Gorbachev Touch

A MASTER POLITICIAN, HE GENERATES A SENSE OF PURPOSE, MAKING HIMSELF THE LEADER OF REGIME AND OPPOSITION ALIKE

When Franklin Roosevelt set out to rescue capitalism from the Depression, he had little use for rigidly defined objectives. Improvisation corrected by feedback, that was Roosevelt's way. "The country needs bold, persistent experimentation," he declared. "Take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it and try another. But above all try something."

As Mikhail Gorbachev seeks to save Soviet communism by transforming it, his political style resembles Roosevelt's. His skills had better be at least as formidable as F.D.R.'s because the challenge he faces is even more daunting. The Depression was one rough patch in American history; for the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!