In 1984 I traveled to Berlin. Walking past Checkpoint Charlie, the famous American outpost on the border between East and West, made the Cold War tangible. Yet at the same time, having seen so many pictures and movies that focused on Berlin made me feel that I was playing the role of extra on the set of yet another espionage thriller. One thing I felt sure about was this: The Cold War would continue into the foreseeable future. Five years later, the Berlin Wall fell. Two years after that, on Christmas Day, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev was out of power in the Soviet Union.