This is an on-the-spot account of the Revolutions of 1989 as they happened in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia. Already it seems to belong to a forgotten age: East Germany no longer exists, and nor does Czechoslovakia. Yet it is a story that will be told as long as people continue to be oppressed by societies that are morally, spiritually, and ideologically corrupt.
For this is the story of the liberation of the souls of the Central European nations enslaved by the Soviet Union for over forty years following the end of the Second World War. It is like a fairy tale in its simplicity and directness: "Wir Sind das Volk" - "We are the People" - declared the banners in Leipzig; "Now's the Time!" chanted the crowds in Wenceslaus Square. The old system was bankrupt and everybody knew it.
Or did they? Would the tanks roll in Warsaw as they did in Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989? And if not, why not?
Perhaps the dictators themselves realised the game was up, and they themselves no longer believed their own lies...
This reveals why the Revolutions in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague were swift and peaceful, and gives majesty to Garton Ash's description of 1989 as "The Year of Truth". But it masks their efficient cause, which was, arguably, President Gorbachev's decision to abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine - in other words, not to interfere in Eastern Europe to safeguard Communism.
'We The People' was first published in 1990, and this 1999 edition includes a new postscript that briefly examines some of the consequences of the 1989 Revolutions. But even so, it doesn't date the narrative. Chiefly because, I suspect, 'We The People' is such a beautiful story: the story of the triumph of good over evil, of truth over lies, and of peace over war. What's more, it's a story that needs to be told over and over again, so that we may have courage when oppressed, and strive - by peaceful means - to be free.