Upheaval: Desperate Moves

By burying the Communist Party, Gorbachev tries to seize the initiative from Yeltsin and slow his country's breakup. He may be too late.

Mikhail Gorbachev did not return from his Crimean captivity a hero. Worse, he did not realize it. If he had, he might have better used the drama of his 72 hours in the hands of the secret police to advance his standing among a people disgusted with his halfhearted economic reforms and political vacillation. He could have gone out to thank the Muscovites who had struggled for him as they defied the spectral Stalinists who were trying to bring back the past. He could have publicly embraced his former foe, Boris Yeltsin, and accepted with a flourish the sudden, almost unlimited...

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