.

            Co-sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, Meyer’s lecture is free and open to the public.

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