A Letter From the Publisher: Mar. 28, 1988

When TIME's editors chose Mikhail Gorbachev as 1987's Man of the Year, five correspondents traveled thousands of miles and filled scores of notebooks to piece together the biography of the Soviet leader. They interviewed dozens of the General Secretary's colleagues, onetime schoolmates, the handful of foreigners who had met him over the years and others who had encountered the former Privolnoye farm boy on his remarkable journey to the Kremlin's top job. As the correspondents filed their reports, Managing Editor Henry Muller was impressed with the amount of new information they had uncovered about Gorbachev's early life and his rise through...

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