The Man Who Changed the World: The Lives of Mikhail S. Gorbachev

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9780060921200: The Man Who Changed the World: The Lives of Mikhail S. Gorbachev

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From Library Journal:

Of the many works on Gorbachev and his policies, Sheehy's perhaps best conveys her subject's ambition and self-assurance in a life of profound discontinuity. While Sheehy ( Passages; Character: America's Search for Leadership, LJ 8/88) lacks a clear sense of the institutions shaping Gorbachev, she has assembled a wealth of material from perceptive interviews with lifelong acquaintances and colleagues. Indeed, their candor confirms Sheehy's conclusion that Gorbachev's "most important legacy" lies in the "lifting of fear and the creation of a new political generation." Her appraisal of Raisa's importance in her husband's life seems beyond doubt. Nevertheless, the work suffers from certain flaws. Plausible detail becomes certainty; facile phrases often take the place of analysis; and Gorbachev's life before the 1985 elevation to General Secretary is disproportionately emphasized. Many readers will find Sheehy has done little to make Gorbachev less enigmatic. Nevertheless, the interview material is fascinating and valuable. Recommended for larger universities and public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/90.
- Zachary T. Irwin, Beh rend Coll., Penn State-Erie
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

YA-- A riveting book. Sheehy's narrative style is conversational and breezy, but the ease with which this book may be read should not mislead anyone as to its serious and rigorous scholarship. She hunts down the enigmatic character of Gorbachev as a sleuth would uncover an intriguing, challenging mystery. She fits bits of evidence together until, piece by piece, a mosaic begins to emerge of a dominant, confident, energetic, fascinating man who is doomed to failure. One of the book's values lies in the contemporary look at how the USSR really works, and how the people suffer, cope, and survive. Sheehy's work is better than any classroom course on the USSR because it is nontheoretical, reality-based, and grounded in the Soviet people themselves. Students will love it.
- Vicki Fox, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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