The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Reassessing the Causes and Consequences of the End of the Cold War (Hoover Institution Press) compiles themes from a symposium cosponsored last year by the Hoover Institution which examined the policies and people that contributed to the demise of the former Soviet Union.
Edited by Hoover Institution research fellow Peter Schweizer, this collection includes essays by former national security adviser Richard Allen and former attorney general Edwin Meese. Allen’s essay reveals how Ronald Reagan’s personal history, including his first visit to the Berlin Wall, shaped his Soviet polices, and Meese explains how U.S. intelligence and the Reagan Doctrine combined to weaken the Soviet bloc.
Schweizer notes that Reagan believed weaknesses in the Soviet economy could be exploited to the advantage of the United States. This belief proved to be accurate when an eventual reduction in Soviet hard-currency earnings in the West compelled Moscow to increase spending to support its communist allies.
Fred C. Iklé, former undersecretary of defense, describes some of the polices Reagan implemented to undermine Soviet power and William Clark, former national security adviser, outlines Reagan’s Soviet strategy. Frank Gaffney, president of the William J. Casey Institute of the Center for Security Policy, illustrates how Reagan’s foreign policy success can be applied to current security challenges. The Casey Institute cosponsored last year’s symposium along with the Hoover Institution.
Schweizer is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collpase of the Soviet Union. His work has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.