In the mid- to late 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on a new path for the Soviet Union by introducing significant changes to his country’s domestic and foreign policies, which eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the Cold War. Gorbachev’s glasnost resulted in a crucial shift toward more open dialogue not only within the Soviet Union but also with….
In January 1981, Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity Movement in Poland, along with other participants in the opposition, traveled to Italy. In response to this visit, the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union sent a telegram to the Soviet ambassador in Italy instructing him on how to handle the visitors. The instructions advised the ambassador to meet with the leader….
Images of 1989 tend to center on dramatic events in Berlin, in Beijing, in Bucharest, and in Johannesburg, just to name a few. Visions of mass demonstration and popular uprising predominate. Even in places like the former Czechoslovakia, where peaceful transition occurred in a "velvet" revolution, the perception is one of overthrow of state authority in the name of popular reform. Lost in these….