Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman

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Read Gorbachev: His Life and Times Online Free - The definitive biography of the transformational world leader by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Khrushchev.
When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was one of the world’s two superpowers. By 1989 he had transformed Soviet Communism. By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in December 1991 he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the USSR. In this first comprehensive biography of Gorbachev, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy turned into the Soviet system’s grave digger, why the Communist regime allowed him to destroy it, how Gorbachev’s dream of democratizing Russia through perestroika and glasnost foundered, and why he permitted Eastern Europe to abandon Communism without conflict. Drawing on interviews with Gorbachev himself, Russian archives, interviews with Kremlin aides and adversaries as well as with foreign leaders, Taubman’s intensely personal portrait also extends to Gorbachev’s remarkable marriage to a woman he deeply loved. Nuanced and poignant yet unsparing and honest, this sweeping account has the amplitude of a Tolstoy novel.

Title : Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393647013
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 852 pages


Hadrian rated it ★★★★☆

October 03, 2017

Who is Mikhail Gorbachev? Why did he set the Soviet Union on its ambitious and tragically doomed course of reform? Thirty years after his 'resignation' and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he is still inscrutable. When the author asked him, he answered - in the third-person - that "Gorbachev...

Mikey B. rated it ★★★★★

December 06, 2017

This is an authoritative biography of a man who changed the course of history towards the end of the 20th century. It gave me a much greater understanding of who Gorbachev is and how he managed to change the contours of his country. For anyone who does not believe that people can alter the course...

Jean rated it ★★★★★

December 30, 2017

William Taubman has written an excellent biography of Mikhail Gorbachev (1931- ). Taubman describes how MG went from the son of a peasant from a remote province to the leader of the Soviet Union. The first third of the book is about MG’s early years. The next part of the book reveals his rise to p...

victor rated it ★★★★★

November 03, 2017

To understand the collapse of the Soviet Union, one must understand Gorbachev (at least to what extent he can be understood), and this magnificent biography makes great strides toward achieving that. To survive the political in-fighting so common in Soviet circles was an achievement itself for th...

Carol rated it ★★★★★

November 20, 2017

Mikhail Gorbachev is an extraordinary man, and this is an extraordinary book. Gorbachev is in a sense too good for his times and his country. A man who grew up on a farm during the starving time of the German invasion of Russia, he became an excellent student and a leader when the war ended and h...

JB rated it ★★★★☆

November 03, 2017

An excellent biography of Gorbachev. Especially clear and vivid in the earliest chapters; after his political career begins, it easily meanders into the morass of bureaucracy, which Taubman does not quite sufficiently untangle for the reader. Even so, with so much experience in interviewing Gorba...

Antonio rated it ★★★★★

December 15, 2017

Taubman’s biography of Mikhail Sergeievitch Gorbachev is up to the very high standards he set in his life of Kruschev, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. He has me convinced that the two most significant statesmen of the latter twentieth century were Deng Xiao Ping and Gorbachev. Both faced similar...

Annette rated it ★★★★☆

September 27, 2017

This is a fascinating story of an extremely interesting man. I remember Gorbachev's leadership of the USSR in the late 80's and early 90's, but this book provides lots of insights that I hadn't previously been aware of. Taubman quotes Gorbachev himself as saying that he's not easy to understand -...

Don rated it ★★★★★

September 24, 2017

In 2017, William Taubman, published his book "Gorbachev: His Life and Times" in 2017. He spent 11 years writing this exceptional book. Gorbachev was a renown visionary and remarkable architect of social democratic reform. He influenced the principles for modern world order and economic advancemen...

Susan rated it ★★★★★

March 16, 2018

I’ve always been interested in Gorbachev. In the summer of 1990 a plane I was on circled San Francisco’s airport in order to allow Gorbachev's plane to land (maybe multiple plans since Taubman talked about the number of people and planes often accompanied him). The flight had been from Seattle an...

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