Gorbachev : his life and times / William Taubman.
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- ISBN: 9780393647013
- ISBN: 0393647013
- Physical Description: xxv, 852 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York, N.Y. : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Introduction: "Gorbachev is hard to understand" -- Childhood, boyhood, and youth: 1931-1949 -- Moscow State University: 1950-1955 -- Climbing the ladder: 1955-1968 -- Regional party boss: 1969-1978 -- Return to Moscow: 1978-1985 -- What is to be done?: 1985-1986 -- Onto the world stage: March 1985-December 1986 -- Two scorpions in a bottle: 1987 -- Who's afraid of Nina Andreyeva?: 1988 -- Before the storm: 1987-1988 -- Summits galore: 1987-1988 -- 1989: triumph and trouble at home -- 1989: triumph and trouble abroad -- Coming apart?: 1990 -- Coming together?: 1990 -- To the coup: January-August 1991 -- The coup: August 1991 -- Final days: August-December 1991 -- Out of power: 1992-2016 -- Conclusion: Understanding Gorbachev.
A comprehensive biography of the final leader of the Soviet Union chronicles Gorbachev's rise from peasant to politician and describes how his liberal policies ended the Cold War and unintentionally provoked the breakup of the USSR.
"When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was one of the world's two superpowers. By 1989, his liberal policies of perestroika and glasnost had permanently transformed Soviet Communism. By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in 1991, after barely escaping from a coup attempt, he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union he had tried to save. In the first comprehensive biography of the final Soviet leader, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy became the Soviet system's gravedigger, how he clambered to the top of a system designed to keep people like him down, how he found common ground with America's arch-conservative president Ronald Reagan, and how he permitted the USSR and its East European empire to break apart without using force to preserve them. Throughout, Taubman portrays the many sides of Gorbachev's unique character that, by Gorbachev's own admission, make him 'difficult to understand.' Was he in fact a truly great leader, or was he brought low in the end by his own shortcomings, as well as by the unyielding forces he faced? Drawing on interviews with Gorbachev himself, transcripts and documents from the Russian archives, and interviews with Kremlin aides and adversaries, as well as foreign leaders, Taubman's intensely personal portrait extends to Gorbachev's remarkable marriage to a woman he deeply loved, and to the family that they raised together. Nuanced and poignant, yet unsparing and honest, this sweeping account has all the amplitude of a great Russian novel."--Jacket.
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