Book Review

The Views of the Man Who Ended the Cold War J R Book Critique A Review of: Gail Sheehy. The Man Who Changed the World- The Lives of Mikhail S. Gorbachev. New York, NY. 1990. Mikhail Gorbachev. Perestroika- New Thinking for Our Country and the World. New York, NY. 1987. The two books that I am critiquing are about Mikhail Gorbachev and his political policies. The first book is called The Man Who Changed the World- The lives of Mikhail S. Gorbachev by Gail Sheehy. The second is Perestroika- New Thinking for Our Country and the World by Mikhail Gorbachev. Gail Sheehys book is a biography of Gorbachev from birth until present times, and it really helps in understanding the second book, Perestroika, which is about Gorbachevs political policies that turned the Soviet Union upside down. These books complement each other very well. The Man Who Changed the World is a well-covered look at Gorbachevs life- his roots, his early life, and how he rose into power. It gives some reasoning as to why he is not the typical Russian Communist Party leader. The most startling fact I discovered about Gorbachev is that he is not technically Russian. Both sets of his grandparents were Ukrainian Cossacks. Cossacks were much like the pilgrims were to early America. The Cossacks were groups of people who had escaped from oppressive conditions and migrated north in search of religious and political freedoms. Gorbachev had rebel blood from the very beginning- and was far from the typical submissive Russian peasant farmer. These people formed their own towns and tried to become self-sufficient in Russias mother-land in the south. He was born in 1931, during the heart of the Great Depression, and during some of the worst times that Russia was to experience. Stalin was basically creating a state sponsored famine with the way he was managing the countrys food supply, and the strict …

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