Moscow's Vigorous Leader

Confident and tough, Gorbachev gets set for the Great Communicator

Though he has been in power less than six months, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev has already become a more vibrant presence to the 278 million citizens of the U.S.S.R. than his recent aged and often ailing predecessors. Promising a top-to-bottom shakeup of the lethargic state bureaucracy, cracking down on alcoholism, mingling with street crowds in the manner of a handshaking, baby-kissing American politician, Gorbachev (pronounced Gor-ba- choff) is the most vigorous Soviet leader in a generation. At 54, he could be expected to have a long career as the ruler of a superpower. His personality and political instincts ensure that the Western...

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