Gorbachev and Perestroika

Gorbachev and Perestroika - The history of the Soviet Union...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The history of the Soviet Union is complicated and fascinating. In the course of only seventy years this country has seen the development of the totally new system of state, economic growth, the growth of hopes for the "brighter future", and then the sudden and expected by no one collapse of the whole system leading to chaos, wars, and confusion. One period is especially important in order to realize how did things finally started to change after the seventy years of blindly pursuing the dream of communism which left the Soviet Union in a very bad economical and moral state, and this period is called perestroika, Russian for restructuring. The main figure behind this process which began in 1985 is Mikhail S. Gorbachev who became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee in March 1985. The three books that concentrate on the "Gorbachev phenomenon" were all unfortunately written before perestroika was finished, so they do not analyze the consequences that it had for the Soviet Union as well as for the whole world . On the other hand, all three of these books do a good job in explaining the changes that took place in the course of the first three years after Gorbachev came to power and why were these changes necessary. The first book "Gorbachev" was written by Zhores A. Medvedev in 1986 and hence the author is concentrating on the first year of the new course in Soviet history. The book itself basically consists of two parts: the first part where the author describes the "making of a General Secretary", and the second part entitled "Gorbachev in power" which describes Gorbachev's first year in the office. The first part of the book gives a lot of background information which allows the reader to see the stages in development of the Soviet leader from childhood and youth to second-in- command. One thing I found to be particularly interesting in Medvedev's description of Gorbachev's youth and that is the theory that living with a Czech intellectual for five years changed the future Soviet leader in such a way that he became more "westernized" which "indirectly provided the Soviet Union with a new style leader". Medvedev says that during the time from 1950 to 1955 when young Gorbachev attended the Moscow State University and had to share the room with a Czech student Zdenek Mlynar he was "profoundly influenced" by the "culture and attitudes of a traditionally Western nation". This influence lasted for years and the fact that Gorbachev has become "westernized" in his appearance, manners, dress and the "image he projects of tolerance and cordial behavior, all the small signs which mark him as different from the usual Komsomol and Party boss",
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
is according to Medvedev due to a great extent to the fact that Mlynar was Gorbachev's roommate (Medvedev, 1986, p. 43). Although the first part of the book is certainly interesting and important I would
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/19/2009 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Wilis during the Fall '08 term at Academy of Art University.

Page1 / 9

Gorbachev and Perestroika - The history of the Soviet Union...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online