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Twenty-five years ago this November, the Berlin Wall—infamous symbol of divided Cold War Europe—seemed to be falling.

But the opening of the gates wasn’t planned by the East German ruling regime, nor was it the result of a bargain between Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev. It was an accident. Tom Brokaw was there that night, broadcasting live from the Brandenburg Gate. Join Brokaw as he recalls this momentous event and its legacy in conversation with prize-winning historian Mary Sarotte, author of The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall.

There will be a bookselling and booksigning of The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall following the event.


Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.


This event is underwritten in memory of Harold W. and Ida L. Goldstein by the Estate of Sanford Goldstein.


Tom Brokaw has spent his entire distinguished journalism career with NBC News beginning in 1966 in the Los Angeles bureau where he covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office, the rise of the Sixties counter culture, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and the 1968 presidential campaign.

From there, Brokaw went to Washington as the White House correspondent during Watergate and as the principal back up for John Chancellor as anchor of "NBC Nightly News." Next stop: New York and the "TODAY Show" followed by his appointment as anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw."

He took over "Meet the Press" for the 2008 campaign when his close friend and colleague Tim Russert died.

In addition to his daily news gathering responsibilities, Brokaw reported on more than thirty documentaries and published one of the most popular nonfiction books – The Greatest Generation. His most recent book is The Time of Our Lives.

Brokaw has won every major award in his craft, including Peabody, Duponts, Emmys and lifetime achievement recognition.


Mary Elise Sarotte is currently serving as Visiting Professor of Government and History at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in History at Yale University and is both Dean’s Professor of History and Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California (on leave). A former White House Fellow and Humboldt Scholar, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Sarotte is the author of the new book The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall and the prize-winning 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, a Financial Times Book of the Year. She lives in Boston and Los Angeles.

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YourStage events that are ON have been confirmed; PENDING events need to generate more ticket sales; If an event fails to generate enough ticket sales, the event will be CALLED OFF, and all ticket holders will be refunded.

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Eligible patrons will be able to order priority registration online.


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Individuals who have participated in 92nd Street Y programs over the past year in selected program areas, participants in certain memberships, and those who have made contributions of $500 or more to 92Y, are eligible to register for programs before they become available to the general public.

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Patrons that qualify for Priority Registration will receive packets in the mail explaining how to purchase online. Priority registration is normally mailed 2-3 weeks before a catalog is available. Registration information includes your Patron ID#. You can use this ID# to setup your login information online. This will allow you to register early for a course or event. Please note: if you receive a packet, you are only eligible to priority register for the programs covered in your packet.

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