Aye Write 2023: Timothy Phillips – The Curtain and the Wall

Sunday 21 May, 2023 – 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In The Curtain and the Wall Timothy Phillips tells the tale of a landmark journey along the full length of the old Iron Curtain – from the Arctic Circle to Turkey’s eastern border – tracing the history of the Cold War and meeting the people who live with its legacy. Phillips chronicles the transformations and upheavals Europe has undergone since the fall of the Soviet Union through insightful interviews with the continent’s citizens.

The Iron Curtain divided the continent of Europe, north to south, with the Berlin Wall as its most visible, infamous manifestation. Since the Cold War ended and these borders came down, Europe has transformed itself. New generations have grown up, freed from the tensions and restrictions of the past. But what do the Curtain and the Wall mean today? What has happened to the people and places they divided? What have they left in their wake?

Phillips explores the borderlands where the clash of civilisations was at its most intense between 1945 and 1989, and where the world’s most powerful ideologies became tangible in reinforced concrete and barbed wire. He looks at the new Europe that emerged from the ruins. The people he meets bear vivid witness to times of change.

the curtain and the wall

 The Curtain and the Wall transports the reader across 5,000 kilometres of Europe and through eight decades to show how one of the defining stories of the 20th century continues to shape our world today.

Timothy Phillips is the author of The Secret Twenties: British Intelligence, the Russians, and the Jazz Age and Beslan: The Tragedy of School No. 1. He holds a doctorate in Russian from Oxford University and has written and spoken widely on British and Russian history.

Chaired by James Crawford

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3NY

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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