新书速递|《经济学人》:苏联好男人,非戈尔巴乔夫莫属

2017-09-05 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:米哈伊尔·谢尔盖耶维奇·戈尔巴乔夫(Mihail Sergeyevich Gorbachov)(1931年3月2日-),前苏联政治家,诺贝尔和平奖获得者。1985年上台,出任苏联共产党中央委员会总书记,成为苏联最高领导人。1990至1991年间出任唯一一任的苏联总统,他也是唯一一位在十月革命后出生及唯一一位于二十世纪三十年代出生的的苏联领导人。


截至目前,戈尔巴乔夫是继埃贡·克伦茨(东德)、汉斯·莫德罗(东德)、洛塔尔·德迈齐尔(东德)、尼古拉·伊万诺维奇·雷日科夫(苏联)、伊万·斯捷潘诺维奇·西拉耶夫(苏联)、内梅特·米克洛什(匈牙利)之后,少数还健在的前东方集团的领导人之一。戈尔巴乔夫的头上有一个显著的胎记,为其广为人知的外貌特征,被中国网友戏称为“地图头”。


The story of a good Soviet man

苏联好男人

How Mikhail Gorbachev ended the cold war

戈尔巴乔夫与冷战结束


The peasant boy turned Communist Party boss who liberated his people from 70 years of lies and buried the Soviet Union

戈尔巴乔夫,农民的儿子,苏共总书记,解放了人民,揭开了谎言,送走了苏联


Gorbachev: His Life and Times

By William Taubman. W.W. Norton

《戈尔巴乔夫:他的生活与他的时代》

著者:威廉·陶布曼,出版社:W.W. Norton


ON DECEMBER 23rd 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, and Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, met for eight hours to discuss the transfer of power. At the end, they downed a couple of vodka shots and Mr Gorbachev, feeling unwell, disappeared into his back-office while Yeltsin strode off “as if he were marching along a parade ground”, recalled Alexander Yakovlev, a close Gorbachev ally who had brokered the meeting.

1991年12月23日,苏联最后一位领导人戈尔巴乔夫与俄罗斯第一位总统叶利钦,就权力交接谈判了八个小时,最后,两人干掉几杯伏特加。戈尔巴乔夫,情绪低落,默默走入自己的办公室;叶利钦,则双脚大踏步,据撮合两人会面谈判的戈尔巴乔夫密友雅科夫列夫回忆说,“像正是在阅兵场地踱步前行”。



When Yakovlev went to see his old comrade, he found him lying on a sofa, tears welling. “You see, Sash, this is how it goes,” said Mr Gorbachev, who had just lost his job as the president of the Soviet Union and the country with it. Yakovlev tried to console him, but he too was choking. “A feeling that something unfair had happened was suffocating me. A man who had brought drastic change to the world …was a helpless victim of the cruelty and capriciousness of history.”

当雅科夫列夫过去探看他的老友戈尔巴乔夫同志时,发现他斜躺在沙发上,泪如泉涌。“你看,老雅啊,这就是结果”,刚刚失去苏联总统这个工作以及整个国家的戈尔巴乔夫这样说到。雅科夫列夫也努力安慰戈尔巴乔夫,但他自己也在哽咽。“有一种感觉,某种不公平的事情刚刚发生,令人感到窒息。给世界带来剧变的戈尔巴乔夫,却成为变幻莫测、充满残酷的历史的牺牲品,无依无助。”


It was a history that Mr Gorbachev himself had set in motion. Ever since the end of the Soviet Union, the question of “why” has lingered in Western, Russian and Chinese minds. Why did a man at the head of a superpower undermine his own authority? Did he simply fail to understand the consequences of his actions, or did he act out of courage and vision? How did Mr Gorbachev, the peasant boy turned Communist Party boss in a fedora, become the statesman who liberated his people from 70 years of lies and fear, end the cold war and bury the Soviet Union? Was he a product of the Soviet system, as he claimed, or its “genetic error”, as Andrei Grachev, an earlier biographer described him? What made Gorbachev Gorbachev?

那段历史,正是戈尔巴乔夫他自己启动的。自苏联解体以来,“为什么会这样”这个问题一直在西方、俄罗斯以及中国萦绕。为什么掌管超级苏联的戈尔巴乔夫会自己削减自己的权力?是戈尔巴乔夫没能认识到他行为的后果,还是他基于勇气和愿景而采取了行动?从农民儿子成长为苏共领导人的戈尔巴乔夫,是怎样把他的人民从70年的谎言和恐惧中解放出来的,是怎样结束冷战的,是怎样把苏联送入历史的?戈尔巴乔夫是他自己所称的“苏联体制的产物”,还是自传作家格拉切夫所描述的“苏联基因的变异物”?究竟是什么让戈尔巴乔夫成为了戈尔巴乔夫?


These are the questions William Taubman, an American political scientist, sets out to answer in his comprehensive and immensely readable account of Mr Gorbachev’s life. “Gorbachev is hard to understand,” the former Soviet leader told Mr Taubman, speaking of himself in the third person. The author applies a Tolstoyan lens to Russia’s recent history and displays particular sensitivity in his assessment of a life that would prove richer than politics. It is the logical continuation of Mr Taubman’s biography of Nikita Khrushchev, which won a Pulitzer prize in 2004.


Mr Gorbachev’s use of unnatural and hackneyed Soviet “newspeak” made him seem like an apparatchik. But beneath it was a bedrock of moral instinct and common sense that informed his choices far more than Marxist dogma and Soviet ideology. How did these normal human reflexes survive in a not entirely normal country?


Mr Taubman calls his first chapter “Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth” (from the title of Tolstoy’s semi-autobiographical trilogy), and glimpses some answers there. Mr Gorbachev was born in the village of Privolnoye, in Russia’s southern steppe, in 1931, a breaking-point in Russian history with more drastic consequences, in many ways, than those of the revolution of 1917. Stalin consolidated absolute power in his hands, and unleashed brutal collectivisation and a famine which claimed the lives of two of Mr Gorbachev’s uncles and an aunt and destroyed the Russian peasantry.


One of his grandfathers rejected collectivisation, kept an Orthodox icon in his house and was arrested in 1934 for not carrying out orders to sow; he had no seeds. The other was a communist who welcomed and assisted collectivisation, hung portraits of Stalin and Lenin on his wall and yet was arrested in 1937—to make up the quota for Stalin’s great purges. Miraculously, both grandparents survived. But the brutality of collectivisation and the story of how the communist grandfather was tortured left an enduring sense of injustice.


Another formative memory was that of war. Mr Gorbachev was ten when his father, a gentle and loving man, went to the front and his village was overrun by the Nazis. Mr Gorbachev’s father, mistakenly reported killed, eventually returned home in 1945. As Mr Taubman notes, the close escape of his grandparents and his father from tragedy-in-the-making instilled in the boy a sense of optimism and confidence that sometimes went too far. For all its hardship, he had a happy childhood.


He was proud that he could work with his father in the fields for 20 hours a day, caked in dirt and fuel, operating a huge combine harvester onto which he could clamber from any direction—“even where the reel was revolving and the cutters were gnashing their teeth.” Mr Gorbachev’s hard work was rewarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, which helped him get into Moscow State University, where he met his wife, Raisa.


Mr Gorbachev began his professional life with a set of values that would later define his policies. He rejected physical violence as a way of ruling, believed in dignity and hard work, and respected private life. He was no dissident. Indeed, in many ways he was an exemplary Soviet man—hardworking, of peasant pedigree and lacking bourgeois instincts, such as a desire for private ownership. He believed (and still does) in the high principles of socialism, as preached and yet never practised by the Soviet regime. The paradox was that only a Soviet man who was determined to implement those principles without resorting to lies and violence could dismantle the Soviet regime.


The first attempt to give socialism a human face was made in Czechoslovakia in 1968 by Mr Gorbachev’s closest university friend, Zdenek Mlynar, and others. That it was crushed by Soviet tanks did not turn Mr Gorbachev from the idea of socialism, but made him all the more determined to try it again when he came to power nearly two decades later. Dismantling the Soviet Union was the last thing Mr Gorbachev wanted; he came to save it, not to bury it.


Ironically, it was the power of the general secretary and the party apparatchiks’ continued fear of offending him that allowed Mr Gorbachev to achieve what he did. He did not take over as party leader armed with a grand stra 46 32779 46 15287 0 0 1814 0 0:00:18 0:00:08 0:00:10 3294tegic plan (he would not have lasted long if he had). He simply wanted to improve the dismal living conditions of his countrymen, which mattered more to him than the Soviet Union’s geopolitical status as a superpower, which he took for granted. His instincts told him that if the country were relieved of excessive internal control and its long confrontation with the West, it would right itself under the continuing leadership of the party. His foreign policy flowed from that. It was his humanity rather than his often woolly statements that persuaded Margaret Thatcher that he was a man she could “do business” with.


Yet, revealing as the book is about Mr Gorbachev’s ability to overcome ideological dogmas that required squaring up to the West, it is equally revealing about how Western leaders were unable or unwilling to believe him. This became evident during the presidency of the elder George Bush, some of whose advisers, labelling themselves “realists”, argued that Mr Gorbachev’s reforms made him potentially more dangerous than his predecessors. He was, said Brent Scowcroft, Mr Bush’s national security adviser, “trying to smother us with kindness”.


Even when Mr Gorbachev accepted the fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany and ultimately its membership of NATO, Mr Bush would play to Mr Gorbachev’s weakness for wanting to be lionised, but felt no obligation to help Russia financially or accommodate him politically. “To hell with that! We prevailed. They didn’t. We can’t let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat,” he said to Helmut Kohl, Germany’s chancellor. This triumphalism was misplaced and would later backfire on America.


Mr Taubman argues that those in power in the West lacked the vision and will to extend a Marshall-type plan to Mr Gorbachev’s Soviet Union (and later to Yeltsin’s Russia). Those who had it were no longer in power. In 1991 Mrs Thatcher appealed to Mr Bush: “We’ve got to help Mikhail…Just a few years back, Ron and I would have given the world to get what has already happened here.” If the West did not come to Mr Gorbachev’s aid, she argued, “history will not forgive us.”



Mr Gorbachev’s life—almost uniquely among Soviet leaders—did not end in office, and neither does Mr Taubman’s biography. Incomprehensibly, for modern Russian politicians, Mr Gorbachev emerged from his presidency almost empty-handed; he would earn money advertising Pizza Hut and Louis Vuitton handbags. But his biggest loss was that of his beloved wife and helpmate, Raisa, who died of leukaemia in 1999. In their last days together Mr Gorbachev, wearing a sterilised mask, held her in his giant combine driver’s arms, reminding her of their life together. Mr Gorbachev’s dignified retirement—far more than his politics—helps explain what made Gorbachev Gorbachev: a good man from the Soviet Union.



叶利钦简介


叶利钦:1931年2月1日-2007年4月23日,俄罗斯首任联邦总统。曾历任苏联共产党中央政治局候补委员、苏共莫斯科市委第一书记、苏联俄罗斯联邦最高苏维埃主席。


叶利钦是个充满争议的政治人物,他在苏联共产党年代因矢言打击贪污而声名大噪,但其政权却饱受贪污丑闻困扰。他执政时推动市场经济和民主制,但他采取“休克疗法”以令俄罗斯尽快走上资本主义,却让俄罗斯经济濒临崩溃,最后更曾以武力镇压方式肉体上消灭异见者。


叶利钦在苏联解体中所扮演的角色及言行举动鼓励了俄罗斯联邦内部的分离主义。车臣在其任内以类似叶利钦的方式宣布车臣共和国独立,叶利钦被迫在任内两次向车臣发动攻击,此行为使叶利钦在车臣的支持率大幅下降,并产生了数次死伤惨重的恐怖行动。


叶利钦令苏联解体,使俄罗斯领土对比起前苏联丧失达25%,国力大减,俄罗斯在叶利钦的领导下不再是超级大国,也动摇了他在国民心目中的领导形象。而继任的领导人包括普京和梅德韦杰夫则对叶利钦评价颇高。


1999年12月31日,在踏入2000年前数小时前,叶利钦宣布辞职,当时俄罗斯民众对他的支持率仅为2%。时任总理的弗拉基米尔·普京为代总统,从此叶利钦的政治生涯便告结束。


往期精彩:


今日俄罗斯|《经济学人》:红墙内的男人帮,窥探普京王朝

俄军在行动|《经济学人》:俄冷战后最大军演,剑指北约

新书速递|《经济学人》:历史是一个姑娘,每人都能是化妆师

表达的艺术|《概念摄影》:有人的地方,就有思想的力量,

独家|《CNN》:特朗普就职日收到奥巴马亲笔信全文曝光

哈佛教授有话说|《全球脑库》:川普能否搞定朝鲜、中国?

《德土关系》:德大选在即,土总统向百万德籍土人喊话

面面观|《洞朗对峙结束》:中国、印度外交部都如何表述

民族主义|《关注印度》:印度的民族主义,源远且流长

国际话语权|《唐奖》:中华文化圈的“诺贝尔奖”落座台湾

日本一瞥|《英国媒体》:日本人口问题堪忧,彻底没救了

深度报告|《皮尤研究中心》:中美力量博弈与全球局势变迁


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新书速递|《经济学人》:苏联好男人,非戈尔巴乔夫莫属

新书速递|《经济学人》:苏联好男人,非戈尔巴乔夫莫属

2017-09-05 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:米哈伊尔·谢尔盖耶维奇·戈尔巴乔夫(Mihail Sergeyevich Gorbachov)(1931年3月2日-),前苏联政治家,诺贝尔和平奖获得者。1985年上台,出任苏联共产党中央委员会总书记,成为苏联最高领导人。1990至1991年间出任唯一一任的苏联总统,他也是唯一一位在十月革命后出生及唯一一位于二十世纪三十年代出生的的苏联领导人。


截至目前,戈尔巴乔夫是继埃贡·克伦茨(东德)、汉斯·莫德罗(东德)、洛塔尔·德迈齐尔(东德)、尼古拉·伊万诺维奇·雷日科夫(苏联)、伊万·斯捷潘诺维奇·西拉耶夫(苏联)、内梅特·米克洛什(匈牙利)之后,少数还健在的前东方集团的领导人之一。戈尔巴乔夫的头上有一个显著的胎记,为其广为人知的外貌特征,被中国网友戏称为“地图头”。


The story of a good Soviet man

苏联好男人

How Mikhail Gorbachev ended the cold war

戈尔巴乔夫与冷战结束


The peasant boy turned Communist Party boss who liberated his people from 70 years of lies and buried the Soviet Union

戈尔巴乔夫,农民的儿子,苏共总书记,解放了人民,揭开了谎言,送走了苏联


Gorbachev: His Life and Times

By William Taubman. W.W. Norton

《戈尔巴乔夫:他的生活与他的时代》

著者:威廉·陶布曼,出版社:W.W. Norton


ON DECEMBER 23rd 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, and Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, met for eight hours to discuss the transfer of power. At the end, they downed a couple of vodka shots and Mr Gorbachev, feeling unwell, disappeared into his back-office while Yeltsin strode off “as if he were marching along a parade ground”, recalled Alexander Yakovlev, a close Gorbachev ally who had brokered the meeting.

1991年12月23日,苏联最后一位领导人戈尔巴乔夫与俄罗斯第一位总统叶利钦,就权力交接谈判了八个小时,最后,两人干掉几杯伏特加。戈尔巴乔夫,情绪低落,默默走入自己的办公室;叶利钦,则双脚大踏步,据撮合两人会面谈判的戈尔巴乔夫密友雅科夫列夫回忆说,“像正是在阅兵场地踱步前行”。



When Yakovlev went to see his old comrade, he found him lying on a sofa, tears welling. “You see, Sash, this is how it goes,” said Mr Gorbachev, who had just lost his job as the president of the Soviet Union and the country with it. Yakovlev tried to console him, but he too was choking. “A feeling that something unfair had happened was suffocating me. A man who had brought drastic change to the world …was a helpless victim of the cruelty and capriciousness of history.”

当雅科夫列夫过去探看他的老友戈尔巴乔夫同志时,发现他斜躺在沙发上,泪如泉涌。“你看,老雅啊,这就是结果”,刚刚失去苏联总统这个工作以及整个国家的戈尔巴乔夫这样说到。雅科夫列夫也努力安慰戈尔巴乔夫,但他自己也在哽咽。“有一种感觉,某种不公平的事情刚刚发生,令人感到窒息。给世界带来剧变的戈尔巴乔夫,却成为变幻莫测、充满残酷的历史的牺牲品,无依无助。”


It was a history that Mr Gorbachev himself had set in motion. Ever since the end of the Soviet Union, the question of “why” has lingered in Western, Russian and Chinese minds. Why did a man at the head of a superpower undermine his own authority? Did he simply fail to understand the consequences of his actions, or did he act out of courage and vision? How did Mr Gorbachev, the peasant boy turned Communist Party boss in a fedora, become the statesman who liberated his people from 70 years of lies and fear, end the cold war and bury the Soviet Union? Was he a product of the Soviet system, as he claimed, or its “genetic error”, as Andrei Grachev, an earlier biographer described him? What made Gorbachev Gorbachev?

那段历史,正是戈尔巴乔夫他自己启动的。自苏联解体以来,“为什么会这样”这个问题一直在西方、俄罗斯以及中国萦绕。为什么掌管超级苏联的戈尔巴乔夫会自己削减自己的权力?是戈尔巴乔夫没能认识到他行为的后果,还是他基于勇气和愿景而采取了行动?从农民儿子成长为苏共领导人的戈尔巴乔夫,是怎样把他的人民从70年的谎言和恐惧中解放出来的,是怎样结束冷战的,是怎样把苏联送入历史的?戈尔巴乔夫是他自己所称的“苏联体制的产物”,还是自传作家格拉切夫所描述的“苏联基因的变异物”?究竟是什么让戈尔巴乔夫成为了戈尔巴乔夫?


These are the questions William Taubman, an American political scientist, sets out to answer in his comprehensive and immensely readable account of Mr Gorbachev’s life. “Gorbachev is hard to understand,” the former Soviet leader told Mr Taubman, speaking of himself in the third person. The author applies a Tolstoyan lens to Russia’s recent history and displays particular sensitivity in his assessment of a life that would prove richer than politics. It is the logical continuation of Mr Taubman’s biography of Nikita Khrushchev, which won a Pulitzer prize in 2004.


Mr Gorbachev’s use of unnatural and hackneyed Soviet “newspeak” made him seem like an apparatchik. But beneath it was a bedrock of moral instinct and common sense that informed his choices far more than Marxist dogma and Soviet ideology. How did these normal human reflexes survive in a not entirely normal country?


Mr Taubman calls his first chapter “Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth” (from the title of Tolstoy’s semi-autobiographical trilogy), and glimpses some answers there. Mr Gorbachev was born in the village of Privolnoye, in Russia’s southern steppe, in 1931, a breaking-point in Russian history with more drastic consequences, in many ways, than those of the revolution of 1917. Stalin consolidated absolute power in his hands, and unleashed brutal collectivisation and a famine which claimed the lives of two of Mr Gorbachev’s uncles and an aunt and destroyed the Russian peasantry.


One of his grandfathers rejected collectivisation, kept an Orthodox icon in his house and was arrested in 1934 for not carrying out orders to sow; he had no seeds. The other was a communist who welcomed and assisted collectivisation, hung portraits of Stalin and Lenin on his wall and yet was arrested in 1937—to make up the quota for Stalin’s great purges. Miraculously, both grandparents survived. But the brutality of collectivisation and the story of how the communist grandfather was tortured left an enduring sense of injustice.


Another formative memory was that of war. Mr Gorbachev was ten when his father, a gentle and loving man, went to the front and his village was overrun by the Nazis. Mr Gorbachev’s father, mistakenly reported killed, eventually returned home in 1945. As Mr Taubman notes, the close escape of his grandparents and his father from tragedy-in-the-making instilled in the boy a sense of optimism and confidence that sometimes went too far. For all its hardship, he had a happy childhood.


He was proud that he could work with his father in the fields for 20 hours a day, caked in dirt and fuel, operating a huge combine harvester onto which he could clamber from any direction—“even where the reel was revolving and the cutters were gnashing their teeth.” Mr Gorbachev’s hard work was rewarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, which helped him get into Moscow State University, where he met his wife, Raisa.


Mr Gorbachev began his professional life with a set of values that would later define his policies. He rejected physical violence as a way of ruling, believed in dignity and hard work, and respected private life. He was no dissident. Indeed, in many ways he was an exemplary Soviet man—hardworking, of peasant pedigree and lacking bourgeois instincts, such as a desire for private ownership. He believed (and still does) in the high principles of socialism, as preached and yet never practised by the Soviet regime. The paradox was that only a Soviet man who was determined to implement those principles without resorting to lies and violence could dismantle the Soviet regime.


The first attempt to give socialism a human face was made in Czechoslovakia in 1968 by Mr Gorbachev’s closest university friend, Zdenek Mlynar, and others. That it was crushed by Soviet tanks did not turn Mr Gorbachev from the idea of socialism, but made him all the more determined to try it again when he came to power nearly two decades later. Dismantling the Soviet Union was the last thing Mr Gorbachev wanted; he came to save it, not to bury it.


Ironically, it was the power of the general secretary and the party apparatchiks’ continued fear of offending him that allowed Mr Gorbachev to achieve what he did. He did not take over as party leader armed with a grand stra 46 32779 46 15287 0 0 1814 0 0:00:18 0:00:08 0:00:10 3294tegic plan (he would not have lasted long if he had). He simply wanted to improve the dismal living conditions of his countrymen, which mattered more to him than the Soviet Union’s geopolitical status as a superpower, which he took for granted. His instincts told him that if the country were relieved of excessive internal control and its long confrontation with the West, it would right itself under the continuing leadership of the party. His foreign policy flowed from that. It was his humanity rather than his often woolly statements that persuaded Margaret Thatcher that he was a man she could “do business” with.


Yet, revealing as the book is about Mr Gorbachev’s ability to overcome ideological dogmas that required squaring up to the West, it is equally revealing about how Western leaders were unable or unwilling to believe him. This became evident during the presidency of the elder George Bush, some of whose advisers, labelling themselves “realists”, argued that Mr Gorbachev’s reforms made him potentially more dangerous than his predecessors. He was, said Brent Scowcroft, Mr Bush’s national security adviser, “trying to smother us with kindness”.


Even when Mr Gorbachev accepted the fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany and ultimately its membership of NATO, Mr Bush would play to Mr Gorbachev’s weakness for wanting to be lionised, but felt no obligation to help Russia financially or accommodate him politically. “To hell with that! We prevailed. They didn’t. We can’t let the Soviets clutch victory from the jaws of defeat,” he said to Helmut Kohl, Germany’s chancellor. This triumphalism was misplaced and would later backfire on America.


Mr Taubman argues that those in power in the West lacked the vision and will to extend a Marshall-type plan to Mr Gorbachev’s Soviet Union (and later to Yeltsin’s Russia). Those who had it were no longer in power. In 1991 Mrs Thatcher appealed to Mr Bush: “We’ve got to help Mikhail…Just a few years back, Ron and I would have given the world to get what has already happened here.” If the West did not come to Mr Gorbachev’s aid, she argued, “history will not forgive us.”



Mr Gorbachev’s life—almost uniquely among Soviet leaders—did not end in office, and neither does Mr Taubman’s biography. Incomprehensibly, for modern Russian politicians, Mr Gorbachev emerged from his presidency almost empty-handed; he would earn money advertising Pizza Hut and Louis Vuitton handbags. But his biggest loss was that of his beloved wife and helpmate, Raisa, who died of leukaemia in 1999. In their last days together Mr Gorbachev, wearing a sterilised mask, held her in his giant combine driver’s arms, reminding her of their life together. Mr Gorbachev’s dignified retirement—far more than his politics—helps explain what made Gorbachev Gorbachev: a good man from the Soviet Union.



叶利钦简介


叶利钦:1931年2月1日-2007年4月23日,俄罗斯首任联邦总统。曾历任苏联共产党中央政治局候补委员、苏共莫斯科市委第一书记、苏联俄罗斯联邦最高苏维埃主席。


叶利钦是个充满争议的政治人物,他在苏联共产党年代因矢言打击贪污而声名大噪,但其政权却饱受贪污丑闻困扰。他执政时推动市场经济和民主制,但他采取“休克疗法”以令俄罗斯尽快走上资本主义,却让俄罗斯经济濒临崩溃,最后更曾以武力镇压方式肉体上消灭异见者。


叶利钦在苏联解体中所扮演的角色及言行举动鼓励了俄罗斯联邦内部的分离主义。车臣在其任内以类似叶利钦的方式宣布车臣共和国独立,叶利钦被迫在任内两次向车臣发动攻击,此行为使叶利钦在车臣的支持率大幅下降,并产生了数次死伤惨重的恐怖行动。


叶利钦令苏联解体,使俄罗斯领土对比起前苏联丧失达25%,国力大减,俄罗斯在叶利钦的领导下不再是超级大国,也动摇了他在国民心目中的领导形象。而继任的领导人包括普京和梅德韦杰夫则对叶利钦评价颇高。


1999年12月31日,在踏入2000年前数小时前,叶利钦宣布辞职,当时俄罗斯民众对他的支持率仅为2%。时任总理的弗拉基米尔·普京为代总统,从此叶利钦的政治生涯便告结束。


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