November 6, 2009

How the West Failed Eastern Europe

Melik Keylan, Forbes

AP Photo

Twenty years on, a large swath of the world remains locked behind the Iron Curtain. In many places, the Berlin Wall never went away. From the Caucasus to the 'stans of Central Asia, wherever Moscow's corrupting and brutish influence hasn't faded, nothing much has changed. For still others, those Eastern Europeans who perforce learned to love their decades of captivity and felt lost without it, the Wall's memory has become a kind inner shrine to prelapsarian longings. It's amazing how indiscriminately the mind will idealize the past--against all evidence. No doubt cargo cults regret the day they discovered that airplanes were not messengers of the gods.

Some five years ago I embarked on a book about Eastern Europe. For upward of a year I trekked from Tbilisi to Sofia to Kiev and...

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TAGGED: Michael Meyer, Miklos Nemeth, Viktor Yushchenko, Berlin, Moscow, Sofia, Tbilisi, Kiev, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus


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