Accessibly written to appeal to a wide readership, this is a meticulous study of Gorbachev by a leading Western specialist on Soviet politics. - ;Mikhail Gorbachev was arguably the most important world statesman of the second half of the twentieth century. He played the decisive role in ending the Cold War and in allowing the countries of Eastern Europe to regain their independence peacefully. He left Russia a freer country than it had ever been. Although he failed in his attempts to turn the Soviet Union into a genuine federation, he refused to resort to the repression that would have been needed to preserve the USSRintact in the face of opposition from a number of its peoples.What kind of man made this massive difference to his own country, Europe, and the world? What were his views when he became Soviet leader and how did they evolve? Who and what influenced him? When did he move from being a reformer of the Soviet System to becoming the `grave-digger' of Communism? How decisive for the dramatic changes of the past decade was the Gorbachev factor? In this masterly account, Archie Brown - a renowned authority on Gorbachev and the first Western scholar topredict his importance - answers these questions in fascinating detail. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including the memories (and memoirs) of those who worked most closely with Gorbachev, he combines acute political analysis with new information as he tells the story of Gorbachev's rise and fall -and of his seven years in power which changed the course of history. - ;To understand this singular man, the reader can do no better than to turn to Archie Brown's astute and lucid ... book The Gorbachev Factor. There have been several excellent works on Mr Gorbachev ... But none examines the subject as thoroughly as this volume ... a rich study, as impressive in its sweep as in its details. - Abraham Brumberg, The New York Times;Archie Brown has mastered the material and met the people ... he writes with a historical perspective unavailable to authors of the instant biographies which appeared while Gorbachev was in power. - Rodric Braithwaite, The Financial Times;Archie Brown's book is not only a richly researched, easily readable biography of Gorbachev himself. It should be studied at once in every diplomatic service worthy of the name, starting with our own Foreign Office. - Michael Foot, The Standard;Archie Brown's The Gorbachev Factor is the most thorough and best researched monograph on Gorbachev I have read. - Vitali Vitaliev, The Daily Telegraph;the best informed account in English of the evolution of Gorbachev's political views and strategies between 1985 and 1989 - Orlando Figes, Times Literary Supplement
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