The former leader of the former Soviet Union offers an account of the attempted coup of 1991, describing what transpired during his three days of house arrest and providing an evaluation of his mistakes and oversights as leader. Reprint. NYT.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
This quickly written account of events between August 18 and 22, 1991 does not merely repeat the news accounts of what happened but offers an inside interpretation of why the coup occurred (reactionary forces were unable to break away from the past) and why it eventually failed (necessary popular support never developed). Lessons learned were the need to continue on course of constitutional and democratic reform. Finally, Gorbachev discusses the Union of Sovereign States he had proposed and the needed economic union. Through the soul-searching reflection emerges a man committed to the ideals of both socialism and democracy who has lost his hope of ever reforming the Communist party. Worthwhile and sure to be in demand.
-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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