Berlin Wall two days after it was breached on November 9 1989
©Raymond Depardon/Magnum Photos

25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

East Germany ranks as among the least lamented states in European history, writes Tony Barber

‘A General Fast in consequence of the War!!’ (1794) by Isaac Cruikshank
©Heritage Image Partnership Ltd/Alamy

‘In These Times’, by Jenny Uglow

Britain’s experience of the Napoleonic wars is brought to life with elegance and wit. Review by Sue Gaisford

Illustration for a review pf Richard Ford's book 'Let Me Be Frank With You'
©Nick Oliver

Richard Ford’s ‘Let Me Be Frank with You’

Frank Bascombe resumes his negotiations with the ageing process in a fine new story collection

‘Taking Command’, by General David Richards

At a time of new threats to the west, the author’s reflections on a military career are both relevant and instructive. Review by George Robertson

'Fives and Twenty-Fives', by Michael Pitre book cover

‘Fives and Twenty-Fives’, by Michael Pitre

A compelling novel of bomb-clearing Marines explores the dynamics of post-invasion Iraq. Review by Robert Collins

Wood engraving by Garrick Palmer from HermanMelville’s ‘Benito Cereno’

‘The Empire of Necessity’, by Greg Grandin

A superb study of a failed revolt off the coast of Chile reveals an early 19th-century world in thrall to slavery. Review by Michael Prodger

'The Surfacing' review illustration

‘The Surfacing’, by Cormac James

An unexpected affair on an expedition to the Arctic leads to new life – and an emotional thaw. Review by Rebecca Hunt

'Waking Up', by Sam Harris book cover

‘Waking Up’, by Sam Harris

An atheist’s quest for spiritual enlightenment draws on Buddhist ideas to suggest ways of ‘cutting through the illusion of the self’. Review by Stephen Cave

'The Book of Strange New Things', by Michel Faber book cover

‘The Book of Strange New Things’, by Michel Faber

Converts flock to an intergalactic Christian missionary in this ambitious new novel. Review by Alexander Gilmour

'Radio Benjamin', by Walter Benjamin book cover

‘Radio Benjamin’, by Walter Benjamin

The German critic was not only a theorist of the media – he was a gifted broadcaster as well. Review by Stuart Jeffries