How Times Have Changed

The formidably confident Mikhail Gorbachev showed a touch of meekness when the Norwegian ambassador called on him last week. "He came very gently toward us and asked if he could really believe the rumors," Dagfinn Stenseth recalled. "I told him if he was thinking of the Nobel Peace Prize, he could." A smiling Gorbachev later said that he was "deeply moved and excited" and that the honor would provide "support and inspiration" at a critical time in his reform efforts.

Nobel awards have not always been so well received in Moscow. The only other Soviet Peace Prize laureate was the physicist...

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