Written from the inside, this is the first full biography of the charismatic Russian leader and hero of the August coup attempt, and the driving force behind the creation of the new independent commonwealth. Few political leaders have so electrified the world in recent years as Boris Yeltsin, the first democratically elected leader in Russia's thousand-year history and the man upon whom all eyes were centered in August 1991, and then again in December. Even before the abortive coup, however, he was a complex figure constantly in the news for his history-making moves, his battles with Mikhail Gorbachev, and his sometimes flamboyant personal life. Solovyov and Klepikova are uniquely positioned to provide the first full investigative biography of Yeltsin, one that goes far beyond existing biographies and official accounts, including Yeltsin's own politically cautious autobiography. The writers are closely connected with Yeltsin's friends and opponents alike, and are founders of the Soviet Union's first independent press agency and authors of two investigative works on Soviet leaders. Written with the help and cooperation of dozens of insiders, including many of Yeltsin's own inner circle, theirs is a behind-the-scenes look at Yeltsin's rise and fall and rise again, at his headlong political transformation, his no-holds-barred duel with Gorbachev, his stunning maneuvers during the crisis, the rise of the entire democratic movement in the Soviet Union, and his radical reshaping of a once monolithic nation--the new Russian revolution. In part political thriller, in part cutting-edge analysis, this is the book that must be read to understand what Yeltsin--and the new Russia--may have in store for us.