Politics, Diplomacy, and the Media: Gorbachev's Legacy in the West

Synopsis

Mikhail Gorbachev was a major force at the center of political change in the latter half of the 20th century. His emphasis on the spoken word and the visual image was so pronounced that the character of the reform program he introduced became both a reflection and an extension of his own political persona. To promote his political program, Gorbachev depended upon the media to assist him in delivering his message and restructuring the Soviet experience; it was almost as if he believed that he could talk a revolution into existence. He hoped to promote both real and symbolic change, but found instead that such efforts led to his own downfall.