Soviet Union No Peace for the Prizewinner

Mikhail Gorbachev finally picks a reform program, and Boris Yeltsin promptly picks a fight over who can best end the economic chaos

Fidgety and intent, Mikhail Gorbachev sat on the edge of his leather chair in the presidential box near the front of the Kremlin Hall of Meetings. He wiped his glasses, sipped tea and thumbed a scarlet folder while waiting to take center stage before the Supreme Soviet.

Parliamentary Deputies had assembled last week to hear the contents of the revolution-red binder in Gorbachev's hands: nothing less than a plan to make over the system bequeathed by Lenin, salvage a once proud country from chaos and lead it to the semblance of a Western-style market economy. Even before Gorbachev began to speak,...

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