When the United States and the Soviet Union signed the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks accords in 1972 it was generally seen as the point at which the USSR achieved parity with the United States. Less than twenty years later the Soviet Union had collapsed, confounding experts who never expected it to happen during their lifetimes. In From Washington to Moscow veteran US Foreign Service officer Louis Sell traces the history of US–Soviet relations between 1972 and 1991 and explains why the Cold War came to an abrupt end. Drawing heavily on archival sources and memoirs—many in Russian—as well as his own experiences, Sell vividly describes events from the perspectives of American and Soviet participants. He attributes the USSR's fall not to one specific cause but to a combination of the Soviet system's inherent weaknesses, mistakes by Mikhail Gorbachev, and challenges by Ronald Reagan and other US leaders. He shows how the USSR's rapid and humiliating collapse and the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to cooperate respectfully and collegially helped set the foundation for Vladimir Putin’s rise.
Preface: two treaties, two eras First visit to the USSR: things are not as they seem Leonid Brezhnev: power and stagnation Repression and resistance The Nixon years A tale of two cities: Vladivostok and Helsinki The unhappy presidency of Jimmy Carter Two crises and an Olympiad Interregnum: Andropov in power Ronald Reagan's first administration Eagle vs. bear: US and Soviet approaches to strategic arms control Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev ascendant New kid on the block: Gorbachev emerges in US-Soviet relations I guess I should say Michael: the turn in US-Soviet relations 1989: year of miracles or time of troubles? Stumbling toward collapse: Gorbachev's final eighteen months The August coup Red star falling August coup aftermath Why did the USSR collapse?.
Includes bibliographical references and index. Description based on print version record.