Mikhail Gorbachev: The Soviet Innovator

Mikhail Gorbachev: The Soviet Innovator

by Steven Otfinoski, Steve Otfinski
     
 
If there is one man responsible for the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet system, that man is Mikhail Gorbachev. Yet in one of history's ironies, Gorbachev wanted only to reform the USSR, not destroy it. And by the time he tried to rein in the changes he had begun, he found himself no longer in control of his country or his fate.

Overview

If there is one man responsible for the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet system, that man is Mikhail Gorbachev. Yet in one of history's ironies, Gorbachev wanted only to reform the USSR, not destroy it. And by the time he tried to rein in the changes he had begun, he found himself no longer in control of his country or his fate.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This biography--part of the new Great Lives series--begins with sketchy information about young Mikhail and his childhood in a rural part of Russia, 800 miles south of Moscow. He was an intelligent, hardworking boy who spent his days working in the fields and studying at school, an active member of the Komsomol, the Communist Youth League. The book concentrates on his move up through the ranks of the Communist Party, a slow, steady climb marked by a dedication to principles as well as an instinctive knowledge of when to take charge and when to back down. Perestroika and glasnost are defined, with progress reports on each. The coverage of Gorbachev's meetings with President Reagan are especially good. It is a biography that neither deifies nor denigrates the man, and it speculates as to possible scenarios for his future in the Soviet government. Ages 11-14. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-- All of these books are clearly written, with plenty of background information and explanation to help readers understand both the persons and the forces that shaped their lives. The books lack indexes; they include black-and-white illustrations as well as suggestions for further study. Harriet Tubman is well done, in spite of the fact that some material seems to be fictionalized. Carlson does not give sources, but does an excellent job of conveying to readers the horrors of slavery. This is more appealing than Epstein's heavily fictionalized Harriet Tubman: Guide To Freedom (Garrard, 1968). The Hurwitzs look at both the career of Sally Ride and the recent U. S. space program, including the Challenger disaster. The end of the book has information about NASA's Space Camp. The authors persistently refer to Dr. Ride as Sally, which is irritating, but overall it provides more biographical information than Ride's own entertaining To Space and Back (Lothrop, 1986). Mikhail Gorbachev is the best of the group, offering young readers a timely and objective look at the Soviet Union and the changes it is undergoing in addition to biographical material about Gorbachev. Selfridge gives an upbeat examination of John F. Kennedy and his political career, concentrating on the numerous crises he faced as president. It is unbiased, describing both his strengths and weakness, and is similar in scope to Denenberg's John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Scholastic, 1988), as well as numerous other titles. These books provide a good mix of famous people of both sexes and differing backgrounds, and would be a good addition to libraries serving junior-high readers. --Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449904008
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/12/1989
Series:
Great Lives Biography Series
Pages:
118
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.54(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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