Throughout the 1980's the best reporting on events and movements in Eastern Europe was done by Timothy Garton Ash in the pages of The New York Review of Books. In the same journals latest issue (not yet available on-line), he reviews a number of books on the revolutionary events of 1989. His elegiac penultimate paragraph reads:

The year 1989 was one of the best in European history. Indeed, I am hard pressed to think of a better one. It was also a year in which the world looked to Europespecifically to Central Europe, and, at the pivotal moment, to Berlin. World historyusing the term in a quasi-Hegelian sensewas made in the heart of the old continent, just down the road from Hegels old university, now called the Humboldt University. Twenty years later, I am tempted to speculate (while continuing to work with other Europeans in an endeavor to prove this hunch wrong) that this may also have been the last occasionat least for a very long timewhen world history was made in Europe. Today world history is being made elsewhere. There is now a Caf Weltgeist at the Humboldt University, but the Weltgeist has moved on. Of Europes long, starring role on the world stage, future generations may yet say: nothing became her like the leaving of it.

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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