There was life before the fall. 1989 was a year of astonishing and rapid change: the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and an end to an entire way of life for millions of people behind the Iron Curtain. Bloc Life collects first hand testimony of the people who lived in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania during the Cold War era, and reveals a rich tapestry of experience that goes beyond the headlines of spies and surveillance, secret police and political corruption. In fact, many of the people remember their lives under communism as 'perfectly ordinary' and even hanker for the 'security' that it offered. From political leaders, athletes and pop stars, to cooks, miners and cosmonauts, the stories collected in Bloc Life evoke the moods, preoccupations and experiences of a world that vanished almost overnight.