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Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War

by Ken Adelman


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The dramatic, first-hand account of the historic 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Iceland—the definitive weekend that was the key turning point in the Cold War—by President Reagan’s arms control director, Ken Adelman.

In October 1986, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met for a forty-eight-hour summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. Planned as a short, inconsequential gathering to outline future talks, the meeting quickly turned to major international issues, including the strategic defense initiative and the possibility of eliminating all nuclear weapons—negotiations that laid the groundwork for the most sweeping arms accord in history the following year.

Scrupulously researched and based on now-declassified information, Reagan at Reykjavik tells the gripping tale of this weekend that changed the world. Filled with illustrative accounts of the private discussions between Reagan and his team, Ken Adelman provides an honest and up-close portrait of President Reagan at one of his finest and most challenging moments.

Reagan at Reykjavik includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos and 11 illustrations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062310194
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 983,481
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Ken Adelman was President Reagan's arms control director at Reykjavik during the 1986 superpower summit with Mikhail Gorbachev. Adelman accompanied Reagan to three superpower summits in all. He has also served as a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and an assistant to the secretary of defense. After leaving government, he taught Shakespeare at Georgetown University and George Washington University, and National Security Studies at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. He is the author of several books, including Shakespeare in Charge and The Defense Revolution. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 1

1 Departures 7

2 Arrivals 41

3 Minds and Moods Going into Hofdi House 55

4 Saturday in Reykjavik 81

5 Suday Morning in Reykjavik 129

6 Suday Afternoon and Evening in Reykjavik 157

7 Departures and Immediate Fallout 185

8 From the Worst to the Best of Times 223

9 Reykjavik and the Soviet Breakup 225

10 Reflections and Conclusions on Reykjavik 297


Mourning in America 335

Acknowledgments 341

Notes 345

Index 365

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