Norman Gelb was born on November 9, 1929 in New York, New York. He attended Brooklyn College, Columbia University, and the University of Vienna. He went on to the United States Army from 1952 until 1954. He was with WOR-Radio in New York, a news editor from 1957-1960, and was a correspondent in Berlin for the Mutual Broadcasting System before and after the Berlin Wall was built. Norman Gelb also wrote Enemy in the Shadows, The British, and Dunkirk: The Complete Story of the First Step in the Defeat of Hitler. This author is qualified to write this book because he witnessed this event personally. He also used reliable resources such as the interviews of others who lived through the building of the Wall in The Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall starts by telling a little information about the Wall itself. How and when it was put up and how strict the security was on it. The book then jumps back in time to 1945 when Eisenhower was the president of the United States and World War II was coming to a close. From there on it goes chronologically to the time of John Kennedy's assassination. The book covers the whole history of the Wall from the beginning of the disputes between Khrushev and Kennedy in Vienna to after Kennedy and Khrushev were both were both gone from the scene, and a second wall was built to keep East Berliners from coming in contact with the border wall and to lower the number of escapees even more. The Berlin Wall also tells of how people from both sides feel after all of the conflict is over and "for Berliners the Wall is now, therefore, normal." (pg. 283).
This book was strictly on politics. It explains why a wall separated East Berlin from West Berlin. Refugees were leaving by the thousands to live in Democratic West Berlin and such a great loss of people threatened the communism of East Berlin. Therefore the Wall was put up to separate the two and restrict traveling between them.