The View from the Guesthouse

The sight was enough to give a Soviet advanceman heartburn. There, in the Great Hall of the People, was a long table set up with microphones and teacups. The rows of chairs were filled with hundreds of journalists, all of whom had to dodge banner-waving marchers, speeding ambulances and mazes of bicycles in Tiananmen Square to make what was supposed to be a 5:45 p.m. press conference by Mikhail Gorbachev. Then, just at showtime, came the news: the session was being moved five miles away to the state guesthouse where Gorbachev was staying in the Diaoyutai compound.

For the fifth --...

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