A ‘learned, careful and densely researched history of the last decade of the Cold War’ and ‘a fascinating and instructive read’. ‘Not all readers will agree with [Brown’s] views, but everybody will learn something from this first-class book’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
In this penetrating analysis of the role of political leadership in the Cold War's ending, Archie Brown shows why the popular view that Western economic and military strength left the Soviet Union with no alternative but to admit defeat is wrong. To understand the significance of the parts played by Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in East-West relations in the second half of the 1980s, Brown addresses several specific questions: What were the values and assumptions of these leaders, and how did their perceptions evolve? What were the major influences on them? To what extent were they reflecting the views of their own political establishment or challenging them? How important for ending the East-West standoff were their interrelations? Would any of the realistically alternative leaders of their countries at that time have pursued approximately the same policies? The Cold War got colder in the early 1980s and the relationship between the two military superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, each of whom had the capacity to annihilate the other, was tense. By the end of the decade, East-West relations had been utterly transformed, with most of the dividing lines -including the division of Europe- removed. Engagement between Gorbachev and Reagan was a crucial part of that process of change. More surprising was Thatcher's role. Regarded by Reagan as his ideological and political soulmate, she formed also a strong and supportive relationship with Gorbachev (beginning three months before he came to power). Promoting Gorbachev in Washington as a man to do business with, she became, in the words of her foreign policy adviser Sir Percy Cradock, an agent of influence in both directions.
‘In The Human Factor, a masterly survey of the end of the cold war and the roles played in it by Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Archie Brown observes that “it was transformative change in the Soviet Union that was by far the most crucial development … The liberalisation and evolving democratisation of the Soviet political system, accompanied by the new freedom of speech, contributed greatly to the growth of international trust’ Tony Barber, Financial Times
The Human Factor Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War
Hardback (24 Mar 2020) | English
Includes delivery to USA
10+ copies available online - Usually dispatched within 7 days