Book Review: Rocking the Wall by Erik Kirschbaum

July 16, 2013

Rocking the Wall: Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert that Changed the World by Erik Kirschbaum is a non-fiction book about a 1988 Springsteen concert in East Berlin, Germany. Mr. Kirschbaum got the idea for the book in a taxi coming back from a 2002 Springsteen concert in Berlin, when the cab driver told him about the incredible night which changed the country.

  • 144 pages
  • Publisher: Berlinica Publishing LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935902741

Book Review Rocking the Wall Bruce Springsteen The Berlin Concert that Changed the World by Erik Kirschbaum

My rating for Rocking the Wall4

Buy this book in paper or elec­tor­nic format*

Rocking the Wall: Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert that Changed the World by Erik Kirschbaum is a short book and a fast read. It is especially poignant for those of us who actually remember a place called East Berlin.

I call New Jersey my home state, it’s understandable that Bruce Springsteen is a mega star there, heck, I knew people who went to school with him. What’s amazing is that this local boy became a huge mega star not only in the country, but for a while was the biggest rock star on the planet.

The first few chapters give an overall, and quick, history of East Berlin and the oppression the people felt. The chapters set up the significance of Springsteen being allowed to play behind the Iron Curtain. While several people seem to take credit for this spectacular event, it seemed that they were all working parallel and the stars of society and history were simply aligned for this to take place.

At the same time that Springsteen’s promoters requested permission to play in East Berlin, the Free German Youth group came up with the same idea. Springsteen, a liberal singer who did not support the current American President (Reagan), was seen as a way to appease German youths into believing that change is around the corner (in a socialist, communist, repressive way). The concert was sold to the communist authorities as a fund raiser to Nicaragua. That connection almost ruined the concert and gave Springsteen the opportunity to say a short, but powerful anti-wall speech during his performance.

This is a well researched, interesting book about a fascinating slice of history. The author tries to say that Springsteen had a part in the revolution that took place later on to take down the Berlin Wall, whether he did or did not we’ll never know – but we’d like to think he might have.

Buy this book in paper or elec­tor­nic format*

 Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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  • Ashley July 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    It’s funny, reading this all I can think about are Hasselhoff’s statements that he was instrumental in reuniting Germany. Who knew, all this time it was Springsteen.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book July 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Hey, who knows maybe The Hoff will be known as the reason for world peace in a 100 years or so 🙂

      • Ashley July 22, 2013 at 8:48 am

        LOL. I’m sure he’s already planning the takeover.

      • Ashley September 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

        Ok, so I finished it and I really enjoyed it. I figured I would like it but I liked it more than I thought I would. Great recommendation!

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