In the mid-1980s Mikhail Gorbachev's political and economic reforms promised a relaxation of tensions between the U.S.S.R. and the United States without disturbing the basic balance of power in Europe established after the Second World War. Then came the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the vast democratic revolution that swept the Soviet empire, creating a power vacuum east of Berlin. Could such an upheaval have been a natural and logical extension of the course of reform that Gorbachev began plotting in 1985?
Gorbachev's Revolution argues persuasively that the end of Communism was never the goal of the Soviet leader but rather the unintended result of an intense and many-faceted struggle for power. Anthony D'Agostino demonstrates that the pervasive image of stable in-system reform in fact ignored evidence from history. Succession struggles in the U.S.S.R. were generally wars of ideas in which the victors got their way by challenging their opponents' interpretations of the past.
Through political memoirs, newspaper accounts, and historical documents, Gorbachev's Revolution demonstrates once again that revolutionaries change the world not only according to their own designs but also according to the world's designs on them.
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