The Chrome-Dome Scenario

With new urgency, an old joke is making the rounds in Moscow. It may not be a knee slapper, but the times make it worth retelling. Shifts in Soviet leadership have historically moved from the bald to the hirsute: from the chrome-dome Lenin to the brush-cut Stalin; from Khrushchev to Brezhnev; from Andropov to Chernenko. Which brings everyone to Mikhail Gorbachev, who is nearly as bald as a darning egg, and to the upstart Boris Yeltsin, whose mane of graying locks ruffles conspicuously these days in the winds of change.

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