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“As lucid as it is even-handed, this book will become the new standard for anyone seeking to make sense of the chaos, optimism and foolishness that led to the end of Mikhail Gorbachev's attempts at reform and the downfall of the Soviet Union.”—Dr Mark Galeotti, author of A Short History of Russia
“Vladislav Zubok observed the Soviet collapse for himself. He now retells the story with meticulous originality, using much new material, and convincingly deconstructs many simplistic preconceptions of how it all happened.”—Sir Rodric Braithwaite, author of Moscow 1941: A City & Its People at War
“A drama of epic proportions, the Soviet collapse never looked so contingent on human courage and follies, accidents and missed opportunities, as in this book … The best narrative of the Soviet Union’s end we have so far.”—Vladimir Pechatnov, co-editor of The Kremlin Letters
“This is a deeply researched indictment of Mikhail Gorbachev’s timidity and mercurial policies that backfired. Zubok invokes George Kennan’s hope at the dawn of the Cold War that the USSR would experience “gradual mellowing.” Instead, Russia at the turn of the 21st century was ripe for the rise of Putin.”—Strobe Talbott, Former US Deputy Secretary of State and author of The Great Experiment