I hasten to add, that I use the time 'icon' loosely. Ask anyone which aspect of the Cold War springs to mind first, and it'll usually be the Berlin Wall. If I can leave the political thing to one side, this book goes into the mechanics of the wall itself, and of the procedures and people involved with the initial building of it, and thereafter, it's upgrading with the passage of time. I visited the old DDR twice in my travels, and seeing that wall up close and personal, was quite an intimidating experience. I did not realise that there were substantial differences between the Inter German Border, which separated the FRG and DDR, and the wall which dissected, and surrounded the city of Berlin itself. The book goes into the intricacies of the various systems used along the wall itself, trip sensors, types of watchtowers used, as well as the different tasks allotted to the different ranks of the border guard personnel. Copiously illustrated, with many fascinating diagrams, and illustrations of the monster itself. Very interesting mention, of what the wall may have evolved into, had the fall of the wall not occurred in 1989. Well fortunately, the fall did come, and the lives of very many people were transformed. The Wall itself, as well as the personalities who spawned it, are now consigned to the dustbin of history, as they should be. This is a fascinating book for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Cold War era, but it should always be foremost in the mind of the reader, that The Wall was one of the most vivid examples, of mans inhumanity to man.