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The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991
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On 26 December 1991, the hammer-and-sickle flag was lowered over the Kremlin for the last time. Just six years earlier, when Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and chose Eduard Shevardnadze as his foreign minister, the Cold War had seemed like a permanent fixture in world politics. Until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the standoff between the two superpowers--after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics, and ideas--would end within the lifetime of the current generation. Nor was it at all obvious that the Soviet political leadership would undertake a huge internal reform of the USSR, or that the threat of a nuclear Armageddon could be peacefully wound down. Drawing on pioneering archival research, Robert Service's investigation of the final years of the Cold War pinpoints the extraordinary relationships between Ronald Reagan, Gorbachev, George Shultz, and Shevardnadze, who found ways to cooperate during times of exceptional change around the world-- "A British historian and author investigates the final years of the Cold War from both sides of the Iron Curtain, discussing the relationship between Reagan and Gorbachev whose unprecedented, historic cooperation worked against the odds to end the arms race"--
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