The festivities for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a turning point in the collapse of Soviet communism, have passed in the shadow of troubling events around the world. In Moscow, a KGB-bred strongman plots to build a new Kremlin-ruled empire as a nervous Europe looks on. Meanwhile, the specter of radical Islamic fundamentalism is haunting the Middle East.
Cathy Young asks, has the promise of freedom that looked so bright in 1989 faded? Or are there grounds for cautious hope, in place of the wild-eyed optimism of a quarter century ago?