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The Gorbachev Factor
     

The Gorbachev Factor

by Archie Brown
 

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General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and political reformer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the force behind perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev was arguably the most important statesman of the twentieth century. Providing a balanced account of the complexities of politics in the U.S.S.R. during a period of remarkable change, The Gorbachev Factor tells

Overview

General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and political reformer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the force behind perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev was arguably the most important statesman of the twentieth century. Providing a balanced account of the complexities of politics in the U.S.S.R. during a period of remarkable change, The Gorbachev Factor tells the gripping story of Gorbachev's rise and fall, a story full of intrigue, secret meetings, and power struggles.
Archie Brown, one of the world's leading authorities on Gorbachev and the first Western writer to predict his importance, sets out to comprehend the evolution of Gorbachev's thinking and to identify and evaluate his personal contribution to change in Soviet politics. He analyzes the thrust of Gorbachev's domestic and foreign policy, looks at the sources of his new ideas, and assesses his contribution to the radical changes that took place in the Soviet Union. Brown shows how Gorbachev moved beyond reform of the Soviet system to the demolition of a number of its pillars. In the process of describing Gorbachev, Brown also provides portraits of Soviet leaders through the years—Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and even Lenin and Stalin—and charts the influence of such Russian luminaries as Eduard Shevardnadze and Boris Yeltsin.
Perceptive and controversial, The Gorbachev Factor paints a vivid picture of a man and seven years that have changed the course of the twentieth century, offering fascinating insights into the beliefs, political style, and powers of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"To understand this singular man, the reader can do no better than to turn to Archie Brown's astute and lucid (if not felicitously titled) book The Gorbachev Factor....A rich study, as impressive in its sweep as in its details."—The New York Times Book Review

"A remarkably detailed and authoritative account of the key moments in Gorbachev's career."—The Washington Post Book World

"[Professor Brown's] book is, by all odds, the most thorough exposition of Gorachev's domestic political record yet to appear."—The New York Review of Books

Library Journal
A notable Oxford scholar focuses on Mikhail Gorbachev's role in ending the Cold War and attempting to reform the Soviet political system. Brown's thorough, well-researched study rebuts those in Russia and the West who would downplay Gorbachev's transformative role in 1985-91. Devoting separate chapters to Gorbachev's economic, political, and foreign policy reforms, Brown makes a strong case that Gorbachev's leadership was a necessary condition for sweeping change in the late 1980s. As the author points out, events like the notorious 1988 Nina Andreyevna affair (when a typically hardline letter Andreyevna wrote to a Soviet paper backfired) would probably have been enough, in Gorbachev's absence, to nip the first shoots of "civil society" in the bud. Although the author is too concerned with the unprovable issue of what Gorbachev's beliefs were at each stage of his career, he does provide a useful corrective to propaganda on behalf of Boris Yeltsin, for whom he expresses thinly veiled contempt. For highly informed readers and specialists.Robert Decker, Palo Alto, Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192880529
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/23/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
444
Sales rank:
678,048
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Archie Brown is Professor of Politics and Fellow of St. Anthony's College, Oxford.

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