The Education of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

An intimate biography of the private man

"The economy is a mess. We are behind in every area . . . We have forgotten how to work."

At the Central Committee Plenum, Jan. 28, 1987

Officials of the Zavorovo state farm near Moscow had prepared carefully for the big day last August. They had even built a special staircase to spare their distinguished visitor the indignity of climbing down a hill to the potato fields below the main road. Mikhail Gorbachev would have none of it. Stepping out of his ZIL limousine, he gave the staircase a dismissive wave and scrambled down the steep incline in his neatly...

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