Fencing at the Fireside Summit

With candor and civility, Reagan and Gorbachev grapple for answers to the arms-race riddle

The President of the United States offered his vision of a safer world, and the General Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party did not believe a word of it. As the two superpower leaders sat across from each other last week at the bargaining table in an elegant salon in Geneva, Ronald Reagan implored Mikhail Gorbachev to join him in his dream of "rendering nuclear weapons obsolete" with a space-based missile defense system. Coldly fixing Reagan in his gaze, Gorbachev would have none of it. "It's not convincing. It's emotional. It's a dream. Who can control it? Who can monitor...

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