Tear Down This Wall: A City, A President, and the Speech that Ended the Cold War
All Kansas City Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, author Romesh Ratnesar discusses how the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev led to Reagan's famous "Tear Down This Wall" speech and the end of the Cold War.
Ratnesar is the author of a new book, Tear Down This Wall: A City, A President, and the Speech that Ended the Cold War, an account of how Reagan came to give the speech in front of 20,000 people in West Berlin and the events that followed.
Departing from the view that Reagan "won" the Cold War, Ratnesar contends that both Reagan and Gorbachev played indispensable roles in bringing about an end to the United States-Soviet Union rivalry and that it was the trust they shared that allowed them to overcome the suspicions that held their predecessors back.
Ratnesar draws on interviews with dozens of former Reagan administration officials, journalists, historians, and eyewitnesses to the speech in both the U.S. and Germany, as well as recently declassified State Department documents and East German records of Reagan's trip.
Ratnesar is the deputy managing editor of Time magazine. He has written dozens of cover stories on U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and reported from many countries around the world.
Major funding for this event has been provided by Adam Starr.