The Presidency: Getting Gorby on the Line

Getting Gorby on the Line

"Just decided. Just placed the call, and his phone rings. It works." That was from George Bush. He was talking in the filtered sunlight of the Oval Office about the three times he has reached out and touched Mikhail Gorbachev. The first time was just after Bush took over the presidency. The second call came in January, when German unification was hot, the third in February, after the Nicaraguan elections.

Last week, with the Lithuanian situation coming to a boil, Bush noted that Britain's Margaret Thatcher had phoned Gorbachev. Bush wondered aloud to aides if he should call Gorbachev again. Bush...

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