The Last Superpower Summits

Gorbachev, Reagan, and Bush Conversations that Ended the Cold War
ISBN: 
978-963-386-169-1
cloth
$99.00 / €95.00 / £80.00
Publication date: 
2016
1070 pages, with a 32-page color photo gallery

This book publishes for the first time in print every word the American and Soviet leaders – Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and George H.W. Bush – said to each other in their superpower summits from 1985 to 1991. Obtained by the authors through the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S., from the Gorbachev Foundation and the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow, and from the personal donation of Anatoly Chernyaev, these previously Top Secret verbatim transcripts combine with key declassified preparatory and after-action documents from both sides to create a unique interactive documentary record of these historic highest-level talks – the conversations that ended the Cold War.

The summits fueled a process of learning on both sides, as the authors argue in contextual essays on each summit and detailed headnotes on each document. Geneva 1985 and Reykjavik 1986 reduced Moscow’s sense of threat and unleashed Reagan’s inner abolitionist. Malta 1989 and Washington 1990 helped dampen any superpower sparks that might have flown in a time of revolutionary change in Eastern Europe, set off by Gorbachev and by Eastern Europeans (Solidarity, dissidents, reform Communists). The high level and scope of the dialogue between these world leaders was unprecedented, and is likely never to be repeated.

Preface and Acknowledgements

Main Actors

Chronology of Events

Chapter 1: The Geneva Summit, 1985

Document No. 1: Record of Conversation between Thatcher and Reagan, December 22, 1984
Document No. 2: Memorandum from Yakovlev to Gorbachev: “About Reagan,” March 12, 1985
Document No. 3: Letter from Reagan to Gorbachev, April 30, 1985
Document No. 4: CIA Intelligence Analysis: “Gorbachev, the New Broom,” June 1985
Document No. 5: Record of Main Content of Conversation between Gorbachev and U.S. Senate Delegation, September 3, 1985
Document No. 6: Memorandum Dictated by Reagan: “Gorbachev,” November, 1985
Document No. 7: CIA paper: “Sharing SDI Technology with the Soviets,” November 1, 1985
Document No. 8: Memorandum from McFarlane to the President: “Papers on the Soviet Union: Gorbachev and his Geneva Agenda,” November 12, 1985
Document No. 9: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Private Meeting, Geneva, 10:20 a.m. - 11:20 a.m., November 19, 1985
Document No. 10: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Plenary Meeting, Geneva, 11:27 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., November 19, 1985
Document No. 11: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Plenary Meeting, Geneva, 2:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m., November 19, 1985
Document No. 12: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Private Meeting, Geneva, 3:40 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., November 19, 1985
Document No. 13: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Dinner Hosted by the Gorbachevs, Geneva, 8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., November 19, 1985
Document No. 14: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Third Private Meeting, Geneva, 10:15 a.m. - 11:25 a.m., November 20, 1985
Document No. 15: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Third Plenary Meeting, Geneva, 11:30 a.m. - 12:40 p.m., November 20, 1985
Document No. 16: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Fourth Plenary Meeting, Geneva, 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., November 20, 1985
Document No. 17: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Dinner Hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan, Geneva, 8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., November 20, 1985
Document No. 18: Draft Private Letter from Reagan to Gorbachev, November 28, 1985
Document No. 19: Letter from Gorbachev to Reagan, December 24, 1985

Chapter 2: The Reykjavik Summit, 1986

Document No. 20: Letter from Gorbachev to Reagan, January 14, 1986
Document No. 21: Letter from Reagan to Gorbachev, February 22, 1986
Document No. 22: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Members of the U.S. Congress Fascell and Broomfield, April 4, 1986
Document No. 23: Letter from Gorbachev to Reagan, September 15, 1986
Document No. 24: Meeting in the Secretariat Room with Members of the Politburo and Assistants, September 22, 1986
Document No. 25: Memorandum from Shultz to the President: “Reykjavik,” October 2, 1986
Document No. 26: Gorbachev’s Instructions to the Reykjavik Preparation Group, October 4, 1986
Document No. 27: Notes of a CC CPSU Politburo Session, October 8, 1986
Document No. 28: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Meeting, Reykjavik, 10:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., October 11, 1986
Document No. 29: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Meeting, Reykjavik, 3:30 p.m. - 5:40 p.m., October 11, 1986
Document No. 30: Record of Conversation in the Working Group on Military Issues, October 11-12, 1986
Document No. 31: Transcript of Reagan-Gorbachev Reykjavik Talks, October 12, 1986
Document No. 32: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Fourth Meeting, Reykjavik 3:25 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., October 12, 1986
Document No. 33: Transcript of Gorbachev-Reagan Reykjavik Talks, Final Meeting, October 12, 1986
Document No. 34: State Department: “Lessons of Reykjavik,” October 12, 1986
Document No. 35: Gorbachev’s Thoughts on Reykjavik, October 12, 1986
Document No. 36: Memorandum from Poindexter for the President: “Why We Can’t Commit to Eliminating All Nuclear Weapons Within 10 Years,” October 16, 1986
Document No. 37: Memorandum from Shultz for the President: “Visit of UK Prime Minister Thatcher,” November 12, 1986
Document No. 38: Notes from the Conference with Politburo Members and Secretaries of the Central Committee, December 1, 1986

Chapter 3: The Washington Summit, 1987

Document No. 39: Memorandum from Yakovlev to Gorbachev: “Analysis of the Visit to the USSR of Prominent American Political Leaders (Kissinger, Vance, Kirkpatrick, Brown, et. al.),” February 25, 1987
Document No. 40: Memorandum of Conversation between Gorbachev and Shultz, April 14, 1987
Document No. 41: Plan of Negotiations with Reagan in Washington [Draft dictated by Gorbachev to Chernyaev], May 1987
Document No. 42: Notes of a CC CPSU Politburo Session, July 9, 1987
Document No. 43: Memorandum of Conversation between Gorbachev and Shultz, October 23, 1987
Document No. 44: Memorandum from Abramowitz to the Secretary: “Gorbachev’s Private Summit Agenda,” November 28, 1987
Document No. 45: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Meeting, Washington, 10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., December 8, 1987
Document No. 46: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Meeting, Washington, 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m., December 8, 1987
Document No. 47: Record of Conversation between Akhromeyev and Nitze at the U.S. State Department, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., December 8, 1987
Document No. 48: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Third Meeting, Washington, 10:35 a.m. - 10:45 a.m., December 9, 1987 (with Information Memorandum by Ermarth from December 15, 1987)
Document No. 49: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Fourth Meeting, Washington, 10:55 a.m. - 12:35 p.m., December 9, 1987
Document No. 50: Record of Conversation between Akhromeyev and Carlucci, December 9, 1987
Document No. 51: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Fifth Meeting, Washington, 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m., December 10, 1987
Document No. 52: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Working Luncheon, Washington, 12:40 p.m. - 2:10 p.m., December 10, 1987
Document No. 53: Record of Conversation between Bush and Gorbachev Following Summit, Washington, December 10, 1987
Document No. 54: Notes of a CC CPSU Politburo Session, December 17, 1987

Chapter 4: The Moscow Summit, 1988

Document No. 55: Memorandum of Conversation, Gorbachev-Shultz, Moscow, February 22, 1988
Document No. 56: Notes from a CC CPSU Politburo Session, February 25, 1988
Document No. 57: Notes from a CC CPSU Politburo Session, March 10, 1988
Document No. 58: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Private Session, Moscow, 3:26 p.m. - 4:37 p.m., May 29, 1988
Document No. 59: Memorandum of Conversation: “The President's Meeting with Monks in Danilov Monastery,” Moscow, 2:28 p.m. - 2:47 p.m., May 30, 1988
Document No. 60: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, First Plenary Meeting, Moscow, 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m., May 30, 1988
Document No. 61: Department of State Cable, “The President’s Human Rights Reception a Success,” May 30, 1988
Document No. 62: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Private Meeting, Moscow, 10:08 a.m. - 11:07 a.m., May 31, 1988
Document No. 63: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Second Plenary Meeting, Moscow, 10:05 a.m. - 11:20 a.m., June 1, 1988
Document No. 64: Notes of a CC CPSU Politburo Session “On Reagan’s Visit to Moscow,” June 6, 1988
Document No. 65: Memorandum from Arbatov to Gorbachev, June 1988

Chapter 5: The Governors Island Summit, 1988

Document No. 66: Memorandum from Dobrynin to Gorbachev, September 18, 1988
Document No. 67: Notes from a CC CPSU Politburo Session, November 3, 1988
Document No. 68: Special National Intelligence Estimate: “Soviet Policy During the Next Phase of Arms Control in Europe,” November 16, 1988
Document No. 69: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Private Meeting, Governors Island, 1:05 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., December 7, 1988
Document No. 70: Memorandum of Conversation, Reagan-Gorbachev, Luncheon Meeting, Governors Island, 1:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m., December 7, 1988

Chapter 6: The Malta Summit, 1989

Document No. 71: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 12:33 p.m. -12:46 p.m., January 23, 1989
Document No. 72: CIA Intelligence Estimate: “Moscow’s 1989 Agenda for U.S.-Soviet Relations,” February 1989
Document No. 73: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Getting Ahead of Gorbachev,” March 1, 1989
Document No. 74: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker, Moscow, May 11, 1989
Document No. 75: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Scope Paper--Your Visit to Poland,” June 29, 1989
Document No. 76: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, July 21, 1989
Document No. 77: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Shevardnadze, Washington, 2:00 p.m. - 3:05 p.m., September 21, 1989
Document No. 78: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, November 22, 1989
Document No. 79: Memorandum from Baker for the President: “Your December Meeting With Gorbachev,” November 29, 1989
Document No. 80: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and John Paul II, December 1, 1989
Document No. 81: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, First Expanded Bilateral Meeting, Malta, 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., December 2, 1989
Document No. 82: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, First Restricted Bilateral Meeting, Malta, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., December 2, 1989
Document No. 83: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Luncheon Meeting, Malta, 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m., December 2, 1989
Document No. 84: Memorandum of Conversation: Bush-Gorbachev, Second Restricted Bilateral Meeting, Malta, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., December 3, 1989
Document No. 85: Memorandum of Conversation: Bush-Gorbachev, Second Expanded Bilateral Meeting, Malta, 4:35 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., December 3, 1989
Document No. 86: Memorandum from Rice to Scowcroft, December 5, 1989
Document No. 87: Chernyaev Diary, January 2, 1990

Chapter 7: The Washington and Camp David Summit, 1990

Document No. 88: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Objectives for U.S.-Soviet Relations in 1990,” January 1990
Document No. 89: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 7:04 a.m. - 7:30 a.m., January 31, 1990
Document No. 90: Memorandum of Conversation, Gates-Kryuchkov, KGB Headquarters, Moscow, 3:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., February 9, 1990
Document No. 91: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Kohl, Camp David, 2:37 p.m. - 4:50 p.m., February 24, 1990
Document No. 92: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 7:14 a.m. - 7:51 a.m., February 28, 1990
Document No. 93: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Shevardnadze, Washington, 10:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m., April 6, 1990
Document No. 94: Cable from U.S. Embassy Moscow to Department of State: “Gorbachev Confronts Crisis of Power,” May 11, 1990
Document No. 95: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker (with delegations), Moscow, May 18, 1990
Document No. 96: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Scope Paper--The Gorbachev Summit,” Late May 1990
Document No. 97: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Kohl, 7:34 a.m. - 7:43 a.m., May 30, 1990
Document No. 98: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, First Private Meeting, Washington, 10:54 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., May 31, 1990
Document No. 99: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Bush, Washington, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., May 31, 1990
Document No. 100: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Second Private Meeting, Washington, 11:00 a.m. - 11:48 a.m., June 1, 1990
Document No. 101: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Second Plenary Meeting, Washington, 11:50 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., June 1, 1990
Document No. 102: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Final Private Meeting, Camp David, 11:15 a.m. - 12:59 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., June 2, 1990
Document No. 103: “Briefing Allies on Washington Summit,” U.S. Department of State Cable, June 15, 1990
Document No. 104: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 9:26 a.m. - 10:06 a.m., July 17, 1990

Chapter 8: The Helsinki Summit, Paris, and the War in the Gulf, 1990

Document No. 105: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Baker-Shevardnadze, 1:29 p.m., August 7, 1990
Document No. 106: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, August 20, 1990
Document No. 107: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, August 29, 1990
Document No. 108: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Your Meeting with Gorbachev in Helsinki,” Circa early September, 1990
Document No. 109: Record of Conversation between Bush and Gorbachev, Private Meeting, Helsinki, September 9, 1990
Document No. 110: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Plenary Meeting, Helsinki, 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., September 9, 1990
Document No. 111: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Kohl, 12:36 p.m. - 12:46 p.m., September 11, 1990
Document No. 112: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Shevardnadze, New York, 1:15 p.m. - 1:50 p.m., October 1, 1990
Document No. 113: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, October 20, 1990
Document No. 114: Letter from Gorbachev to Bush, November 6, 1990
Document No. 115: Memorandum from James Baker to the President: “My Day in Moscow, November 8, 1990,” November 9, 1990
Document No. 116: Record of the Main Content of Conversation between Gorbachev and Bush, Paris, November 19, 1990
Document No. 117: Record of the Main Content of Conversation between Gorbachev and Bush, Paris, November 20, 1990
Document No. 118: Letter from Gorbachev to Bush, December 27, 1990
Document No. 119: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 8:02 a.m. - 8:25 a.m., January 11, 1991
Document No. 120: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 9:23 a.m. - 10:34 a.m., January 18, 1991
Document No. 121: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 11:15 a.m. - 11:43 a.m., February 23, 1991

Chapter 9: The Moscow Summit, 1991

Document No. 122: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker, Moscow, March 15, 1991
Document No. 123: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Shevardnadze, Washington, 1:40 p.m. - 2:25 p.m., May 6, 1991
Document No. 124: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 9:03 a.m. - 9:47 a.m., May 11, 1991
Document No. 125: Handwritten Memorandum from Hewett for the President: “President Gorbachev’s Remarks on Relations with the U.S.,” Circa May 25, 1991
Document No. 126: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 4:30 p.m. - 4:49 p.m., May 27, 1991
Document No. 127: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, June 19, 1991
Document No. 128: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Meeting on Soviet Economic Issues and the London Economic Summit,” June 20, 1991
Document No. 129: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 10:00 a.m. - 10:38 a.m., June 21, 1991
Document No. 130: Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, Circa Early July 1991
Document No. 131: Letter from Gorbachev to Bush, July 14, 1991
Document No. 132: Memorandum of Conversation, Gorbachev-Bush, London, July 17, 1991
Document No. 133: Memorandum of Conversation, G-7 Meeting with President Gorbachev, London, 2:20 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., July 17, 1991
Document No. 134: Memorandum from Eagleburger for the President: “Your Visit to the USSR,” July 25, 1991
Document No. 135: Record of Main Content of Conversation between Gorbachev and Bush, First Private Meeting, Moscow, July 30, 1991
Document No. 136: Memorandum of Conversation, Gorbachev-Bush, Expanded Bilateral Meeting, Moscow, 12:55 p.m. - 1:22 p.m., July 30, 1991
Document No. 137: Memorandum of Conversation, Gorbachev-Bush-Nazarbayev, Luncheon Meeting, Moscow, 1:28 p.m. - 2:07 p.m., July 30, 1991
Document No. 138: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Yeltsin, Moscow, 3:55 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., July 30, 1991
Document No. 139: Record of the Main Content of Conversation between Bush and Gorbachev, Novo-Ogarevo, July 31, 1991
Document No. 140: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Kravchuk, Kiev, 1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m., August 1, 1991

Epilogue: Madrid, 1991

Document No. 141: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gonzalez, 1:51 p.m. - 2:02 p.m., August 19, 1991
Document No. 142: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Yeltsin, 8:18 a.m. - 8:35 a.m., August 20, 1991
Document No. 143: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 12:19 p.m. - 12:31 p.m., August 21, 1991
Document No. 144: Memorandum from Scowcroft for the President: “Developments in the USSR,” September 5, 1991
Document No. 145: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 9:22 a.m. - 9:50 a.m., September 27, 1991
Document No. 146: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., October 5, 1991
Document No. 147: Scene Setter for Meeting with President Gorbachev, Circa late October 1991
Document No. 148: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Luncheon Meeting, Madrid, 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m., October 29, 1991
Document No. 149: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, Private Meeting, Madrid, 1:20 p.m. - 2:35 p.m., October 29, 1991
Document No. 150: Record of Dinner Conversation between Gorbachev, Bush, Gonzalez and King Juan Carlos of Spain, October 29, 1991
Document No. 151: Chernyaev Diary, November 2, 1991
Document No. 152: Memorandum of Conversation, Bush-Yakovlev, Washington, 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., November 19, 1991
Document No. 153: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush- Gorbachev, 9:01 a.m. - 9:37 a.m., November 30, 1991
Document No. 154: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Yeltsin, 1:08 p.m. - 1:36 p.m., December 8, 1991
Document No. 155: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Bush-Gorbachev, 3:37 p.m. - 4:11 p.m., December 13, 1991
Document No. 156: Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker, December 16, 1991
Document No. 157: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Gorbachev-Bush, 10:03 a.m. - 10:25 a.m., December 25, 1991

Selected Bibliography

Index

Choice

"The anthology offers a fascinating glimpse into the relationship that defined the waning years of the Cold War—from a hawkish Ronald Reagan softening his tone in his second presidential term to Mikhail Gorbachev's dissolution of the Soviet Union. The volume is thoughtfully laid out, starting with an introduction about the collection, a time line of key dates, and a list of "main actors," which enables readers to keep straight the many names mentioned in the work. Each of the ten summits is covered in a chapter, preceded by a historical essay that provides useful commentary and places transcripts in context. Overall, this is an excellent work issued collaboratively in the "National Security Archive Cold War Readers" series. Summing up: Highly recommended."

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