Politics, Diplomacy, And The Media

Overview

Mikhail Gorbachev was a major force at the center of political change in the latter half of the 20th century. His emphasis on the spoken word and the visual image was so pronounced that the character of the reform program he introduced became both a reflection and an extension of his own political persona. To promote his political program, Gorbachev depended upon the media to assist him in delivering his message and restructuring the Soviet experience; it was almost as if he believed that he could talk a ...

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Overview

Mikhail Gorbachev was a major force at the center of political change in the latter half of the 20th century. His emphasis on the spoken word and the visual image was so pronounced that the character of the reform program he introduced became both a reflection and an extension of his own political persona. To promote his political program, Gorbachev depended upon the media to assist him in delivering his message and restructuring the Soviet experience; it was almost as if he believed that he could talk a revolution into existence. He hoped to promote both real and symbolic change, but found instead that such efforts led to his own downfall.

GorbacheV's case is an example of the power of personality in transforming a political culture. The author organizes his material into three topic areas: perestroika, glasnost, and New Thinking in foreign policy; and, in each of these areas he highlights GorbacheV's relations with the media, his public image, and the political influence of the media. GorbacheV's New Thinking influenced Soviet foreign policy and set in motion a change in the international environment, as he preached disarmament and international understanding as opposed to military confrontation and nuclear conflict. The net result, however, was the loss of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union's superpower status.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Addressing a general audience, DeLuca (history, Emerson College) provides an account of former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev's leadership and the controversy over his political significance and legacy. Also addressed is the way he transformed political discourse within the Soviet Union and altered the Soviet Union's relationship with the rest of the world, although the author adds that his efforts ended up destroying the system he had originally set out to reform. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275959685
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/1998
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY R. DELUCA is Professor of History at Emerson College.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Personality, Charisma, and Leadership 1
The Making of an International Persona 1
Youth, Politics, and Style 5
Leadership and Ideological Reform 13
2 Perestroika and the Revival of Soviet Politics 23
Perestroika as Political, Social, and Economic Reform 23
Stalinism and the Andreyeva Letter 31
Sakharov and the Congress of People's Deputies 36
Yeltsin and the Russian Alternative 41
3 Glasnost: The Media and the Formation of a New Political Culture 53
Glasnost in Theory and Practice 53
News Media: Print and Broadcast Journalism 59
The Emergence of a New Popular Culture 65
4 Foreign Policy: Gorbachev Style 83
New Thinking 83
Summitry and Internationalism 96
The Peace and Disarmament Offensive 105
5 Into the Abyss and Beyond 123
The Great Master of Improvisation 123
The August Coup 133
Resignation, Controversy, and Assessment 139
Selected Bibliography 155
Index 159
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