Communism

The Men Who Wouldn’t Stop Clapping

The audience exploded into applause. Every person in the room jumped up and began to wildly clap, as if racing each other to see who could get to their feet the fastest. The applause...

Finding New Life in the Death Strip

An elderly man shoves two packages out of a fourth floor window, and then he crawls out and sits on the ledge, staring down at the ground below. Then slowly, carefully, he turns himself...

The Puzzle People on CBS in Champaign

I did an interview on my Berlin novel, "The Puzzle People," this past week in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall came down on November 9, 1989,...

How Prayer Brought Down the Berlin Wall

This week, as the world observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the forgotten stories from the amazing year of 1989 was what took place in Leipzig, East...

Wind of Change

One of the great things about researching my novel, The Puzzle People, was that I could go to Youtube and see videos taken of the Berlin Wall as it went up in 1961 and then came...

The Ghosts of Korea

Several new memorials have been added since the last time my wife and I were in Washington D.C. (1981), including the moving Vietnam Memorial. However, the new monument that captured our imagination during our...

Thousands Protest Removal of Wall

  In 1989, tens of thousands of protesters tore down the Berlin Wall. But as The New York Times points out, the irony is that in 2013 people are protesting because they want the Wall to stay...

Swords and Plowshares in the Heart of Berlin

When I was writing my novel The Puzzle People, I came across a photo of the Church of Reconciliation as it was being blown up in 1985 (shown on the left). But what caught...

Why is the Berlin Wall in My Living Room?

Okay, so the Berlin Wall in my living room doesn't quite match the real Wall's dimensions. But it comes close. The last generation of the Wall before it came down on November 9, 1989, stood...

The World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle

BBC Radio 4 ran a compelling show last Friday about The Stasi Jigsaw Puzzle--the shredded documents that form the core of my novel, The Puzzle People. As the Berlin Wall was coming down so...