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Unformatted text preview: t strongly support the policies of Yevgeny Primakov (the Russian prime
minister who was fired not long afterward) row after row of eyes began to glaze. He earnestly asked why there was “some kind of a dislike
of Primakov that is widespread in this country,” unaware that few Americans knew who Yevgeny Primakov was and even fewer cared about
him, one way or the other. I counted at least half a dozen people seated near me in the Grand Ballroom who fell asleep during Gorbachev’s
speech. The executive right beside me suddenly awoke in the middle of a long anecdote about how the Mongol invasion had affected the
Russian character in the Middle Ages. The executive seemed startled and unaware of his surroundings, then glanced at the podium for a
moment, felt reassured, and drifted back to sleep, his chin resting flat on his chest.
Gorbachev sounded like a politician from a distant era, from a time before sound bites. He was serious, long-winded, and sometimes
difficult to follow. His mere prese...
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- Spring '08