I wrote a novel about the construction of the Berlin Wall (The Story of Henri Tod) in my Blackford Oakes series. I traveled to inspect the wall, submitting to the indignities of Checkpoint Charlie. The near mystical idea of the wall, bisecting the capital of a modern, industrialized country, as if it were the fancy of a Genghis Khan, fascinated me beyond the stark ideological meaning of it. I returned to Berlin after the wall came down, and found that bits and pieces of it eerily remained, framed, here and there, like curios of a prehistoric age. I now tell the story of the wall's abandonment, and of the life that sprang from it not only for Berlin, but for the entire world, the symbol of the end of a seventy-year long menace. And undertaking this in the Wiley series, the length brief, but the story luxuriant, has had for me a special appeal. William F. Buckley Jr.