Eurasian Enigma: The Life and Legacy of Gorbachev with William Taubman

"Gorbachev: His Life and Times" by William Taubman
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mikhail Gorbachev, revered by many in the West for his commitment to "openness" and democratizing reforms, has a more mixed reputation in Russia, where he is associated with the fall of an empire. In this episode, William Taubman discusses his new biography of Gorbachev, emphasizing how the leader's personal history and character were reflected in his leadership, and how the policies of Vladimir Putin can be read as a response to Gorbachev’s contested legacy.

"Gorbachev was very vocal. He was trying to explain to his people what he was doing and why, and believing that they would understand and support him. Putin, on the other hand, has learned Machiavelli's maxim, which is it's better to be feared than to be loved. Gorbachev wanted to be loved."

William Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, at Amherst College. He is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Krushchev: The Man and His Era

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Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman

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The Eurasian Enigma, the Davis Center's podcast, features informal and informative conversations about the region that intrigues us so much. Give us 20 minutes and we’ll give you a chance to learn from the experts—from energy policy to cyber surveillance, from arts and literature to contemporary journalism. Subscribe on iTunes, TuneIn, Soundcloud, or Stitcher, and don't miss an episode!