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 yearsBrezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and even Lenin and Stalinand 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.