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Mikhail Gorbachev: Memoirs Paperback – 1 Nov 1997


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Paperback, 1 Nov 1997
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New edition edition (1 Nov. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553506366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553506365
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The memoirs of Mikhail Gorbachev, one of the greatest world leaders of the twentieth century.

From the Publisher

The memoirs of Mikhail Gorbachev, one of the greatest world leaders of the twentieth century.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Diggle on 25 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
As a student who has studied the Soviet Union extensively for me this was always going to be a fascinating read. I would advise it to anyone that wishes to learn more about the workings and the problems which ultimately doomed the Soviet Union.
For those readers who don't have such a deep political interest, especially readers who are unfamiliar about the Soviet Union and Communist Party structures it could be quite difficult read. Differentiating between a Congress, conference, plenum, oblast, kraikom, gorkom etc can be difficult. While Gorbachev also makes long points on economic reforms both firstly in his home region of Stavropol and then the whole of the Soviet Union, which he himself even admits to be taxing to the reader!
However it's overall fascinating and enjoyable read, the problems emenating from the Brezhnev 'era of stagnation' turbulent times of perestroika and glasnost through to the ending of the cold war and the August 1991 coup. The sharp analytical mind of Gorbachev makes it more understandable to see why the countries of the former Soviet Union are having such problems today.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nevermind on 25 April 2001
Format: Paperback
In this work Gorbachev seeks to explain the reasons for the situation the USSR found itself in prior to his arrival in power. From there he goes on to detail what he was trying to achieve with his policies of 'Perestroika' and 'Glasnost' and where he feels these were held back.
As with almost all political autobiographies, a certain proportion of the contents are devoted to justifying decisions, opinions and actions of the author. Nevertheless you emerge with the feeling that Gorbachev was that rarest of political species: a true visionary.
In fact you share with him his frustrations as time and again his attempts to move the monolithic Soviet state forward are slowed and even halted by people clinging to the power they had felt was theirs by right.
Later of course Boris Yeltsin (portrayed here very much as an opportunist with a desire for power) and his followers sought to undermine Gorbachev's reforms for the very different reason that they were not moving swiftly enough.
At the end you are left in no doubt of the sincerity with which Gorbachev loves his country and is pained to think of the troubles it has endured. You are also left with the impression that Gorbachev was a man who arrived at the right time and created the platform from which many people regained their freedom and found a place in the world.
For this history will, I believe, judge him to have been a shining light in an otherwise darkened room.
The problem I had with the book was very much one of comprehending what was happening and therefore sustaining interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Cotton TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a visiting Professor of International Relations and International Law at an American University. I am always reading books on the Soviet Union, to enhance my knowledge of modern history. When I was an undergraduate student, one of the first books we had to read was called The Pursuit of History. Every student of history or politics should read this book. The book poses the following questions, it asks the student, what are you reading, who wrote it and has it any bias? Whilst reading this fascinating book, these questions kept popping into my head. It is a great book, but it does present history in a way that justifies Gorbachev and undermines people like Yeltsin. I am in no way trying to defend Yeltsin and his disastrous mess, but any students reading this book should be aware of the bias of the book.

The book starts by looking at his childhood, then his move to Moscow to study law, his marriage, moving back to Stavropol, his rise through the party ranks, his election to the Politburo, the party games in the Kremlin, his work with Andrpov and Chernenko, his fights with Tikhonov, eventually to his election as General Secretary, the problems with the Party and Cadres, the reforms and his demise. There is great analysis of the coup attempt and minute detail on what was happening at Gorbachev's summer villa. Its all covered. I would have liked more analysation of the relationships and personalities between Moscow and the satellite states of Eastern Europe. The dynamic between the inexperienced new leader and the "Old" guard of the Eastern Block, could have been expanded more. A country by country analysis would have been great.

Overall this is a GREAT BOOK written by a VERY GREAT MAN.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on 16 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gorbachev's memoirs are a brilliant written account of the political career of Mikhail Gorbachev, primarily focusing on his time in office as the President of the USSR. It provides the reader with a window into the mind of Gorbachev and his thought processes behind his rule as President of the Soviet Union. It helps the reader to see Soviet Russia through his eyes. It was an extremely important book for my university module on Mikhail Gorbachev and is a great read for anyone interested in the political workings of the Soviet Union. The book was in a good condition and delivery was prompt. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Thank you!
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