Gorbachev and Perestroika

Essay by ArthurCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 1996

download word file, 14 pages 4.4

Downloaded 225 times

The history of the Soviet Union is complicated and fascinating. In the course of only seventy

years this country has seen the development of the totally new system of state, economic growth, the

growth of hopes for the 'brighter future', and then the sudden and expected by no one collapse of

the whole system leading to chaos, wars, and confusion. One period is especially important in order

to realize how did things finally started to change after the seventy years of blindly pursuing the

dream of communism which left the Soviet Union in a very bad economical and moral state, and this

period is called perestroika, Russian for restructuring. The main figure behind this process which

began in 1985 is Mikhail S. Gorbachev who became General Secretary of the Communist Party of

the Soviet Union Central Committee in March 1985. The three books that concentrate on the

'Gorbachev phenomenon' were all unfortunately written before perestroika was finished, so they do

not analyze the consequences that it had for the Soviet Union as well as for the whole world .


the other hand, all three of these books do a good job in explaining the changes that took place in

the course of the first three years after Gorbachev came to power and why were these changes


The first book 'Gorbachev' was written by Zhores A. Medvedev in 1986 and hence the

author is concentrating on the first year of the new course in Soviet history. The book itself basically

consists of two parts: the first part where the author describes the 'making of a General Secretary',

and the second part entitled 'Gorbachev in power' which describes Gorbachev's first year in the

office. The first part of the book gives a lot of background information which allows the reader...