Alexander Yakovlev: The Man Whose Ideas Delivered Russia from Communism

Alexander Yakovlev: The Man Whose Ideas Delivered Russia from Communism

by Richard Pipes


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 21


A significant political figure in twentieth-century Russia, Alexander Yakovlev was the intellectual force behind the processes of perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost (openness) that liberated the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from Communist rule between 1989 and 1991. Yet, until now, not a single full-scale biography has been devoted to him. In his study of the unsung hero, Richard Pipes seeks to rectify this lacuna and give Yakovlev his historical due. Yakovlev's life provides a unique instance of a leading figure in the Soviet government who evolved from a dedicated Communist and Stalinist into an equally ardent foe of everything the Leninist-Stalinist regime stood for. He quit government service in 1991 and lived until 2005, becoming toward the end of his life a classical western liberal who shared none of the traditional Russian values. Pipes's illuminating study consists of two parts: a biography of Yakovlev and Pipes's translation of two important articles by Yakovlev. It will appeal to specialists and students of Soviet and post-Soviet studies, government officials involved with foreign policy, and general readers interested in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807485
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/28/2016
Edition description: 1
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Pipes is the Baird Professor Emeritus of History at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous publications, including Communism: A History, Russia under the Old Regime, The Russian Revolution, and Property and Freedom.

Table of Contents

Preface viv

1 Youth 3

2 War 6

3 Khrushchev's Speech 9

4 Columbia University 14

5 Trouble 17

6 Canada 20

7 Back Home 26

8 The December 1985 Memorandum 29

9 Relations with Gorbachev 33

10 Glasnost' 36

11 Need of a Fundamental Break 47

12 Role in Foreign Policy 48

13 The 1939 Secret Protocol 51

14 Attitude toward the United States 54

15 Advocating Presidency 59

16 Accusations of Treason 61

17 Bolshevik Crimes 66

18 The Dissolution of the Soviet Union 73

19 Private Life 74

20 The August 1991 Coup 75

21 Yakovlev's Final Thoughts about Russia and Russians 78

22 Death 80


1 Article "Against Anti-Historicism" (1972) 81

2 Memorandum of December 1985 115

Acknowledgments 129

List of Illustrations 131

Abbreviations of Yakovlev's Works 133

Notes 135

Bibliography 143

Index 145

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews