Mickhail Gorbochev was born in 1931 to a pro-Communist peasant family who worked in a collective farm in Stravopol. introduced to the works of Marx, Lenin, and Engels by his grandfather, he was encouraged to get an education as well as become a dedicated Communist.
He listened, and 1955, became a member of the Komosol- a Communist Youth Organisation- whilst studying and graduating with a Degree in Law. It was during this time as well that he married fellow university student Raisa Titirenko. He ascended his position in the Komosol so that by the time he graduated with a degree in Economics in 1967, he was the highest ranking Komosol official in his town of birth.
Soon after in 1971, Gorbochev was promoted as a member of the Communist Party Central Committee. From hereon he is promoted to numerous positions including Minister for Agriculture, to head of thr KGB and was increasingly gaining a reputation as a skilled reformist and technocrat.
He finally ascended to the position of General Secretary of the CPSU in 1985.
GOrbochev entered office at a critical period in CW history. The SU was 'teetering on the edge of bankruptcy', and people within the SU were becoming dissatisfied as they saw their regression compared to the prospering democratic capitalistic West. He aimed to introduce reformist policies that would take the SU in the direction of a social democracy.
The first was the policy of 'glasnost', or 'openness'. This was aimed at creating a civil society by giving people more freedom of speech and media. The second policy was that of 'perestroika', or 'reconstruction'. This aimed to replace the stagnating planned economy with a free market economy.
The most effective of Gorbochev's policies which contributed greatly to the Cold War were his changes in foreign policies. Initially,