RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 33440639 LA English T1 The Gorbachev factor A1 Brown, Archie,, PB Oxford University Press PP Oxford, England; New York YR 1996 SN 0198273444 9780198273448 AB Mikhail Gorbachev was arguably the most important statesman of the second half of the twentieth century. He played the decisive role in ending the Cold War and in allowing the countries of Eastern Europe to regain their independence peacefully. He left Russia a freer country than it had ever been. Although he failed in his attempts to turn the Soviet Union into a genuine federation, he refused to resort to the repression that would have been needed to preserve the USSR intact in the face of opposition from a number of its peoples. What kind of man made this massive difference to his own country, Europe, and the world? What were his views when he became Soviet leader and how did they evolve? Who and what influenced him? When did he move from being a reformer of the Soviet system to becoming the 'grave-digger' of Communism? How decisive for the dramatic changes of the last decade was the Gorbachev factor? In this masterly account, Archie Brown - a renowned authority on Gorbachev and the first Western scholar to predict his importance - answers these questions in fascinating detail. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including the memories (and memoirs) of those who worked most closely with Gorbachev, he combines acute political analysis with new information as he tells the story of Gorbachev's rise and fall - and of his less than seven years in power which changed the course of history.