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Gorbachev, Reagan, and Bush
Conversations that Ended the Cold War

Svetlana Savranskaya is a Senior Research Fellow of the Archive and since 2001 the director of the Archive's Russia programs.

Thomas S. Blanton is Director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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.

1070 pages, with a 32-page color photo gallery, 2016
978-963-386-169-1 cloth $99.00 / €95.00 / £80.00

National Security Archive Cold War Reader ISSN: 1587-2416 other titles in the series

"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.". - Choice