Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down

Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down

by Rodric Braithwaite


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Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador to Moscow during the critical years of perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the failed coup of August 1991, and the rise of Boris Yeltsin. With his long experience of Russia, on good personal terms with Mikhail Gorbachev, he was in a privileged position close to the center of Russia’s changing relationship with the West.

This frank and engrossing book gives an intimate account of momentous change and the people who drove it. As the Soviet Empire fell apart a demoralized army crept home from Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and the outlying parts of the Soviet Union itself. Against the opposition of the generals, Gorbachev and his allies struggled to modernize and democratize a system that had already reached the point of terminal decay. The apex of the drama came in August 1991 when a gang of generals, politicians, and secret policemen sought—by storming Moscow’s White House—to reverse the course of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300204186
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/03/2002
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Rodric Braithwaite was based in Moscow from September 1988 to May 1992. He retains business and educational interests in Russia.

Table of Contents

1The View across the River1
2The Russians are Coming18
3The Flight of the Bumble Bee58
4Democracy Comes to the Soviet Union88
5The Ashes of Victory117
6Fraying at the Edges150
7The Lurch to the Right182
8Diary of a Coup216
9The Rubble of the Dictatorship246
10Arguing about the Economy281
11Towards a Radiant Future?317
Notes and Comments343

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