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Down with Big Brother: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

de Michael Dobbs

Sèrie: Cold War Trilogy (3)

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1195176,692 (4.05)1
"One of the great stories of our time . . . a wonderful anecdotal history of a great drama." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review As Washington Post correspondent in Moscow, Warsaw, and Yugoslavia in the final decade of the Soviet empire, Michael Dobbs had a ringside seat to the extraordinary events that led to the unraveling of the Bolshevik Revolution.  From Tito's funeral to the birth of Solidarity in the Gda´nsk shipyard, from the tragedy of Tiananmen Square to Boris Yeltsin standing on a tank in the center of Moscow, Dobbs saw it all. The fall of communism was one of the great human dramas of our century, as great a drama as the original Bolshevik revolution. Dobbs met almost all of the principal actors, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Václav Havel, and Andrei Sakharov. With a sweeping command of the subject and the passion and verve of an eyewitness, he paints an unforgettable portrait of the decade in which the familiar and seemingly petrified Cold War world--the world of Checkpoint Charlie and Dr. Strangelove--vanished forever. "Down with Big Brother ranks very high among the plethora of books about the fall of the Soviet Union and the death throes of Communism. It is possibly the most vividly written of the lot." -- Adam B. Ulam, Washington Post Book World… (més)
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The most interesting aspect of this book for me was to see the two sides of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. At the time, Gorbachev came across as the wise and caring intellectual, and Boris the corrupt drunk. To see Gorbachev shy away from Democracy himself, debate a return to more authoritarian rule, utterly destroy the economy, and lack of gratitude for the defenders of the White House was an eye opener. Then to see Yeltsin in his prime, brave, determined, the defender of democracy. Humans are complex, and each leader has his 'time'. That time may be a few years or a few minutes in an otherwise unimpressive existence. Many a good leader devolved into a destructive force after a period of time.

The writing is 'light' which makes this an easy read. ( )
  wildfry | Feb 20, 2019 |
Outstanding! An excellent history of the fall of the Soviet Union by a man who was there to observe it in person. Highly recommend. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
Outstanding! An excellent history of the fall of the Soviet Union by a man who was there to observe it in person. Highly recommend. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
Outstanding! An excellent history of the fall of the Soviet Union by a man who was there to observe it in person. Highly recommend. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
read this in condensed form. i don't have much time for reader's digest but as i get older i have some time, only for non-fiction and mysteries. so far i've read this about glasnost and bogart. i enjoyed both and never would have read them except in shortened versions. dobbs wrote a BBC show i liked and will read something else by him. ( )
  mahallett | Feb 12, 2013 |
Es mostren totes 5
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"One of the great stories of our time . . . a wonderful anecdotal history of a great drama." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review As Washington Post correspondent in Moscow, Warsaw, and Yugoslavia in the final decade of the Soviet empire, Michael Dobbs had a ringside seat to the extraordinary events that led to the unraveling of the Bolshevik Revolution.  From Tito's funeral to the birth of Solidarity in the Gda´nsk shipyard, from the tragedy of Tiananmen Square to Boris Yeltsin standing on a tank in the center of Moscow, Dobbs saw it all. The fall of communism was one of the great human dramas of our century, as great a drama as the original Bolshevik revolution. Dobbs met almost all of the principal actors, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Václav Havel, and Andrei Sakharov. With a sweeping command of the subject and the passion and verve of an eyewitness, he paints an unforgettable portrait of the decade in which the familiar and seemingly petrified Cold War world--the world of Checkpoint Charlie and Dr. Strangelove--vanished forever. "Down with Big Brother ranks very high among the plethora of books about the fall of the Soviet Union and the death throes of Communism. It is possibly the most vividly written of the lot." -- Adam B. Ulam, Washington Post Book World

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