Communism

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...

Canton Comes Through Again

One of the highlights of 2011 was the One Book, One Community program in Canton, Ohio, which adopted The Disappearing Man as its featured book. The Canton Repository newspaper continues its support with a...

YouTube Witnesses the Fall of the Wall

In my novel, The Puzzle People, I place one of my main characters, Stefan Hansel, at a pivotal point in the history of the Cold War. I place Stefan at the Bornholmer Strasse border...

The Kiss

Why Is Brezhnev Kissing Honecker on The Berlin Wall? It's called "The Kiss" or "The Kiss of Death." And it is perhaps the most famous image that appears in Berlin's East Side Gallery--a nearly mile-long...

The 9th Worst Car of All Time!

The Puzzle People and the Trouble with Trabis The votes are in, and East Germany's Trabant has been named the 9th worst car of all time, according to Edmunds.com. Much of my new novel, The...

‘The Puzzle People’ is Out on eBooks–But Who Are the Puzzle People?

Solving a 600-Million-Piece Puzzle My new novel, The Puzzle People, hasn't quite hit the shelves yet. But it has hit the webosphere and is now available for download on Kindle, Nook, IBook, and other electronic...

How Do You Say ‘Oops’ in German?

A Bureaucrat's Mistake Led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall In a country loaded with bureaucrats, it seems oddly fitting that a bureaucratic blunder would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. To set...

Mao: The Unknown Story

Powerful Biography Lays Millions of Deaths at Mao's Feet The first sentence of the acclaimed biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, couldn't be more to the point: "Mao Tse-Tung, who for decades held absolute power over...

All Along the Watchtower

Berlin Trip Takes Me to the Site of the First Shooting Along the Wall Talk about timing. I spent the last two weeks in Austria and Berlin, in part to do research for my new novel...