This memoir by the second most powerful Communist Party leader during the early Gorbachev years provides an important alternative view of the USSR's transformation?a view that is gaining ground in Russian politics today. In a substantial new piece for this edition, Mr. Ligachev outlines the political agenda of today's communist coalition?the establishment of a new Soviet Union, with strong economic and political integration of its member-states.Yegor Ligachev, a seasoned Party boss from Siberia, made a solid career for himself in the capital during the Khrushchev era, but, following Khrushchev's ouster, chose to retreat to the provinces. In 1985, his political patrons brought him back to Moscow to help them build a dynamic new leadership team under Mikhail Gorbachev. The two reform-minded communists launched an effort to inject life and energy into the Party, economy, and society through a series of liberalizing measures. But when Ligachev saw the reforms moving into a revolutionary phase that could result in the Party's loss of control over the helm of state, he found himself increasingly siding with the opposition.In this gripping book, Ligachev describes the evolving confrontation between opposing forces at high-level Party meetings and sessions of the Politburo as well as in less formal conversations. Along the way, he gives revealing glimpses not only of Gorbachev but also of Yuri Andropov, Andrei Gromyko, Alexander Yakovlev, Eduard Shevardnadze, Boris Yeltsin, and other top leaders. Notorious events such as the 1989 massacre in Tbilisi and the Gdlyan/Ivanov affair?in which, Ligachev argues, he was unjustly implicated?are also highlighted.
Table of Contents
* Inside the Kremlin and Old Square * The Gorbachev Enigma: In the Trap of Radicalism * Harbinger of Disaster * The Tbilisi Affair * Gdlyan and Others * Ghosts of the Past * Witch Hunt * Our Own Path * Afterword: Russia Before the StormLife Cannot Go on Like This