Shevardnadze: Perestroika's Other Father

Shortly before he became head of the Soviet Communist Party in March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev ambled along a Black Sea beach with his old friend Eduard Shevardnadze, the party chief in Georgia, discussing what needed to be done. "We were walking and talking," Gorbachev recalled later. "We compared notes. He said that everything was rotten through."

Four months later Shevardnadze was named Foreign Minister and Gorbachev's partner in perestroika. The appointment struck the world's chanceries as odd -- the Georgian was a provincial politician with no experience in world affairs -- and as an indication that Gorbachev intended to be his...

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