Voices of Glasnost: Conversations with Gorbachev's Reformers

Voices of Glasnost: Conversations with Gorbachev's Reformers

Voices of Glasnost: Conversations with Gorbachev's Reformers

Voices of Glasnost: Conversations with Gorbachev's Reformers

Synopsis

An inside account of the events unfolding in the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev. In a series of interviews, 14 leaders of Gorbachev's reforms talk about their personal and political struggles to change the Soviet Union.

Excerpt

Most of us in the West get our knowledge and perceptions of the Soviet Union from television and newspaper reports. This book of candid interviews with fourteen Soviet public figures offers readers a more direct kind of access to the historic reforms known as perestroika, or restructuring, that have been underway in that country. since Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in 1985. It is, so far as we know, the first book of this kind, at least by Americans.

All of the people in Voices of Glasnost are what have become known in Moscow as perestroishchiki—outspoken proponents, some of them even architects, of Gorbachev's most radical reforms. As the Soviet press frequently characterizes the ongoing struggle over change, they are on "the barricades of perestroika." To give a merely formal example of their involvement, ten of the people in this book were elected to the newly created Congress of People's Deputies in the Soviet Union's first quasi-democratic national elections, in 1989, and most of the others were candidates or activists in the process. As readers will understand, Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, has also made audible the voices of people who oppose or who are skeptical of his leadership, but they are not the subject of this book. Finally, all of the people interviewed here are intellectuals of one kind or another, and most of them belong to the Gorbachev generation—men and women who began their careers during the first period of post-Stalin reform, in the 1950s, under Nikita Khrushchev.

In other respects, however, Voices of Glasnost brings together a diverse group of Soviet reformers, ranging from politicians and a poet to journalists, scholars, and an actor. Even the political figures among them have had different "fates," as Russians often refer to their lives. They include the Politburo member who is almost certainly Gorbachev's staunchest supporter in the top leadership, as well as three other full or candidate members of the Central Committee who are or who have been advisers to Gorbachev, but also a once high-ranking political . . .

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