Tomorrow is August 19 and the 20th anniversary of the coup d'état in Moscow. Speak of the law of unanticipated consequences!
The Communist Party and government officials who staged the coup wished to prevent the transformation of the USSR into a looser federated state. Instead, their efforts provided the tipping point for dispatching the Soviet state and communism to the dustbin of history. In three days, between the morning of the 19th and the morning of the 21st of August, the world turned on its axis.
I was there and experienced this revolutionary moment with full force. To mark those days, I am posting the piece about "being there" I dashed off to The New Republic, while still intoxicated by witnessing and participating in these events. Here it is in full and unchanged, except for the few of my photos (except the first one) that I took that day. To see, please click on the link below: