The Rise and Rise of Raisa Gorbachev

A different kind of wife

Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev were dining with Margaret and Denis Thatcher during their 1984 visit to Britain, and the talk got around to the working class. In his country, the Soviet leader-to-be asserted, "we are all working class."

"No, we are not," his wife objected. "You are a lawyer." Gorbachev conceded, "Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it is just a sociological term."

That exchange has never been reported in the Soviet Union, nor was Gorbachev's confirmation to Tom Brokaw last month that he discussed "Soviet affairs at the highest level" with Raisa. If it were known that Raisa had once contradicted...

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