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Midnight Diaries [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin , John Randolph Jones
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Oct 2000
The struggles and upheavals in Russia over the last few years seen from the top - Boris Yeltsin was the President of Russia for a decade. He overcame the coup of 1991, he developed good relationships with world leaders from Clinton to Helmut Kohl. What was the chemistry of his meetings with Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair and Ziang Zhao Min? How did he get on when the Queen visited Moscow, the first British monarch to step onto Russian soil since before the first world war. Yeltsin gives his account of the revolution in Chechnya; he explains his feelings on the former Yugoslavia imbroglio and why Russia couldn't intervene more effectively. Here is Yeltsin on his own often unreliable health, his quintuple bypass surgery, his depression (like Churchill's 'Black Dog'periods) and how he survived to retire on the eve of the new millennium. Yeltsin gives his views on a non Communist Russia, democracy, the struggling economy, the mafia - and his own determination to give the citizens of his country a better future than its glorious but authoritarian past.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Highbridge Company; abridged edition edition (2 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565114094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565114098
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

The only Russian leader in more than a century not to be overthrown or die in office reveals the story of his 10 years in power. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

See above. Writing the book with Yeltsin will be the former journalist Valentin Yumashev --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointment 15 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's boring. I thought there was going to to a lot about 1993 in Russia but it was about Boris's home life!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading, 4 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Maybe I'm a bit too enthusiastic because it was not my choice to read this book : I had to read it. My thesis (relations between Russia and South-Caucasus) covers all Yeltsin's period. So, I was very happy to go inside his feelings, goals, objectives, comments. For "beginners", it's maybe better to read something else to feel how you can interpret Yeltsin's words... Of course, you get surprised often. Even if you know a bit about real politics, you are still always confused with some facts... But it's worth knowing that. So, if people hesitate to buy it, I would tell them to follow their reader instinct, which is to read...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but visibly one-sided 15 Nov 2000
By Marko Mihkelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Yeltsin's memoirs are without doubt interesting and necessary source for everybody who's looking to understand what really has happened in Russia during 90s. But unfortunately this is only half or even less of that what Yeltsin really could tell us. First of all, this is not of course Yeltsin who has written this book. Real authors are Valentin Yumashev, who is also author of Yeltsin's previous memoirs, and Tatyana Dyatchenko, Yeltsin's daugther. Reading this book you could find almost in every chapter how authors had tried to save Yeltsin's face for history. They succeeded if reader is not well informed about Russia. But for them who have lived this through, Yeltsin's book is too one-sided and not really trustful piece.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and logical explanations to Russian politics 13 Nov 2000
By Konstantin Dlutski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
No wonder that this book attracted such negative reaction from 'experts' in Russian politics. What seemed almost to everyone as illogical, bizarre behavior of a senile tsar suddenly becomes clear, simple and logical. Yeltsin describes day by day his struggle for power since he started his presidential race with support of only 3% of popular support. As one reads the book it becomes evident that Yeltsin always had a very clear and realistic picture of what was happening around him. He could let people believe that he was too sick and weak to rule, watched who, how and when tried to get the power. Like a good hunter Yeltsin stoke deadly blows on his foes when they truely believed he was under their control. Yeltsin analyzes the situation, decides who's his friend or foe, plans his actions and acts without remorse. The book reads like a novel that unfolds the secrets of Russian under carpet bulldogs fighting.
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly engaging--worth reading 4 Jan 2011
By Katrina Ilich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Yeltsin's book was a pleasant surprise. The book certainly isn't slim, and when I picked it up, I anticipated a typically dry autobiography written in a prickly, defensive tone. Yeltsin, however, writes honestly, and rather than an arrogant drunkard, I saw a down-to-earth and somewhat perpetually-troubled man. Yeltsin mixes a daily diary with his documentation of some of the more publicized events--sex scandals, wars, and the like--to make a work that reads like a novel.

Now, the above isn't to say that this autobiography isn't biased, because it certainly is. Yeltsin glosses over certain issues and personal flaws, such as his exasperating penchant for dismissing prime ministers, aides, and all kinds of other government bureaucrats every few months. Yeltsin apparently has very high standards--though what, precisely, he's looking for in his personnel he never explains exactly--and a fondness for perfection that isn't readily apparent in media depictions of him. But keeping its one-sidedness in mind, we still see Yeltsin as a calculating commandeer, rather than a blathering puppet. Though he might have fallen to the latter in the latter part of his career, he definitely wasn't always so.

I believe the book is well worth reading, because, in my opinion, it is absolutely essential to examine history from as many viewpoints as possible. This is why I highly recommend reading autobiographies in general.

That being said, this book might not necessarily be for everyone. Because of Yeltsin's constantly-changing Kitchen Cabinet, there are myriads of names to keep track of, and most, being Russian, end in "ov," "ev," or "sky," which doesn't make them very conducive to being committed to memory. This is made more complicated by the fact that a full Russian name consists not of two names, but of three; a personal (given) name, a patronymic, and a surname. Though a character--in my following example, the Minster of the Interior--might be introduced as "Anatoly Sergeyevich Kulikov" for the first time, Yeltsin will subsequently refer to him as "Anatoly Sergeyevich," as is Russian custom.

For those new to Russian history and politics or simply unfamiliar with these older names, there is a useful chart featuring the names and descriptions of the "principal figures" available at the beginning of the book. I'd suggest dog-earing the page, as you will be referring to it often.

Politics aside, it's a good book written by a good man, and it has a permanent place on my shelf.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow 10 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is such a great memoir of a very interesting man. I always felt that Yelstin never got his commupance. He led a country the best he could in a very hard time
And now we get to hear everything that happend from the "front-lines" in the leaders own words.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cultural insights 27 Mar 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Although this book is quite limited in it's perspective, it does offer both candid and posed tips on modern Russian culture. Mr. Yeltsin's copious jottings reveal his personal taste for style and political power. The writings also reveal some of the cultural challenges that plague the Russian people such as; peer presure among adults for consumption of vodka and the need for modern business people to find a moral code that will promote sound national and international business practices. The extensive political reporting which Mr. Yeltsin has voiced would indicate that Russian self-government is still in the developing stages and has many hurtles to pass. However the outlook is hopeful and not blindly so. One leaves the text wondering how we might come to learn more of President Putin's own style of politics. An interesting read for anyone studying modern Russian culture, this book is by no means an authoratative overview on the culture.
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