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Victory: the Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union [Paperback]

Peter Schweizer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 April 1996
In this explosive book, Peter Schweizer provides the riveting details of how the Regan administration undermined the Soviet economy and its dwindling resource base and subverted the Kremlin's hold on its global empire. Based on exclusive interviews with key participants, including Caspar Weinberger, George Schultz, John Poindexter, and William Clark, Victory chronicles the drama as it unfolded.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press (1 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871136333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871136336
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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January of 1981 was particularly cold in Washington, DC. Read the first page
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 12 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Reading this book made me proud to be an American, and proud to have voted for Ronald Reagan every time out. The negative reviews and comments listed here and elsewhere are but another reminder that the liberals, socialists, and communists that still exist in American and western society know deep in their hearts that Reagan, Casey, Weinberger, and the rest, destroyed forever their dreams of the socialist utopia, and they will never forgive them or stop trying to denigrate them. But the facts are: We won! The world won! Freedom won! When we needed a real president, we had one.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How the Cold War was won. 7 April 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book, Peter Schweizer not only gives detailed accounts of the behind-the-scenes strategies on how the Reagan Administration finalized the downfall of the Soviet Union, he thouroughly documents his sources. Schweizer conducted numerous personal interviews with high-ranking officials that worked during the 1980s at the CIA, National Security Administration, and the State Department. From those he lays out how the Reagan teamers put the Soviet Union in a fatal chokehold through three main areas: 1) bargaining with Saudi Arabia to drive oil prices down, ruining Russia's main source of revenue, 2) covert operations to supply the mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan with the arms to expel Russian forces from their country, and 3) underground support for Solidarity members in Poland.
A student friend of mine was taking a course in which his professor was a former head of counterintelligence at the CIA, so I had my friend ask his professor to verify the legitimacy of Schweizer's book. My friend reported back that the professor, who says many reports have been almost fictional, said that he HIGHLY recommends this book for the most honest assessment of how Ronald Reagan and his team won the Cold War.
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts in place many pieces of the puzzle of global politics. 9 Oct 1998
By Timothy Ritter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Once in awhile a book comes along that has that special quality of illuminating a real world mystery. Robert Caro's biography of Johnson and Albert Speer's memoir are two such works. Peter Schweizer's Victory is another.
For years I wondered, as I read news accounts and histories, why no one had a logical explanation for why oil prices had dropped so dramatically in 1985, when just a couple years earlier pundits were saying the sky was the limit for oil. And why, shortly thereafter, did the Eastern Bloc begin to crumble, soon to be followed by the Soviet Union itself? Then why did the Bush Administration see fit to conduct a war to liberate Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia? And were all these momentous events related? The answer is yes. Victory describes clearly how they all were indeed closely related.
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia was worried that he would be overthrown as the Shah of Iran had been, either by Muslim extremists, or by Soviet backed revolutionaries. At the same time, the Reagan Administration was interested in the economic strangulation of the Soviet Union. The source of most of the USSR's hard currency was the sale of its oil on international markets. So a deal was struck.. The US would guarantee the security of the Saudi monarchy with AWACS jets and Stinger missiles and, ultimately, US armed forces. In return, Saudi Arabia would flood the market with oil, driving the price for a barrel of crude from $35 down to $10.
With its oil income cut by 70%, Moscow could no longer buy the technology it needed to keep pace in the arms race, let alone dole out largesse to Poland or East Germany. And when Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia's tiny neighbor Kuwait, it was time for the US to uphold its part of the bargain.
Victory aptly describes this and other maneuverings to win the Cold War, such as the support of the mujahedin in Afghanistan and of the Solidarity movement in Poland. It is based largely on interviews with such key players as Caspar Weinberger, Robert MacFarlane, George Schultz, Richard Pipes, Herb Meyer, and Richard Allen, so that it provides an almost palpable sense of being in the White House as the strategy was crafted. It effectively gives the lie to those facile commentators in the media who claim the Soviet Union fell of its own weight. It didn't. It was pushed.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy start... 14 Nov 2002
By Harold C. Hutchison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Peter Schweizer's first contribution to the telling the untold stories of the efforts of the Reagan Administration is quite stunning - offering a uniques inside perspective to the operations and the planning of them that led to the memorable scenes of the Belrin Wall falling.
"Victory" is the story of what happened, and the planning that went on behind the scenes, orchestrated by then-DCI William Casey, who took lessons learned while fighting Adolf Hitler as part of the OSS in World War II, and applied them to fighting the Soviet Union.
Casey will probably go down in history as one of the America's great unsung heroes, joining men like Edwin T. Layton and Joe Rochefort. Schweizer's efforts have laid out this untold story, fought in the shadow world of espionage and covert operations in an engaging story.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterstroke 30 Nov 2000
By Newt Gingrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Tom Clancy dedicates Executive Orders "to Ronald Wilson Reagan -- The Man who won the War". Schweizer explains why Clancy is more correct than all the news media and intellectual elites who scorned Reagan when he was in office and have ignored his achievements ever since.
Much of the news media and liberal academia would have you believe that Gorbachev was the hero who modernized the Soviet Union and liberated it from the past. Schweizer outlines in detail the long strategic effort to defeat the Soviet Union through a multiplicity of specific strategies. From delaying and minimizing the natural gas pipeline to western Europe, to working with the Saudis to bring down the price of oil (the number one source of hard currency for the Soviet Union), to actively working to cut off technology from reaching the Soviet Union, to launching an arms race of high technology systems that would bloc obsolesce the old systems and force the Soviets into an exhausting effort to keep up, to financing opposition forces in Afghanistan, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Central America.
Again and again Schweizer shows the methodical determined efforts of the Reagan team to undermine and roll back the Soviet Union. Trying to describe the end of the Soviet Empire without Reagan is like trying to describe the South losing the Civil War without mentioning Lincoln and Grant. This book should be read by every citizen interested in just how effective their country can be when it has a strategy and courageous disciplined leaders.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the Soviet Union Collapsed - What TV hasn't told you 2 April 2000
By Warren Norquist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
VICTORY opens with a quote by former KGB general Oleg Kalugin: "American policy in the 1980s was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union." VICTORY REVEALS HOW. This is living history from over twenty major players, with those interviewed listed at the end of each chapter. Several including Caspar Weinberger, John Poindexter, Bill Clark and Roger Robinson also reviewed the manuscript. The introduction lists seven key elements of the plan initiated by Reagan in early 1981. It points out that Reagan unlike some other Presidents did not view arms control agreements and treaties as the measure of his success. VICTORY is an account of the secret offensive including economic and psychological fronts designed to win the Cold War. Reagan used our strengths to take advantage of Soviet weaknesses. After success, the task is often seen as easy. The details in the book showed that winning the Cold War was made much harder by some Americans and many Western Europeans, some of whom now say it was inevitable You will see how critical, for instance, the AWACS aircraft were to the outcome.
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