From the Publisher: Apr 10 1989

Every so often, a story is so important, so dramatic, that TIME devotes a special issue to the subject. Such is the case this week as we explore how Mikhail Gorbachev has transformed the Soviet Union -- and how much remains to be done. Led by Moscow bureau chief John Kohan, eleven reporters and five photographers spent four months crisscrossing the country in pursuit of their stories. "Wherever we went, glasnost opened doors for us," says Kohan. "There are opportunities for journalists that would have been unthinkable a few years ago."

What also distinguishes this issue is the unprecedented involvement of...

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