• Checkpoint Charlie

  • The Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth
  • By: Iain MacGregor
  • Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Checkpoint Charlie  By  cover art

Checkpoint Charlie

By: Iain MacGregor
Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
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Publisher's Summary

A powerful, fascinating, and groundbreaking history of Checkpoint Charlie, the famous military gate on the border of East and West Berlin where the US confronted the USSR during the Cold War.

East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, an 11-foot-high barrier that consisted of 79 miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, and 20 bunkers and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next 28 years, at least 5,000 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 that, perhaps more than any other, signaled the end of the Cold War. Checkpoint Charlie had been the epicenter of global conflict for nearly three decades.

As the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall approaches in 2019, Iain MacGregor captures the essence of the mistrust, oppression, paranoia, and fear that gripped the world throughout this period. Checkpoint Charlie is about the nerve-wracking confrontation between the West and USSR, highlighting such important global figures as Eisenhower, Stalin, JFK, Nikita Khrushchev, Mao Zedung, Nixon, Reagan, and other politicians of the period. He also 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 across its borders; politicians whose ambitions shaped it; journalists who recorded its story; and many more whose living memories contributed to the full story of Checkpoint Charlie. 

©2019 Iain MacGregor (P)2019 Simon & Schuster
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow

This book isn’t bad by any means. The topic is always interesting. However it is hard to follow. From moment to moment a different story was being told...I think. I rewound over and over but still had the same problem with knowing who or what story was being told. Dugan Bruce Lockhart’s narration is good but a bit rushed. His rapid tone doesn’t help with trying to keep up with the story. I wonder if it might be easier to follow if one physically read it. What a most interesting time in history nonetheless.

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Great book

Dugald Bruce Lockhart voice made me get the book. I learned a lot from this book. I am ready to take a trip to Berlin to see all the history.

1 person found this helpful