America Abroad: The General Secretary in His Labyrinth

The General Secretary in His Labyrinth

It is harder for a traveler in the Soviet Union to find someone who has anything good to say about Mikhail Gorbachev than it was for Diogenes the Cynic, in his wanderings through the streets of Athens in broad daylight with a lantern, to find an honest man. Gorbachev's unpopularity can be understood only as part of what is happening to the country as a whole, no matter who tries to govern from the Kremlin.

Gorbachev is blamed for the crisis in the economy. But the Soviet system for providing its citizens with the basics of life has always been a...

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