William Taubman is Bertrand Snell Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Amherst College. His 2003 book, Khrushchev: The Man and his Era, won both the Pulitzer Prize for biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography in 2004. Taubman has been the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and chairs the Advisory Committee of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington.
`Vivid and intelligent... Wonderfully cinematic narrative.' -- Neil Ascherson, London Review of Books `A masterpiece of narrative scholarship. It is also the first comprehensive biography of this world-historical figure. Other chronicles of Gorbachev's life and verdicts on his record will follow, but they will be without the trove of personal insights that Taubman has gleaned from his access to Gorbachev himself, his advisers, and other participants in those dramatic years.' -- Strobe Talbott, New York Review of Books `A fascinating, perceptive, and compelling account of the life of a brilliant, driven, but flawed leader... Taubman, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2003 biography of Nikita Khrushchev, once again displays his impressive grasp of the inner workings of the now vanished communist system that made the Soviet Union, for a half century, the most powerful and deadly foe of the West... Magisterial.' -- The Boston Globe `Superb... [Gorbachev] thought he could save the Soviet Union and make socialism great again. In Taubman's hands, the journey is an extraordinary story of one man and history in a tense wrestling match.' -- The Washington Post `Comprehensive and immensely readable.' -- The Economist `Impressive... full of fascinating detail.' -- Peter Conradi, Sunday Times `Nobody before Taubman has achieved an in-depth psychological portrait...what made Gorbachev tick, as a man and a leader, has always been hooded in speculation...A highly readable, reliable and accurate work, one that will be used by all future generations of historians... This monumental biography will become the standard personal portrait, especially of the years before Gorbachev became party secretary. Taubman has charmed more out of him than any of his subordinates ever managed to.' -- Robert Service, Literary Review `This is a meticulously researched, carefully nuanced and immensely readable biography of a remarkable, but insufficiently understood, twentieth century political leader. Taubman's book is destined to remain the fullest and most authoritative life of Gorbachev for years to come.' -- Archie Brown, author of The Myth of the Strong Leader and The Rise and Fall of Communism `William Taubman has now done for Gorbachev what he had previously done for Khrushchev, giving us the full life deeply grounded in the Soviet and Russian archives, here with the added benefit of Gorbachev's complete cooperation. Perhaps a hundred years from now, when our perspective on Russia's role in the world has further clarified, another biography will be needed. For now, however, Gorbachev is the closest thing to the final word that history allows.' -- Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation