Gorbachev: His Life And Times
- Biographies & Memoirs, Russian History, Best of 2017
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"Gorbachev is hard to understand."-Mikhail Gorbachev
When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was still a superpower. By 1989, his policies had transformed Soviet Communism, and by 1991 he had presided over the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR. In this first comprehensive biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev recounts how a peasant boy became the Soviet gravedigger, why the regime allowed him to destroy it, how his dream of democratizing Russia foundered, and why he permitted Eastern Europe to abandon Communism without conflict.
Drawing on firsthand interviews and a trove of Russian archives, Taubman melds the political and the personal to offer a nuanced yet sweeping account with the amplitude of a great Russian novel.
"William Taubman has now done for Gorbachev what he had previously done for Khrushchev, giving us the full life deeply grounded in the Soviet and Russian archives, here with the added benefit of Gorbachev's complete cooperation. Perhaps a hundred years from now, when our perspective on Russia's role in the world has further clarified, another biography will be needed. For now, however, Gorbachev is the closest thing to the final word that history allows."-Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers
"William Taubman's biography of Mikhail Gorbachev is a much needed, uniquely sourced account of the life, work, and times of the man who critically shaped a peaceful end to the Cold War and great Soviet experiment. Based on a unique blend of archival sources, personal memoirs, and a not-to-be-repeated set of interviews with key actors, Taubman's superbly written portrait will become the essential and standard work on his subject and a primary source for any future historians of this period."-James F. Collins, Former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, 1997-2001
"Remarkably, the two most memorable leaders of the Soviet Union in the last half of its existence now have the same superb biographer. William Taubman's Gorbachev, like his Khrushchev, is an extraordinary achievement, full of new information, filled with shrewd judgments, a two-in-a-row triumph in the writing of great lives."-John Lewis Gaddis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of George F. Kennan: An American Life
"I have had the privilege of knowing many of the great men and women who brought momentous change to the last part of the twentieth century. My friend Mikhail Gorbachev was outstanding among them. So this biography, especially with its attention to his early formative years, is a great addition to our understanding of a key historical period."-George P. Shultz
About the Author
William Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College and a former International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations with the Department of State. His biography, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||September 5, 2017|