Thursday, April 16, 2009
Personally, I feel kind of ambiguous about Gorbachev. I think that the book didn't go into enough detail about him to really pass a judgement, yet I also noted a certain tilt to his actions. When the book mentioned that Gorbachev was a political manuevering genius, I would say that it was understating things. Considering that Gorbachev was allowing free criticism of Soviet policies (thus inciting discontent and possibly revolt as people realize how many share their opinions), it is impressive how long he held power for. Neither the old gaurd nor the revolutionists who wanted to do away with Communism were happy with his policies. Gorbachev walked a middle ground that really just made everyone angry with him, yet he managed to hold power long enough to dismantle communism. Whether or not that was his intention, his uncanny ability to keep all parties hoping for change while playing to his own agenda served him well.