On My Country and the World

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Columbia University Press, 2000 - History - 300 pages
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Here is the whole sweep of the Soviet experiment and experience as told by its last steward. Drawing on his own experience, rich archival material, and a keen sense of history and politics, Mikhail Gorbachev speaks his mind on a range of subjects concerning Russia's past, present, and future place in the world. Here is Gorbachev on the October Revolution, Gorbachev on the Cold War, and Gorbachev on key figures such as Lenin, Stalin, and Yeltsin.

The book begins with a look back at 1917. While noting that tsarist Russia was not as backward as it is often portrayed, Gorbachev argues that the Bolshevik Revolution was inevitable and that it did much to modernize Russia. He strongly argues that the Soviet Union had a positive influence on social policy in the West, while maintaining that the development of socialism was cut short by Stalinist totalitarianism. In the next section, Gorbachev considers the fall of the USSR. What were the goals of perestroika? How did such a vast superpower disintegrate so quickly? From the awakening of ethnic tensions, to the inability of democrats to unite, to his own attempts to reform but preserve the union, Gorbachev retraces those fateful days and explains the origins of Russia's present crisis.

But Gorbachev does not just train his critical eye on the past. He lays out a blueprint for where Russia needs to go in the next century, suggesting ways to strengthen the federation and achieve meaningful economic and political reforms. In the final section of the book, Gorbachev examines the "new thinking" in foreign policy that helped to end the Cold War and shows how such approaches could help resolve a range of current crises, including NATO expansion, the role of the UN, the fate of nuclear weapons, and environmental problems.

Gorbachev: On My Country and the World reveals the unique vision of a man who was a powerful actor on the world stage and remains a keen observer of Russia's experience in the twentieth century.

 

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On my country and the world

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In these three essays, the former Soviet leader discusses the 1917 revolution, the Soviet Union and its demise, and international relations He feels that a 1917 revolution in Russia was inevitable ... Read full review

Contents

PART
1
Was Socialism Built in the Soviet Union?
13
Lets Not Oversimplify A Balance Sheet of the Soviet Years
25
A October and the World
38
Something Worth Thinking About
47
October and Perestroika
55
Does Socialism Have a Future?
67
Summing Up
77
The Very First Steps 139
179
is The Conception 19851991 iSj 19 Overcoming the Cold War
194
The Transitional World Order
208
The New Thinking in the PostConfrontational World
215
The Challenge of Globalization
223
The Challenge of Diversity
231
The Challenge of Global Problems
240
The Challenge of Power Politics
248

A Tragic Turn of Events
83
o Tbilisi Baku Vilnius
94
A Stab in the Backand the Intrigues of Yeltsin
134
is What Lies Ahead?
162
PART THREE
69
The Sources of the New Thinking
71
The Challenge of Democracy
261
The Challenge of Universal Human Values
268
The Beginning of History?
275
Index 239
279
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About the author (2000)

Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1985-1991, and President of the Soviet Union, 1988-1991, currently heads the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow and lectures widely. He is also the author of Perestroika and Soviet-American Relations, The Search for a New Beginning: Developing a New Civilization, and The August Coup: The Truth and the Lessons.George Shriver has translated and edited many books, including Nikolai Bukharin's How It All Began: The Prison Novel and Roy Medvedev's On Soviet Dissent, The October Revolution, Let History Judge, and Post-Soviet Russia (all published by Columbia).

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