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Gorbachev: His Life and Times

In his Gorbachev biography, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy turned into the Soviet system’s gravedigger, why the Communist regime allowed him to destroy it, why Gorbachev’s dream of democratizing the USSR foundered, how he and President Ronald Reagan turned out to be almost perfect partners, and why Gorbachev permitted Eastern Europe to abandon Communism with firing a shot. Taubman’s talk will emphasize the impact of Gorbachev’s personality on his policies and his fate. Svetlana Savranskaya and Michael Dobbs will comment.

Date & Time

Oct. 23, 2017
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Gorbachev: His Life and Times

Image removed.In his Gorbachev biography, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy turned into the Soviet system’s gravedigger, why the Communist regime allowed him to destroy it, why Gorbachev’s dream of democratizing the USSR foundered, how he and President Ronald Reagan turned out to be almost perfect partners, and why Gorbachev permitted Eastern Europe to abandon Communism without firing a shot. Taubman’s talk will emphasize the impact of Gorbachev’s personality on his policies and his fate. Svetlana Savranskaya and Michael Dobbs will comment.

William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College, is the author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2004 and the National Book Critics Circle award in 2003. He chairs the Academic Advisory Committee of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center, and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies in 2009.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Through its residential fellowship programs, public lectures, workshops, and publications, the Institute strives to attract, publicize, and integrate new research into the policy community.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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