Ten Years That Shook the World: The Gorbachev Era as Witnessed by His Chief of Staff


"In Ten Years That Shook the World, Valery Boldin, a key Gorbachev aide, gives us a ringside seat to one of history's momentous developments - the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union - as well as a glimpse of the top-secret world behind the Iron Curtain. Here is a fascinating new perspective on the events, personalities, and forces involved in the ending of the cold war. Valery Boldin joined Gorbachev's staff in 1981 as an adviser on agricultural questions at a time when Gorbachev was still a lowly bureaucrat. But as Gorbachev's star rose, so did Boldin's. He soon became Gorbachev's right-hand man, first on the Central Committee and eventually as Chief of Staff. He witnessed at first hand the geritocracy that ruled the USSR during the days of Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko, and was thus in an ideal position to observe the combination of baroque maneuvering and genuine vision that propelled Gorbachev to the top. Present at the creation of perestroika - indeed, he was responsible for drafting key speeches and memoranda - Boldin sat in on many of the most fateful meetings of the era, dealing with the secret murder of Polish officers at Katyn, the Chernobyl disaster, the Afghan war, the secession of the Baltic republics, and the eventual disintegration of the Soviet economy and state. This book tells the story of all those events, portraying each of the key figures of the period both as private persons and as public personalities. But above all, this is the saga of Gorbachev himself (and Raisa): supremely intelligent, courageous, and, in the early years at least, visionary - but also personally ambitious, vain, and at times mean-spirited and disloyal to colleagues and subordinates. Boldin remained a progressive communist loyalist to the end, and he finally broke with his master in the vain hope that the Union could be saved." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Adam B. Ulam
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1994


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