Soviet Union But Back Home . . .

Suddenly, there is an alternative to Mikhail Gorbachev. For five years, the Soviet President has been putting on a political magic show. His reforms dazzled the world but produced nothing to improve the miserable daily lot of his people. He granted greater freedoms, but those liberties added fuel to the militant nationalism now threatening the fabric of the state. Yet in the midst of his failure to invigorate the economic system, Gorbachev's own grip on power grew stronger after every test. There was, everyone said, no alternative to Gorbachev.

Now there is. He is Boris Yeltsin, 59, the Soviet Union's most...

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