Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Taubman talks with Dr. Gail Saltz about the life and times of Mikhail Gorbachev — how the peasant boy became the Soviet system’s gravedigger; how he clambered to the top of a system designed to keep people like him down; how he found common ground with America’s arch-conservative president Ronald Reagan, and how he permitted the USSR and its East European empire to break apart without using force to preserve them.
Taubman and Saltz discuss the many sides of Gorbachev’s unique character that, by Gorbachev’s own admission, made him “difficult to understand.” Was he in fact a truly great leader, or was he brought low in the end by his own shortcomings, as well as by the unyielding forces he faced?
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Many of you have asked how you can help 92Y as we face tremendous financial losses due to Covid-19. From now through June 30, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000 by an anonymous donor—going twice as far in supporting 92Y. You can help sustain our beloved institution and support the creation of new, online programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to our community. Thank you for anything you can do to help.