1980-1989 Comeback: Witness: Richard Duncan

The first interview we did with Mikhail Gorbachev, prior to the Geneva summit in 1985, was the first he gave to an American news organization--and contained some important signals. Henry Grunwald, TIME's editor-in-chief, received the call indicating that Gorbachev had agreed to a meeting. Grunwald, managing editor Ray Cave and I [as chief of correspondents] flew by Concorde to Paris and then on to Moscow. When we saw Gorbachev the next day, in the preliminary chitchat, he said, "What was Aeroflot like? I need to know."

Somewhat squeamishly, we replied that we hadn't flown Aeroflot; we'd come over on Air France.


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