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Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders

Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders


  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521892445

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About the Authors
  • Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders examines the strategies employed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin to build leadership authority. Political leaders often use a combination of coercion, material reward, and persuasion, but Professor Breslauer focuses on the power of ideas, as leaders use them to mobilize support and to craft an image as effective problem solvers, indispensable consensus builders, and symbols of national unity. In Khrushchev and Brezhnev as Leaders: Building Authority in Soviet Politics (1982), he documented Khrushchev's and Brezhnev's domestic policy strategies; this book handles domestic and foreign policies. All chapters compare Gorbachev and Yeltsin and Khrushchev and Brezhnev, mostly analyzing the changes in policy, the strategies, and the political dilemmas that are common to all four administrations. The book discusses the ways in which authority building was affected by political constraints unique to each of the stages.

    • Book is written so as to appeal to the general, educated public, as well as to an audience of intelligent students and scholars
    • Both the only book to compare Gorbachev and Yeltsin as leaders, and the only book to sustain that comparison to their major predecessors as well
    • Employs a wealth of new material now becoming available in the former Soviet Union
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'George Breslauer's Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders is the most insightful analysis of recent Russian statecraft yet to appear. Unlike many scholars who treat Gorbachev and Yeltsin as either heroes or failures, Breslauer carefully balances their successes and their shortcomings, examines conflicting interpretations of events, and offers a fascinating comparison of their respective styles of leadership. The book is a landmark in the study of political leadership and of Russian politics. It cannot be ignored by anyone seriously interested in present-day Russia.' Jack F. Matlock, Jr, Princeton University (Former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union)

    'This is the first book that puts Boris Yeltsin's leadership of Russia solidly into a historical perspective, and it's likely to be the best for a long time to come. It's more than a work of history: its insights into the forces that have shaped Russia's transition are of direct relevance to the task of charting US and Western policy toward that process as it continues … George Breslauer has performed a service to scholarship, statesmanship and the challenge facing everyone who recognizes the importance of the drama underway in the heart of Eurasia.' Strobe Talbot, Yale University (Former Deputy Secretary of State)

    'George Breslauer has provided an exceptionally clear-headed analysis of Gorbachev and Yeltsin as transformational leaders. He brings to this interpretation and evaluation of their historic roles both impressive insight and deep understanding of the Soviet and post-Soviet political context.' Archie Brown, Oxford University

    '… a superb analysis, packed with deep insights and expressed in beautifully clear and logical prose … The result is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of an extraordinary era in world politics.' International Affairs

    'George Breslauer 's new book … is impressive … a more balanced judgement would be difficult to achieve …'. Acta Politica

    '… a compelling analysis …'. Slavonica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521892445
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Leadership strategies after Stalin
    2. Gorbachev and Yeltsin: personalities and beliefs
    3. The rise of Gorbachev
    4. Gorbachev ascendant
    5. Gorbachev on the political defensive
    6. Yeltsin versus Gorbachev
    7. Yeltsin ascendant
    8. Yeltsin on the political defensive
    9. Yeltsin lashes out: the invasion of Chechnya (December, 1994)
    10. Yeltsin's many last hurrahs
    11. Explaining leaders' choices, 1985–99
    12. Criteria for the evaluation of transformational leaders
    13. Evaluating Gorbachev as leader
    14. Evaluating Yeltsin as leader.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Topics in European History
  • Author

    George W. Breslauer, University of California, Berkeley

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