Fear of Mirrors

Fear of Mirrors Cover

Fear of Mirrors

By Tariq Ali

Arcadia Books, Paperback, 9781900850100, 239pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 1998

Tariq Ali, author of two previous novels and the recently published 1968: Marching in the Streets, tells the dramatic story of the fall of Communism from behind the Iron Curtain. Set in Berlin and Moscow and spanning eight decades, Fear of Mirrors is the story of betrayed illusions and destroyed hopes. It is also the story of people who believed they were fighting for certain ideals, only to be crushed by their own people.

Lovers want to know the truth, but they do not always want to tell it. For some East Germans, the fall of Communism was like the end of a long and painful love affair: free to tell the truth at last, they found they no longer wanted to hear it. Vlady, a former dissident who loses his job when he refuses to renounce his socialist beliefs in the new, unified Germany, wants to tell his alienated son, Karl, what his family's long and passionate involvement with Communism really meant. It is the story of Ludwik, the Polish secret agent who recruited Philby, and of Gertrude, Vlady's mother, whose desire for Ludwik is matched only by her devotion to the Communist ideal.

Ali carries us along as the political upheavals of the twentieth century unfold, as Vlady describes the hopes aroused by the Bolshevik revolution and discovers the almost unbearable truth about their betrayal. Written with deep political insight and sensitivity, Fear of Mirrors tells one of the great stories of the twentieth century -- the extraordinary history of Central Europe and the fall of Communism.