1989I have been asked to write a short review of events in the year 1989 for a publication. What a truly historical year it was! Here is the first paragraph of my review: “1989 was the year Sky television launched, Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web and the Nintendo Game Boy first went on sale. This was the year of the fatwa on Salman Rushdie and Ayatollah Khomeini’s death. The French celebrated the 200th anniversary of their Revolution, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize and Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. P.K. Botha met Nelson Mandela for the first time and F.W. de Klerk became the seventh and last President of apartheid South Africa. After nine years of military occupation the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan. This was the year of Tiananmen Square, culminating in the 4 June massacre. Above all, this was the year of the European revolutions; the year of Hungary downing border fences, of Boris Yeltsin winning a Supreme Soviet seat, of Solidarity’s win in free Polish elections, of the human chain in the Baltic states, of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the brutal end of the Ceausescu regime in Romania. This was the year Gunter Schabowski accidentally stated in a live broadcast press conference that new rules for travelling from East to West Germany would be put into effect ‘immediately’ and the Berlin Wall fell in the blink of an eye. At the 2-3 December Malta Summit George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev declared that the Cold War was over.”