Mikhail Gorbachev

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pages: 449 words: 127,440

Moscow, December 25th, 1991 by Conor O'Clery

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Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School

The job of the colonels—three are assigned to guard the case, but one is always off duty—is to help the president, if ever the occasion should arise, to put the strategic forces on alert and authorize a strike. There are three nuclear suitcases in total. One is with Mikhail Gorbachev, another is with the minister for defense, and a third is assigned to the chief of the general staff. Any one of the devices is sufficient to authorize the launch of a missile, but only the president can lawfully order a nuclear strike. So long as Gorbachev possesses the chemodanchik, he is legally the commander of the country’s strategic forces, and the Soviet Union remains a nuclear superpower. This all changes on December 25, 1991. At 7:00 p.m., as the world watches on television, Mikhail Gorbachev announces that he is resigning. The communist monolith known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is breaking up into separate states.

On December 25, 1991, the country that defeated Hitler’s Germany simply ceases to exist. In Mikhail Gorbachev’s words, “One of the most powerful states in the world collapsed before our very eyes.” It is a stupendous moment in the story of humankind, the end of a millennium of Russian and Soviet Empire, and the beginning of Russia’s national and state renaissance. It signals the final defeat of the twentieth century’s two totalitarian systems, Nazi fascism and Soviet communism, which embroiled the world in the greatest war in history. It is the day that allows American conservatives to celebrate—prematurely—the prophecy of the philosopher Francis Fukuyama that the collapse of the USSR will mark the “end of history,” with the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. Mikhail Gorbachev created the conditions for the end of totalitarianism, and Boris Yeltsin delivered the death blow.

Out of his window he can see the wide Moscow river as it begins a loop southwest like a horseshoe, past the Kievsky Railway Station, around Luzhniki sports stadium, back northeast by Gorky Park, and around the ramparts of the Kremlin two miles distant, where Mikhail Gorbachev is also grabbing a quick lunch and fighting fatigue and the onset of influenza as he prepares for the speech that will mark his transition from presidential to civilian life. Yeltsin will take Gorbachev’s place there behind the Kremlin’s high, red-brick walls, completing the remarkable resurrection that began four years ago, when he was left a broken man, physically and psychologically, and demoted from Moscow party chief to the junior post of first deputy chairman of the state committee for construction. CHAPTER 9 BACK FROM THE DEAD Mikhail Gorbachev’s warning to Boris Yeltsin in November 1987 that he would never let him into politics again left the former Moscow party chief with a sense of despair.


pages: 323 words: 95,188

The Year That Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Michael Meyer

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Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, union organizing

“Changed his mind. Decided it was too risky.” In the news business, too risky means “bad for one’s career.” The reporter opting out concluded that Germany and Eastern Europe were too far off America’s radar screen. Not much was happening. He feared he wouldn’t get into the magazine. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. For fifty years, Europe had been frozen. Now a new man was in charge: Mikhail Gorbachev. Change was afoot. You could feel it. I remember, vividly, thinking I would have perhaps a year or two to see the old Europe, a part of the continent that had been cut off behind the Iron Curtain, as if under glass, before it all went away. In my youthful enthusiasm, I considered it an almost anthropological adventure, a chance of a lifetime. “When do I leave?” I asked. As soon as you can was the reply.

If its symbol is the Berlin Wall, coming down as Ronald Reagan famously bid it to do in a speech in Berlin in 1987, the operational model was Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania. “Once the wicked witch was dead,” as Francis Fukuyama, the eminent political economist, has put it, “the munchkins would rise up and start singing joyously about their liberation.” It is true that instead of seeking to contain the former Soviet Union, as previous administrations had done, the United States under Ronald Reagan chose to confront it. He challenged Mikhail Gorbachev not only to reform the Soviet system from within but to “tear down this wall.” Yet other factors figured in this equation, not least a drop in oil prices from roughly $40 a barrel in 1980 to less than $10 a decade later, not to mention the Soviet leader’s own actions. Even less well-known is Ronald Reagan’s political evolution. From hardened cold war warrior, he softened both his rhetoric and his policies to the point where his administration became the very model of enlightened diplomatic engagement—the antithesis of hard-right confrontation.

Large sheets of bulletproof glass shielded the president from the rear. Unseen from the Western side, crowds of East Germans gathered to hear Reagan, hoping loudspeakers would project his voice across the divide. East German police pushed them back, the president was told. This in itself was a demonstration of all that Reagan hated about communism, and he punched out his words with angry force—a direct exhortation, delivered personally, to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan began slowly, speaking of other American presidents who had come to Berlin, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, honoring their duty to speak out against what he called “the scar” that split the city. He spoke of America’s efforts to save Berlin after the war—aid under the Marshall Plan, the Berlin airlift of food and medicine when the Red Army cut supply lines to the West. Echoing the old Marlene Dietrich song, he joked that he kept a “suitcase” in Berlin—Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin—a metaphor of solidarity with this outpost of freedom so isolated behind enemy territory.


pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

She made wonderful suggestions—in tone, substance, and wording for this project—as she has throughout all our projects, including that of sharing a life together. Notes INTRODUCTION 1 “Truly Shakespearean passions”: Mikhail Gorbachev, letter to the prime minister of Iceland, the mayor of Reykjavik, and participants of the seminar on the tenth anniversary of the summit, September 10, 1996. 2 Cold War historian Don Oberdorfer: Don Oberdorfer, “At Reykjavik, Soviets Were Prepared and U.S. Improvised,” Washington Post, February 16, 1987. 2 “wearying and grueling arguments”: Ibid. 2 “no one can continue to act as he acted before”: Mikhail Gorbachev, Reykjavik: Results and Lessons (Moscow, 1990). 3 “No summit since Yalta”: Don Oberdorfer, From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and Soviet Union, 1983–1991 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), 183. 4 “We were sitting around”: Shultz told this story many times, including Teresa Jimenez, “Shultz Shakes Lessons of Cold War,” Los Angeles Daily News, November 19, 1996. 1.

Jere Hester, Michelle Caruso, and David Eisenstate, “Words of Hope,” New York Daily News, August 13, 1996. 335 Iceland’s president: Taken from Reykjavik newspapers in June 2004, as reported and translated by Astporsdottir. 335 In an op-ed piece for the New York Times: Mikhail Gorbachev, “A President Who Listened,” New York Times, June 7, 2004. 337 nearly a hundred and forty years earlier: Rudolph Bush, “A Time to Remember,” Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2004. 337 Mrs. Reagan stepped forward: Ken Fireman, “Ronald Reagan 1911–2004: Our Final Hail to the Chief,” Newsday, June 12, 2004. 337 the state funeral: I was startled to read later that Mikhail Gorbachev was there at the funeral, since neither Carol nor I saw him that morning. Otherwise, I would have gone over and greeted him. 337 musical interludes: Ann McFeatters, “A Nation Bids Farewell,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 12, 2004. 337 Margaret Thatcher: Ibid. 338 Reagan “did not shrink”: Margaret Thatcher, Eulogy for President Reagan, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, June 11, 2004, http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/110360. 338 Sandra Day O’Connor: David Von Drehle, “Reagan Hailed as Leader for ‘The Ages,’ ” Washington Post, June 12, 2004. 338 top dignitaries: Sonya Ross, “Thatcher, Gorbachev Lead Foreign Leaders Paying Respects to Reagan,” Associated Press, June 12, 2004. 338 including Thatcher: McFeatters, “A Nation Bids Farewell.” 338 tipped a wing: Jeff Zeleny, “Reagan Laid to Rest,” Chicago Tribune, June 12, 2004. 338 The Dixonian: The yearbook is displayed in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. 338 More than a thousand people: Steve Chawkins, “Farewell to a President: Lasting Memories Gleaned Along the Final Leg,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2004. 339 “I know in my heart”: Ryan Pearson, “Reagan Entombed in Underground Crypt at Hilltop Presidential Library,” Associated Press, June 12, 2004. 340 “I gave him a pat”: Robert G.

Contents Dedication Introduction 1 Departures 2 Arrivals 3 Minds and Moods Going into Hofdi House 4 Saturday in Reykjavik 5 Sunday Morning in Reykjavik 6 Sunday Afternoon and Evening in Reykjavik 7 Departures and Immediate Fallout Photographic Insert 8 From the Worst to the Best of Times 9 Reykjavik and the Soviet Breakup 10 Reflections and Conclusions on Reykjavik Epilogue - Mourning in America Acknowledgments Notes Index About the Author Credits Copyright About the Publisher Introduction The Reykjavik summit is something out of an Agatha Christie thriller. Two vivid characters meet over a weekend, on a desolate and windswept island, in a reputedly haunted house with rain lashing against its windowpanes, where they experience the most amazing things. The summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev on October 11 and 12, 1986, was like nothing before or after—with its cliffhanging plot, powerful personalities, and competing interpretations over the past quarter century. A decade later, Gorbachev felt the drama was something out of the Bard, William Shakespeare, rather than the Dame, Agatha Christie: Truly Shakespearean passions ran under the thin veneer of polite and diplomatically restrained negotiations behind the windows of a cozy little house standing on the coast of a dark and somberly impetuous ocean.


pages: 392 words: 106,532

The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, full employment, land reform, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine

Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (Boston: Little, Brown, 1993), pp. 103—4. 46 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, pp. 498, 500. 47 Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, pp. 360–63; Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, pp. 513–14. 48 Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, pp. 417—18. 49 Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, p. 369. 50 Suny, The Soviet Experiment, pp. 480–82. Gorbachev’s account is in his Memoirs, pp. 626—45. 51 Suny, The Soviet Experiment, pp. 483–84; Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, pp. 554–55. 52 Oberdorfer, From the Cold War to a New Era, pp. 471–72. 53 Gorbachev, Memoirs, p. xxxviii. EPILOGUE: THE VIEW BACK 1 Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs (New York: Doubleday, 1995), pp. 692—93; also Mikhail Gorbachev and Zdeněk Mlynář, Conversations with Gorbachev on Perestroika, The Prague Spring, and the Crossroads of Socialism, translated by George Schriver (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), pp. 172–74. 2 See Louise Levanthes, When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405–1433 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994). 3 Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1969 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1971), p. 542. 4 “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” in Robert C.

Josef Stalin was reputedly fond of asking. “How many divisions has he got?”90 John Paul II, during the nine days he spent in Poland in 1979, provided the answer. This too was a development, as Dobrynin might have put it, “totally beyond the imagination of the Soviet leadership.” CHAPTER SIX ACTORS Be not afraid! —JOHN PAUL II1 Seek truth from facts. —DENG XIAOPING 2 We can’t go on living like this. —MIKHAIL GORBACHEV3 THE POPE HAD BEENan actor before he became a priest, and his triumphant return to Poland in 1979 revealed that he had lost none of his theatrical skills. Few leaders of his era could match him in his ability to use words, gestures, exhortations, rebukes—even jokes—to move the hearts and minds of the millions who saw and heard him. All at once a single individual, through a series of dramatic performances, was changing the course of history.

There was Deng Xiaoping, the diminutive, frequently purged, but relentlessly pragmatic successor to Mao Zedong, who brushed aside communism’s prohibitions on free enterprise while encouraging the Chinese people to “get rich.” There was Ronald Reagan, the first professional actor to become president of the United States, who used his theatrical skills to rebuild confidence at home, to spook senescent Kremlin leaders, and after a young and vigorous one had replaced them, to win his trust and enlist his cooperation in the task of changing the Soviet Union. The new leader in Moscow was, of course, Mikhail Gorbachev, who himself sought to dramatize what distinguished him from his predecessors: in doing so, he swept away communism’s emphasis on the class struggle, its insistence on the inevitability of a world proletarian revolution, and hence its claims of historical infallibility. It was an age, then, of leaders who through their challenges to the way things were and their ability to inspire audiences to follow them—through their successes in the theater that was the Cold War—confronted, neutralized, and overcame the forces that had for so long perpetuated the Cold War.


pages: 258 words: 63,367

Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, full employment, Howard Zinn, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, liberation theology, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, precariat, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor

Yet, when the American president visited and spoke on the subject of Iran, he drew an editorial in Saudi Arabia’s major English language newspaper deploring the fact that ‘American policy represents not diplomacy in search of peace, but madness in search of war.’” Developments in Europe are also fraught with danger. To NATO leaders, it is the merest truism that they themselves are a force for peace. Most of the world, which has rather different memories of Western benevolence, sees matters differently. So does Russia. There seemed to be hope for long-term peace in Europe when the Soviet Union collapsed. Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to allow a unified Germany to join NATO, an astonishing concession in the light of history; Germany alone had practically destroyed Russia twice in that century, and now would belong to a hostile military alliance led by the global superpower. There was a quid pro quo: President Bush I agreed that NATO would not expand to the East, granting Russia some measure of security. In violation of a verbal agreement, NATO expanded at once to East Germany.

Thus the editors of the Washington Post admonished Barack Obama for regarding Afghanistan as “the central front” for the United States, reminding him that Iraq “lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world’s largest oil reserves,” and Afghanistan’s “strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq.” A welcome, if belated, recognition of reality about the U.S. invasion. The second divisive issue in the Caucasus is expansion of NATO to the East. As the Soviet Union collapsed, Mikhail Gorbachev made a concession that was astonishing in the light of recent history and strategic realities: He agreed to allow a united Germany to join a hostile military alliance. Gorbachev agreed to the concession on the basis of “assurances that NATO would not extend its jurisdiction to the east, ‘not one inch’ in [Secretary of State] Jim Baker’s exact words,” according to Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to Russia in the crucial years 1987 to 1991.

The outsiders’ military presence only arouses confrontations, whereas what is needed is a common effort among concerned regional powers—including China, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia—that would help Afghans face their internal problems peacefully, as many believe they can. NATO has moved far beyond its Cold War origins. After the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO lost its pretext for existence: defense against a hypothetical Russian assault. But NATO quickly took on new missions, expanding to the east in violation of promises to Mikhail Gorbachev, a serious security threat to Russia, naturally raising international tensions. President Obama’s national security adviser, James Jones, NATO supreme allied commander in Europe from 2003 to 2006, advocates NATO expansion east and south, steps that would reinforce U.S. control over Middle East energy supplies (in technical terms, “safeguarding energy security”). He also champions a NATO response force, which will give the U.S.


pages: 568 words: 162,366

The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea by Steve Levine

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Berlin Wall, California gold rush, computerized trading, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, fixed income, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, megastructure, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, Potemkin village, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, trade route

Andreas, intent on smoothing trade relations between the two superpowers, set out for Moscow with his eager new executive. After a few preliminaries with Kremlin authorities, word came that a meeting had been arranged. Giffen and Andreas would have an audience with a rising star of the Politburo, one Mikhail Gorbachev. Giffen had already transformed himself from the son of a haberdasher into a merchant banker with important international connections. The meeting with the fresh-faced Kremlin minister, however, would catapult him to even greater heights, putting him on the path toward his first big oil deal, on the shores of the fabled Caspian Sea. CHAPTER 7 * * * The Perfect Oil Field MIKHAIL GORBACHEV WAS UNLIKE Soviet rulers of the past. Open-minded and inventive, pragmatic and flexible, “he would look you in the eye, and you were the only person in the room.” He was said to be “impossible not to like.”

In an especially nervy play, Deuss obtained exclusive rights to build a pipeline that would export oil from Kazakhstan’s biggest field, leaving its operator, Chevron Corporation, apoplectic and at his mercy. But no middleman was more influential or had a more spectacular run than James Henry Giffen, a garrulous and worldly-wise New York lawyer who had become a millionaire by the time he was thirty. Giffen had a long history in the region, starting in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s. In the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev lent his personal support to a Giffen consortium of blue-chip American companies anxious to do business in the Soviet Union. The Soviet collapse stripped Giffen of his influence in the Kremlin, but he reemerged in Kazakhstan as the president’s chief oil adviser. It wasn’t long before he helped expel John Deuss. Suddenly, Giffen was the last middleman standing, both envied and feared by other power brokers.

Two of his ornate, glass-and-wood bookcases had survived in the rare books section of the city library, and a mostly ignored bust of Tagiyev stood on a cornerstone of what was once his downtown mansion, now a museum. As for his proudest accomplishment—the school for Muslim girls that he built in defiance of Islamic conservatives—it now housed an Azerbaijan Academy of Science archive. His villa had become a tuberculosis sanatorium, its water pipes rusted and its wood siding rotting in the ocean air. Mikhail Gorbachev formally rehabilitated Tagiyev in a 1990 ceremony witnessed by the old baron’s granddaughter, Sophia, who at the age of sixty-nine was once again living in Baku. Her white hair parted neatly down the middle, she bore a striking resemblance to her grandfather. She was accompanied by her mother, Sarah, now ninety, and the two of them lingered for a while at Tagiyev’s gravesite next to the old villa.


pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

—Manmohan Singh, India’s finance minister, July 1991 The Age of Transformation began in December 1978 in Beijing at the third plenary session of the eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It ended on Christmas Eve, 1991, when the flag of the Soviet Union was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin. In late 1978, Deng Xiaoping laid the foundations for the opening of China and his country’s emergence as an economic superpower. By contrast, the economic and political reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s brought about the breakup of the Soviet Union. But while the domestic political effects of Russian and Chinese economic reforms were very different, their global significance was similar. At the beginning of the 1980s it still made sense to speak of a socialist and a capitalist world. The cold war was the defining principle of international politics, as it had been since 1949.

Rather less amusingly, China invaded Vietnam at the end of 1979. These political and international events were more dramatic and eye-catching than technical-sounding reforms to agriculture and foreign investment. Perhaps as a result, Western leaders were very slow to understand the speed and scale of the transformation of China. The memoirs of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan demonstrate an instant and passionate interest in Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union. But the economic transformation of China barely registers. All Thatcher’s references to China concern the tortuous negotiations to hand back the British colony of Hong Kong. Writing in 1990, Reagan noted that in 1984, Treasury Secretary Don Regan had “come back from a trip to Beijing with an intriguing report: The People’s Republic of China was moving slowly but surely towards acceptance of a free-enterprise market, and inviting investment by foreign capitalists.”16 But, like Thatcher, Reagan was understandably much more focused on the end of the cold war than on the economic transformation of China.

Thatcher’s belief that “the state should not be in business” was becoming global conventional wisdom by the end of the 1980s. Thatcher herself became increasingly conscious of and proud of her international reputation. She exulted, “People are no longer worried about catching the British disease. They are queuing up to obtain the new British cure.”15 In even more grandiloquent mode, she claimed as early as 1982 that Britain was “teaching the nations of the world how to live.”16 On a visit as prime minister to Mikhail Gorbachev’s Russia in 1990, she noted wryly that the new mayor of Moscow appeared to be a disciple of her own economic guru, Milton Friedman.17 In her memoirs she boasted proudly, “Britain under my premiership was the first country to reverse the onward march of socialism.”18 By the end of her period in office, Thatcher was increasingly worried that the European Union posed a threat to her free-market policies in Britain.


pages: 497 words: 161,742

The Enemy Within by Seumas Milne

active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, éminence grise

Indeed, they started being made by some of those with an interest in the affair – apparently as a sort of immunization or insurance policy – even before this book was finished.49 When the Guardian first published details of large-scale counter-subversion operations against the NUM and an account of some of the political undercurrents behind the Scargill Affair, the Daily Mirror’s immediate response was to cry: ‘Conspiracy theory!’ In two full-page tirades, the Guardian was accused of stringing together ‘an unlikely chain of people who, it implies, took part in a great conspiracy: the KGB, CIA, Margaret Thatcher, MI6, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Mirror – and all of them out to get poor old Arthur’. The Guardian’s purpose, it was said, was to prove the NUM president to be a ‘maliciously maligned hero of the working class’. In fact, the stringing together was done by the Mirror itself. But as far as the journalists then working for the Maxwell-owned tabloid were concerned, just a whiff of conspiracy theory was enough to discredit the Guardian’s revelations.

In the week between 4 and 10 March 1990, the Sunday and Daily Mirror – each with a circulation of getting on for four million copies –would between them publish twenty-five pages of reports and commentary about Scargill and the ‘dishonour’ he had brought on the miners’ union.3 The taster chosen for the Sunday Mirror was a suitably titillating morsel about missing ‘Moscow Gold’. In December 1984, at Mikhail Gorbachev’s first meeting with Margaret Thatcher at Chequers, the paper revealed, the British Prime Minister had taken the future Soviet leader aside after lunch to express her ‘great displeasure’ about Soviet ‘meddling’ in the miners’ strike, then in its ninth month. ‘We believe that people in the Soviet Union … are helping to prolong the strike’, Thatcher told him. Gorbachev insisted that the strike was an internal British affair, and that as far as he was aware ‘no money has been transferred from the Soviet Union’.

Maxwell liked the idea of collaboration with Central Television, Greenslade says, partly because he knew he would get publicity on air for exposing the miners’ leader and partly because he wouldn’t be taking on Scargill alone.31 There was another, more delicate, factor. Maxwell also owned 20 per cent of Central Television’s shares, which must have been a welcome added bonus. With the deal in the bag, money was by all accounts now spent with wild abandon as the new joint Central–Mirror investigation careered around Britain and a variety of suitable foreign locations: France, Australia, the Soviet Union. In Moscow, the Cook operation hired a cousin of Mikhail Gorbachev, then still the country’s president, to pin down the tale of the Soviet millions. In France, the Central–Maxwell investigating team found themselves in mortal danger when, in the middle of a hurricane, the intrepid Roger Cook insisted on taking the controls of a light aircraft they had chartered. Back in Britain, researchers were pulled in from other programmes in an effort to harden up the evidence.32 By the time Greenslade arrived from the Sunday Times at the beginning of February, Maxwell had already proudly informed his new editor of the secret scoop he would be given the privilege of publishing.


pages: 719 words: 209,224

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

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active measures, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, failed state, joint-stock company, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, zero-sum game

He told Reagan the Soviet Union was caught in an inconclusive leadership struggle, from one generation to another, bound up in a stagnating economy and "extreme distrust verging, in some instances, on paranoia" about the United States. It wasn't clear how the leadership succession would be resolved, Shultz said, but one of the most promising candidates was a member of the younger generation, a man with a broader view--Mikhail Gorbachev.27 ---------- PART ---------- TWO ---------- 8 ---------- "WE CAN'T GO ON LIVING LIKE THIS" Five weeks after Reagan was reelected, Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa, were driven from London through rolling English farmland to Chequers, the elegant official country residence of the British prime minister. Margaret Thatcher and her husband, Denis, greeted the Gorbachevs just before lunch on Sunday, December 16, 1984. It was a highly unusual gesture for a Soviet official to take his wife abroad.

They recoiled from the balance of terror out of personal experience as designers and stewards of the weapons, or because of their own fears of the consequences of war, or because of the burdens that the arsenals placed on their peoples. At the center of the drama are two key figures, both of them romantics and revolutionaries, who sensed the rising danger and challenged the established order. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, abhorred the use of force and championed openness and "new thinking" in hopes of saving his troubled country. Ronald Reagan, fortieth president of the United States, was a master communicator and beacon of ideals who had an unwavering faith in the triumph of capitalism and American ingenuity. He dreamed of making nuclear weapons obsolete, once and for all.

Our actions were absolutely correct, insofar as the American-built South Korean aircraft flew 500 kilometers into our territory. It is extremely difficult to distinguish this aircraft by its shape from a reconnaissance aircraft. Soviet military pilots are prohibited from firing on passenger aircraft. But in this situation their actions were perfectly justified because in accordance with international regulations the aircraft was issued with several notices to land at our airfield." Mikhail Gorbachev, a younger, rising star among the aging Politburo members, said, "The aircraft remained above our territory for a long time. If it went off track, the Americans could have notified us, but they didn't." Ustinov claimed the Korean aircraft had no lights. After firing warning shots, he said, the Soviet pilot "informed the ground that the aircraft was a combat one and had to be taken down." Gromyko: "We cannot deny that our plane opened fire."

Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Within the Grand Area, the United States would maintain “unquestioned power” with “military and economic supremacy,” while ensuring the “limitation of any exercise of sovereignty” by states that might interfere with its global designs.3 These careful wartime plans were soon implemented. It was always recognized that Europe might choose to follow an independent course; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was partially intended to counter this threat. As soon as the official pretext for NATO dissolved in 1989, it was expanded to the east, in violation of verbal pledges to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It has since become a U.S.-run intervention force with far-ranging scope, as spelled out by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who informed a NATO conference that “NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West,” and more generally protect sea routes used by tankers and other “crucial infrastructure” of the energy system.4 Grand Area doctrines license military intervention at will.

In 1989, the democratic uprising was tolerated by the Russians, and supported by Western power in accord with standard doctrine: it plainly conformed to economic and strategic objectives, and was therefore a noble achievement, greatly honored, unlike the struggles at the same time “to defend the people’s fundamental human rights” in Central America, in the words of the assassinated archbishop of El Salvador, one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the military forces armed and trained by Washington.17 There was no Mikhail Gorbachev in the West throughout those horrendous years, and there is none today. And Western power remains hostile to democracy in the Arab world for good reasons. Grand Area doctrines continue to apply to contemporary crises and confrontations. In Western policymaking circles and political commentary, the Iranian threat is considered to pose the greatest danger to world order and hence must be the primary focus of U.S. foreign policy, with Europe trailing along politely.

The battalion had already left a bloody trail of thousands of the usual victims in the course of the U.S.-run state terror campaign in El Salvador, part of a broader terror and torture campaign throughout the region.4 All routine, ignored and virtually forgotten in the United States and by its allies—again routine. But it tells us a lot about the factors that drive policy, if we care to look at the real world. Another important event took place in Europe. Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to allow the reunification of Germany and its membership in NATO, a hostile military alliance. In light of recent history, this was a most astonishing concession. There was a quid pro quo: President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker agreed that NATO would not expand “one inch to the East,” meaning into East Germany. Instantly, they expanded NATO to East Germany. Gorbachev was naturally outraged, but when he complained, he was instructed by Washington that this had only been a verbal promise, a gentleman’s agreement, hence without force.5 If he was naïve enough to accept the word of American leaders, it was his problem.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

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Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

The U.S. president Gerald Ford escaped two assassination attempts (one by Charles Manson’s murderous henchwoman Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme), the Khmer Rouge had taken over Cambodia, and the movie Godfather II ran away with six Academy Awards, including one to the Italian-American actor Robert De Niro. Our fifth billion came in 1987, now just twelve years after the fourth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2,000 for the first time in history and the Irish rock band U2 released their fifth album, The Joshua Tree. Standing outside Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, U.S. president Ronald Reagan exhorted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” The world’s last dusky seaside sparrow died of old age on a tiny island preserve in Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. A self-absorbed college sophomore at the time, I only noticed The Joshua Tree. Our sixth billion arrived in 1999. This is now very recent history. The United Nations declared 1999 the International Year of Older Persons. The Dow Jones climbed above 11,000 for the first time in history.

The blast and consequent fire that burned for days released a radioactive cloud detected across much of Europe, with the fallout concentrated in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Two people were killed in the plant explosion, and twenty-eight emergency workers died from acute radiation poisoning. About five million people were exposed to some level of radiation. Soviet officials initially downplayed the accident. It took eighteen days for then-general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to acknowledge the disaster on Soviet television, but he had already mobilized a massive response. Soviet helicopters dropped more than five thousand tons of sand, clay, lead, and other materials on the reactor’s burning core to smother the flames. Approximately 50,000 residents were evacuated from the nearby town of Pripyat, still abandoned today with many personal belongings lying where they were left.

Is the “mad scramble” so fevered, the oil and gas assessments so compelling, the retreating ice and new shipping lanes so transformative, that extreme tension or violent conflicts in the region become inevitable? There are good reasons to think not. One is a persistent trend of northern cooperation over the past two decades. A second is a legal document of the United Nations that is fast becoming the globally accepted rulebook on how countries carve up dominion over the world’s oceans. The story of the first begins October 1, 1987, with a famous speech delivered in Murmansk by then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Standing at the gateway of his country’s strategic nuclear arsenal in the Arctic Ocean, Gorbachev called for transforming the region from a tense military theater to a nuke-free “zone of peace and fruitful cooperation.” He proposed international collaborations in disarmament, energy development, science, indigenous rights, and environmental protections between all Arctic countries.341 The choice of Murmansk, the Arctic’s largest and most important port city and the heart of the Soviet Union’s military and industrial north, was highly symbolic.


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The Wars of Afghanistan by Peter Tomsen

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, drone strike, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Deputy head of the Communist Party’s International Department under Boris Ponomarev. Konstantin Chernyenko: Communist Party official. General secretary of the Communist Party (1984–1985). Anatoly Dobrynin: Diplomat. Ambassador to the United States (1962–1986), Politburo Afghan Commission member (1986–1989), head of the Communist Party’s International Department (1986–1988). Mikhail Gorbachev: Communist Party official. General secretary of the Communist Party (1985–1991). President of the Soviet Union (1990–1991). Andrey Gromyko: Communist Party official. Diplomat. Soviet foreign minister (1953–1985). Politburo Afghan Commission member (1979–1985). Alexey Kosygin: Communist Party official and Politburo member. Soviet prime minister (1964–1980). Vladimir Kryuchkov: KGB official.

They considered Afghanistan a third-tier issue left over from the Cold War. Other matters took priority over Reagan’s earlier pledges to moderate-nationalist Afghan leaders like Abdul Haq. Just when a firm diplomatic push for a political settlement from the world’s only remaining superpower was most needed, America was bowing out. The Cold War ended on Christmas Eve 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev moved his belongings out of the Kremlin, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin moved in. Moscow’s military and economic supply lines to the Afghan communist regime in Kabul evaporated. Five new struggling Central Asian states now separated Russia and Afghanistan. At its nearest point, the Russian border was more than 400 miles from Afghanistan. “The president wants out,” American diplomats told colleagues in the State Department’s corridors.

After Brezhnev’s death in 1982, his personal physician revealed that only the regular infusion of drugs had kept the ailing Soviet leader active after 1975.52 Brezhnev was a serial consumer of sleeping pills during both daytime and nighttime hours. They contributed to his slurred speech and occasional disorientation during high-level meetings. To the embarrassment of other Soviet officials, he sometimes mumbled when discussing affairs of state with foreign visitors. Mikhail Gorbachev recalled one meeting with a foreign communist delegation during which Brezhnev suddenly forgot the topic he was discussing. The group, Gorbachev remembered, “carried on as if nothing had happened.”53 Yuriy Andropov, the head of the KGB from 1967 to 1982—and the most influential member of the Politburo’s Afghan Commission—largely controlled the channeling of information to Brezhnev. At sixty-five, Andropov was also the only commission member under seventy.


pages: 214 words: 57,614

America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama

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affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Internet Archive, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

The latter position was shared by people on the left who had some sympathy for the socialist aims of communism and disagreed only with the means, and by realists on the right who accepted communism as another form of government to which Western democracies would have to accommodate themselves. Neoconservatives after Vietnam simply continued to bear the torch of the earlier Cold War view about communism as a unique evil. Ronald Reagan was ridiculed by sophisticated people on the American left and in Europe for labeling the Soviet Union and its allies an "evil empire" and for challenging Mikhail Gorbachev not just to reform his system but to "tear down this wall." His as- The Neoconservative Legacy sistant secretary of defense for international security policy, Richard Perle, was denounced as the "prince of darkness" for this uncompromising, hard-line position; and his proposal for a double zero in the intermediate-range nuclear forces negotiations (that is, the complete elimination of medium-range missiles) was attacked as hopelessly out of touch by the bien pensant centrist foreign policy experts at places like the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department.

It is also the case that the U.S. buildup played a role in convincing Soviet leaders that they would have difficulty competing with the United States. But an event as massive as the collapse of the former USSR had many causes, some deeply embedded in the nature of the Soviet system (for example, the illegitimacy of the governing ideology) and others accidental and contingent (the untimely death of Yuri Andropov and the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev). Conservatives of all stripes tend to put too much emphasis on the American military buildup as the cause of the USSR's collapse, when political and economic factors were at least as important. Scholars John Ikenberry and Daniel Deudney have argued that the attractive "pull" of the West, and Soviet awareness that partnership with the West was possible, were at least as important in explaining the Soviet collapse. 37 In any event, to the extent that military policy was important in explaining the Soviet Union's collapse, it was a policy of containment and deterrence rather than rollback.

That neoconservative treatments of economics tended toward orthodoxy was not universally true; for an interesting critique of neoclassical economics from a Straussian point of view, see Steven E. Rhoads, The Economists View of the World: Government, Markets, and Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). 27. See Kiron Skinner, ed., Reagan: A Life in Letters (New York: Free Press, 2003). Later on, of course, Reagan recognized the reality of the changes brought about by Mikhail Gorbachev and negotiated with him actively. 28. This was in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Feb. 26, 2003. 29. For a comprehensive realist critique of international institutions, see John J. Mearsheimer, "The False Promise of International Institutions," International Security 19, no. 3 (1994): 5-49. On multilateral cooperation see Boot, "Myths About Neoconservatism." 30. Stephen Sestanovich, "American Maximalism," National Interest 79 (Spring 2005): 13-23. 31.


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Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, drone strike, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

It may be tendentious and self-serving, but it is an argument that could be made—which would lead to precisely the sort of back-and-forth bickering we want to avoid when we judge forecasting accuracy. 7. Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth and The Abolition (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000), p. 183. 8. Brian Till, “Mikhail Gorbachev: The West Could Have Saved the Russian Economy,” Atlantic, June 16, 2001, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/mikhail-gorbachev-the-west-could-have-saved-the-russian-economy/240466/. 9. Sherman Kent, “Estimates and Influence,” Studies in Intelligence (Summer 1968): 35. 10. Sherman Kent, “Words of Estimative Probability,” in Sherman Kent and the Board of National Estimates, ed. Donald P. Steury (Washington, DC: History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 1994), pp. 134–35. 11.

Experts of a conservative bent thought that the Soviet system had pretty much perfected the art of totalitarian self-reproduction, hence the new boss would be the same as the old boss and the Soviet Union would continue to threaten world peace by supporting insurgencies and invading its neighbors. They were equally confident in their views. The experts were right about Chernenko. He died in March 1985. But then the train of history hit a curve, and as Karl Marx once quipped, when that happens, the intellectuals fall off. Within hours of Chernenko’s death, the Politburo anointed Mikhail Gorbachev, an energetic and charismatic fifty-four-year-old, the next general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev changed direction swiftly and sharply. His policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) liberalized the Soviet Union. Gorbachev also sought to normalize relations with the United States and reverse the arms race. Ronald Reagan responded cautiously, then enthusiastically, and in just a few years the world went from the prospect of nuclear war to a new era in which many people—including the Soviet and American leaders—saw a glimmering chance of eliminating nuclear weapons altogether.

They were asked about whatever topics experts could be found expounding on in the media and halls of power, which meant our experts would sometimes be asked to forecast in their zone of expertise, but more often not—which let us compare the accuracy of true subject-matter experts with that of smart, well-informed laypeople. In total, our experts made roughly twenty-eight thousand predictions. Asking questions took years. Then came the waiting, a test of patience for even the tenured. I began the experiment when Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Politburo were key players shaping the fate of the world; by the time I started to write up the results, the USSR existed only on historical maps and Gorbachev was doing commercials for Pizza Hut. The final results appeared in 2005—twenty-one years, six presidential elections, and three wars after I sat on the National Research Council panel that got me thinking about forecasting.


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

v=6oSAPMYTuss. Adelson: $5 million donation to Trump’s inauguration, the largest ever Nicholas Confessore, Nicholas Fandos, and Rachel Shorey, “Trump Inaugural Drew Big Dollars from Donors with Vested Interests,” New York Times, April 19, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/​2017/​04/​19/​us/​politics/​trump-inauguration-sheldon-adelson-fundraising.html. Mikhail Gorbachev: “the nuclear threat once again seems real…” Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mikhail Gorbachev: ‘It All Looks as If the World Is Preparing for War,’ ” Time, January 26, 2017, http://time.com/​4645442/​gorbachev-putin-trump/. Trump’s missile strike on Syria: illegal according to some experts Alex Emmons, “Legal Experts Question Whether Trump’s Syria Strike Was Constitutional,” TheIntercept.com, April 7, 2017, https://theintercept.com/​2017/​04/​07/​legal-experts-question-whether-trumps-syria-strike-was-constitutional/.

I am not saying a nuclear war is likely. But in Trump’s very short time in office, there has already been a level of military escalation that is both chilling and bizarrely haphazard. As indicated by his early deployment of the most powerful conventional weapon in the US arsenal—the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or MOAB—Trump is drunk on the allure of showing the world he’s top dog. Which is why Mikhail Gorbachev, who worked toward disarmament when he was Soviet leader, wrote in Time magazine that today “the nuclear threat once again seems real. Relations between the great powers have been going from bad to worse for several years now. The advocates for arms build-up and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands.” (And that was before Trump upped the ante with North Korea.) There are many reasons why people around Trump, particularly the many who came straight from the defense sector, might decide that further military escalation is in order.


pages: 272 words: 76,089

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, clean water, cosmic abundance, dark matter, demographic transition, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, pattern recognition, planetary scale, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, zero-sum game

Standing under an immense photograph of the Earth from space, I found myself looking out over a diversely costumed representation of the wondrous variety of our species: Mother Teresa and the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the chief rabbis of Romania and the United Kingdom, the Grand Mufti of Syria, the Metropolitan of Moscow, an elder of the Onondaga Nation, the high priest of the Sacred Forest of Togo, the Dalai Lama, Jain priests resplendent in their white robes, turbaned Sikhs, Hindu swamis, Bud- 168 • Billions and Billions dhist abbots, Shinto priests, evangelical Protestants, the Primate of the Armenian Church, a "Living Buddha" from China, the bishops of Stockholm and Harare, metropolitans of the Orthodox Churches, the Chief of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iro-quois Confederacy—and, joining them, the Secretary-General of the United Nations; the Prime Minister of Norway; the founder of a Kenyan women's movement to replant the forests; the President of the World Watch Institute; the directors of the United Nations' Children's Fund, its Population Fund, and UNESCO; the Soviet Minister of the Environment; and parliamentarians from dozens of nations, including U.S. Senators and Representatives and a Vice-President-to-be. These meetings were mainly organized by one person, a former UN. official, Akio Matsumura. I remember the 1,300 delegates assembled in St. George's Hall in the Kremlin to hear an address by Mikhail Gorbachev. The session was opened by a venerable Vedic monk, representing one of the oldest religious traditions on Earth, inviting the multitude to chant the sacred syllable "Om." As nearly as I could tell, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze went along with the "Om," but Mikhail Gorbachev restrained himself. (An immense milky-white statue of Lenin, hand outstretched, loomed nearby.) That same day, ten Jewish delegates, finding themselves in the Kremlin at sundown on a Friday, performed the first Jewish religious service ever held there.

ROBERTO ROSSELLINI It is only in the moment of time represented by the present century that one species has acquired the power to alter the nature of the world. RACHEL CARSON, Silent Spring (1962) INTRODUCTION In 1988 a unique opportunity was presented to me. I was invited to write an article on the relationship between the United States and the then Soviet Union that would be published, more or less simultaneously, in the most widely circu- 180 • Billions and Billions lated publications of both countries. This was at a time when Mikhail Gorbachev was feeling his way on giving Soviet citizens the right to express their opinions freely. Some recall it as a time when the administration of Ronald Reagan was slowly modifying its pointed Cold War posture. I thought such an article might be able to do a little good. What's more, at a recent "summit" meeting, Mr. Reagan had commented that if only there were a peril of alien invasion of the Earth, it would be much easier for the United States and the Soviet Union to work together.

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Because of the sensitive nature of his mission, Buckley was especially vulnerable, and intelligence reports indicated he had been cruelly tortured by his Muslim captors.31 The Israelis were vague about Buckley’s status; in reality he had been brutally murdered and was not even available for a hostage exchange. Concern over the captives led to another round of negotiations, even though there was no evidence that earlier efforts had been effective. This time the Israelis proposed to ship 500 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles in exchange for the release of all remaining American hostages. During this second round of negotiations, McFarlane was working to prepare Reagan for a summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, so he entrusted the details of the assignment to his deputy, Oliver North. North was a Vietnam veteran with a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and a Navy Commendation Medal. He was zealous to succeed in his covert mission, even though he admitted later that he was largely unfamiliar with what was being done. While Israel and the United States worked in the same direction on Iran, officials from both countries had long since joined paths in Central America.

Even the crusty Tip O’Neill, Democratic Speaker of the House and inveterate White House opponent, dabbed his eyes after the president’s remarks on the Challenger disaster and said, ‘‘He may not be much of a debater, but with a prepared text he’s the best public speaker I’ve ever seen.’’47 The great turning point in the Cold War tension between East and West coincided with Ronald Reagan’s second term and the first four years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership of the USSR. The prelude was set by the deaths of Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev in 1982, Yuri Andropov in 1983, and Konstantin Chernenko in 1984. These three leaders were old men who adhered to the Marxist-Leninist ideology in spite of the suffocating effect it had on their own 96 THE AMERICA THAT REAGAN BUILT nation and the rest of the world. At home and abroad the Soviet system was regarded with increasing cynicism, contempt, and ridicule.

Treasury provided Reagan with an estimate that a $5 drop in the price of a barrel of oil on the world market increased the GNP of the country by 1.4 percent.49 The friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia was an economic weapon that Reagan exploited to force the Soviets into a defensive posture. Lower oil prices also reduced the U.S. trade deficit. In the summer of 1985, the Saudis opened the oil spigots and the domestic economy boomed. That expansion spelled trouble for the Soviet Union, with its Afghanistan incursion and multiplying problems at home. The new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, came from a family of peasants who suffered under Stalin’s ruthless effort to drive farmers off their private land onto collectivized farms. He was not a deep believer in communism. As an agricultural minister he knew the limits of a command economy, and at age fifty-four he was no dyed-in-the-wool cold warrior either. Instead, Gorbachev was an idealist in a sea of guardians, a change agent in a room full of bureaucrats.


pages: 306 words: 92,704

After the Berlin Wall by Christopher Hilton

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce

Although the state’s demands for loyalty are widely resented, I would say that in normal, crisis-free times there is a sufficiently high degree of loyalty to assure the country’s viability. Bahro said in 1983: ‘The Soviet Union has specific reasons for wanting to hold on to East Germany and, in view of the proximity of NATO and West Germany, would never allow any experiment in the GDR unless it were an absolutely safe manoeuvre. So an opposition there has no possibility of crystallizing.’6 Bahro, of course, was speaking before Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalisation. His words reflect – accurately, I am sure – the position when he spoke them. They are valuable for that reason, and valuable also because they show the extent of the change to come. Another perceptive German, Peter Schneider, set out (in 1990) the position from the West. ‘No one wanted to admit it, but we saw and treated East Germans as foreigners; in fact, according to polls, a majority of young people defined East Germany as a foreign country.’

TIMELINE 1945 7 May Germany surrenders 3 July Allied troops take over their four sectors in Berlin 16 July Potsdam Conference begins 2 August Potsdam Conference ends 1946 21 April Communist Party and Social Democrats form the SED (Socialist Unity Party) to rule East Germany 1947 5 June Marshall Plan launched 1948 21 June Deutsche Mark introduced in the West 24 June Berlin blockade and airlift begins 24 July East German Mark introduced 1949 4 April NATO formed 11 May Berlin blockade and airlift ends 24 May FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) founded in the West, merging the American, British and French Zones 7 October GDR (German Democratic Republic) founded in the East from the Soviet Zone, with East Berlin as its capital 1953 16 June GDR workers uprising over increasing work norms 1955 9 May FRG accepted into NATO 14 May Communist states, including the GDR, sign the Warsaw Pact 1958 27 October Walter Ulbricht, GDR leader, threatens West Berlin 10 November Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev says it is time to cancel Berlin’s four-power status 1961 4 June At a summit in Vienna, Khruschev tries to pressure US President John Kennedy to demilitarise Berlin 1–12 August 21,828 refugees arrive in West Berlin 13 August Berlin Wall built 1963 26 June Kennedy visits Berlin and makes his ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’ speech 1968 21 August Warsaw Pact countries crush Prague Spring 1970 19 March Willy Brandt visits GDR city Erfurt as part of his Ostpolitik policy 1971 3 May Ulbricht forced to resign, succeeded by Erich Honecker 1972 October Traffic Agreement signed, giving FRG citizens access to the GDR 21 December Basic Treaty signed, the FRG in effect recognising the GDR 1973 18 September The GDR and the FRG admitted to the United Nations 1985 11 March Mikhail Gorbachev elected General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party 1987 12 June Ronald Reagan speaks at the Brandenburg Gate: ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ 7–11 September Honecker visits FRG 1989 2 May Hungary opens its border with Austria, allowing GDR holidaymakers to cross 7 May GDR elections with 98.85 per cent for the government and widespread allegations of fraud 4 September Leipzig demonstrations begin 30 September GDR citizens in FRG Prague Embassy told they can travel to the West 6 October GDR fortieth anniversary 18 October Honecker forced to resign, succeeded by Egon Krenz 4 November A million people demonstrate in East Berlin 9 November The Wall opens 29 November Chancellor Helmut Kohl issues plan for a ‘confederation leading to a federation in Germany’ 7 December Krenz resigns.

A British tourist was quoted as saying he’d anticipated it would resemble something out of‘a cold war spy novel, but it is more like grotty Disneyland’. Map 6. It became convoluted and unique: Friedrichstrasse bisected, Zimmerstrasse the death strip. Note that the GDR boundary was the northern side of Zimmerstrasse but The Wall was constructed just back from that. There were moves by leading European politicians, including Mikhail Gorbachev, to establish a cold war museum on the site because a generation had arisen who’d been born after the fall and couldn’t relate to The Wall or find very much of it to try and relate to. The intersection is on Friedrichstrasse, a broad north–south avenue, and Zimmerstrasse, a side road. The Wall bisected Friedrichstrasse – putting the northern part in the East, the southern part in the West – and ran along Zimmerstrasse.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

Neither formally approved nor fully rejected, the OGAS Project found itself (and proposals to use computer-programmed networks to plan social and economic resources, including those by the chess grandmaster Mikhail Botvinnik) stalemated in a morass of bureaucratic barriers, mutinous ministries, and institutional infighting among a state that imagined itself as centralized but under civilian administration proved to be anything but. By the time that Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, Glushkov had died, and the political feasibility of technocratic economic reform had passed. This chapter frames how hidden social networks unraveled computer networks. The conclusion reflects on and complicates the plain statement that is the conceit of this book—that the first global computer networks began among cooperative capitalists, not competing socialists. Borrowing from the language of Hannah Arendt, it recasts the Soviet network experience in light of other national network projects in the latter half of the twentieth century, suggesting the ways that the Soviet experience may appear uncomfortably close to our modern network situation.

Gosplan was entrusted with creating the economic plans of action—the governing documents defining the economic inputs (such as labor and raw materials), the timetable for execution, the wholesale prices, and most of the retail prices—divided into five-year increments (the so-called five-year plans). These nationwide economic plans were first rolled out from 1929 to 1933 under Stalin and ended, with one seven-year exception (1959–1965) under Khrushchev, with the twelfth plan (1986–1990), which oversaw Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform policies of uskorenie (acceleration) and perestroika (rebuilding). The thirteenth five-year plan was cut short by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Gossnab, in contrast, was responsible for implementing Gosplan’s plans by procuring and supplying producer goods to factories and enterprises and by monitoring the schedules for the production plans. Gossnab thus fulfilled the market role of allocating goods to producers and bridged the three levels of the command economy—national, regional, and local planning and production.

Vasily Garbuzov (1911–1985): Minister of finances (1965–1980), principal opponent to the OGAS (All-State Automated System) Project, rival of Vladimir Starovsky and the Central Statistical Administration. Viktor Glushkov (1923–1982): Prominent Soviet cyberneticist, director of the Institute for Cybernetics in Kiev, Ukraine (1967–1982), author of OGAS (All-State Automated System) (1963–1982), coauthor of the EGSVTs (Unified State Network of Computing Centers) (1963) network projects, academician. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931–): General secretary, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1985–1991). Leonid Kantorovich (1912–1986): Soviet economic mathematician, pioneer in linear modeling, Nobel Prize in economics (1975). Mstislav Keldysh (1911–1978): Mathematician, Soviet space theorist, chair Soviet Academy of Sciences (1961–1975) (where he helped rehabilitate cybernetics and genetics). Aleksandr Kharkevich (1904–1965): Communication engineer, director of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems (1962–1965), author of the ESS (Unified Communication System) network project (1963).


pages: 160 words: 46,449

The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck

Even so he learned his lines well and was lauded as a great communicator, till he began to forget which Latin American capital he had landed in and to fluff the script at home as well. In reality, the US under Reagan was run by a cabal of right-wing zealots, an imperial politburo that took most of the key decisions of that important period. They transmitted to the world through their president, whose standing reached its height when the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, decided to follow Washington rather than Beijing. Reagan’s successor was his vice-president, George H. Bush (on secondment from the CIA). He only served a single term before being defeated by the Democrat Bill Clinton. But the legacy was safe in New Democrat hands: Clinton proved a zealous and effective defender of the Reagan revolution and much else besides. Margaret Thatcher surrounded herself with a clique of hard-right advisers to push through the new consensus, but it was not as easy as later painted.

Then your lot come in, and in the very first year they go for tuition fees.’ 4 Seumas Milne in the Guardian regarded it as ‘a significant shift beyond New Labour politics’ – ‘that he represents a real change is not in question’ – and ‘an unmistakeable breach in the stifling neoliberal consensus that has dominated British politics’. Miliband’s maiden speech as opposition leader – pledging to stand with the Cameron–Clegg government on Afghanistan – and his Blairite shadow cabinet, not to mention supporting the fundamentals of austerity, should have banished such delusions. 5 Indeed, Thatcher had advised Mikhail Gorbachev that one way of preventing corruption within the bureaucracy was to ensure that jobs were available in the private sector, advice that the naïve Soviet leader took to heart. When he was forcibly retired, alas, none of the Russian oligarchs were prepared to play ball. It was Louis Vuitton who came to the rescue by providing him with an advertising gig, and huge lecture fees were lined up in the US as a tiny thank-you for what he had done to boost global capitalism. 6 Robert Mendick and Edward Malnick, ‘Tony Blair Widens His Web Via the Stock Markets’, Sunday Telegraph, 13 January 2013. 7 ‘The passionate note surfaced amid the flotsam of a shipwrecked marriage.

Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns by Michael W. Covel

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Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, full employment, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market microstructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Sharpe ratio, systematic trading, the scientific method, transaction costs, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, Y2K, zero-sum game

With humility, hope, and extraordinary determination, greatness is something everyone can aspire to.2 Challenging accepted norms has always been my passion. Unearthing details that some may have wanted buried has made me pretty damn good at navigating obscure fields unrelated to trading—like State and Federal open records law. In this small world, one of the more unlikely people to have asked me, “How do you go about unearthing details?” was Mikhail Gorbachev. The former president had been told in Russian that my career involved profiling traders who make the big money, so when an introduction was made, he asked me in Russian through a translator, “What is it like to write about these traders?” Realizing his time was limited, my response was short: “Very interesting,” I said. He waited for the translation and asked back: “It must be difficult to get behind the scenes; how do you do it?”

New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003, p. 64. 3. Lara Logan interviews Bill Walters on CBS’s 60 Minutes, January 16, 2011. Blood Hound 1. Patton, dir. Franklin J. Schaffner, perf. George C. Scott, 20th Century Fox, 1970. 2. David Shenk, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics Talent, and IQ Is Wrong. New York: Random House, 2010, p. 11. 3. See http://www.michaelcovel.com/2010/02/06/meeting-mikhail-gorbachev-myjourney/. 4. Anthony Robbins, Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement. New York: Free Press, 1986, p. 12. 5. John Tierney, “When Every Child Is Good Enough.” New York Times, November 21, 2004. See http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/21/weekinreview/21tier.html. 6. Mark Cuban, “Success and Motivation—You Only Have to Be Right Once.” May 30, 2005. See http://blogmaverick.com/2005/05/30/success-and-motivation-you-onlyhave-to-be-right-once/.


pages: 261 words: 57,595

China's Future by David Shambaugh

Berlin Wall, capital controls, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, high net worth, knowledge economy, labour mobility, low skilled workers, market bubble, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent-seeking, secular stagnation, short selling, South China Sea, special drawing rights, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

Jiang Zemin’s power was not yet consolidated and China’s leaders remained traumatized from their Party’s own near-death experience and having just witnessed the disintegration and collapse of the Soviet Union and East European communist party-states. They remained convinced that had they not taken lethal action in 1989, China’s Communist Party would have gone the same way. Political reform was the furthest thing from their minds. In fact, they specifically blamed Mikhail Gorbachev’s political reforms, as well as the subversive “peaceful evolution” efforts of the West, for precipitating the collapse of Soviet Communist Party rule and the USSR. This was their initial consensus explanation for the regime implosions of 1989–1991. Over time, however, as the CCP undertook an extraordinarily detailed series of assessments of the causes of collapse, a more nuanced and fundamentally different narrative and explanation emerged.

Divorce = War. The Dragon and the Bear Redux By contrast, Beijing and Moscow currently enjoy the best relationship they have had in six decades. This is a good thing. The world should not wish that these two powers and giant neighbors be locked in antagonism. When this occurred during the 1960s–1980s it was highly dangerous and destabilizing. Beginning in the mid-1980s the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping orchestrated a series of mutual confidence-building steps to improve relations (which culminated in the renormalization of relations in 1989). Despite a brief hiatus following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two sides continued their efforts to reduce sources of friction and rebuild their ties. A series of bilateral agreements were agreed to during the mid- to late 1990s, with the capstone being the 2001 Treaty of Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (Hardback) - Common by Alan Greenspan

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air freight, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, equity premium, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pets.com, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, working-age population, Y2K, zero-sum game

* ft*™M C i * - I HNEBSSr* N *i I A ^ ^ ^ ^ _ J ^bA^A ^^U • ^ ^ • • t I - - fc rai m m • - - ^ ^ " E_"^'iTi:". -~ • • = - " More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright. History took an astonishing turn when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989. But even more amazing to me in the following days was the economic ruin exposed by the fall of the wall. By the time Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev made his third visit to the United States during the following spring, the Soviet Union itself had begun to disintegrate. He is shown below with President George H. W. Bush and me in a receiving line at a state dinner in Washington on May 31, 1990. LEFT: AP Images/John Gaps HI; BELOW: Courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library The strain between President George H. W. Bush and the Federal Reserve Board was evident in this July 1991 meeting in the Oval Office.

I was struck by how quickly the Chinese leadership acquired a relatively sophisticated understanding of the workings of market economies, given the distance it had to traveL Here I am meeting with Chinese president Jiang Zemin in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Chinese finance m i n i s t e r Jin R e n q i n g is to t h e r i g h t . The collection of Alan Greenspan Ohinese premier Zhu Rongji ranks with Mikhail Gorbachev in his impact on world economic events. In the course of meetings over many years, he and I became good friends. Bob Rubin and I saw him during his visit to Washington, D.C., in 1999, when he urged President Clinton and Congress to back China's accession to the World Trade Organization. Epix/Getty Images More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright.

However, golf has lately been a source of controversy at some Chinese universities, where students have protested administration efforts to build golf "training courses" on which to teach t h e sport. Nonetheless, another international golf t o u r n a m e n t , on China's Hainan Island, was staged in March 2 0 0 7 . 298 More ebooks visit: http://www.ccebook.cn ccebook-orginal english ebooks This file was collected by ccebook.cn form the internet, the author keeps the copyright. THE CHOICES THAT A W A I T C H I N A I have always been of the opinion that Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika were the proximate cause of the Soviet Union's demise. They exposed the Soviet people to "liberal" values that Stalin and most of his successors had long suppressed. After the Pandora's box was opened, given the way ideas spread, the demise of collectivism in the USSR and its satellites was just a matter of time. Efforts by the Chinese Communist Politburo to control information on the Internet suggest to me that they have drawn the same conclusion and do not wish to see history repeat itself.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

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Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

Yet there were still some people at the Pentagon who claimed a nuclear war was ‘winnable.’ I thought they were crazy. Worse, it appeared there were also Soviet generals who thought in terms of winning a nuclear war.” Someone else was speaking similarly. In December 1984, the USSR’s parlimentary delegate Mikhail Gorbachev said to Britain’s legislature: “Whatever is dividing us, we live on the same planet and Europe is our common home—a home, not a theater of military operations. . . . The Soviet Union is prepared . . . to advance towards the complete prohibition and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.” On January 15, 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev directly proposed to Ronald Reagan “a concrete program, calculated for a precisely determined period of time, for the complete liquidation of nuclear weapons throughout the world . . . within the next fifteen years, before the end of the present century. . . .

He would regularly discuss eliminating atomic bombs in private, but no one in his administration supported this, and the president did nothing about it in practice, either militarily or diplomatically. When he met with his political comrade-in-arms Margaret Thatcher at Camp David on December 22, 1984, and told her about this goal, she was “horrified.” Thatcher was one of many who had come to believe that nuclear arms were what kept the Cold War cold, telling Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev three years later, “Both our countries know from bitter experience that conventional weapons do not deter war in Europe whereas nuclear weapons have done so over forty years.” On March 1, 1982, President Reagan watched the National Military Command Center rehearse a nuclear attack. A screen displayed a map of the United States, and as the missiles arrived, and the warheads fell, red dots bloomed, over and over, growing together into a bloody cloud—in a mere thirty minutes, America was no more.

On January 15, 1986, Gorbachev offered to stop all atomic testing for five to eight years; to limit warheads to six thousand apiece; to remove all medium-range missiles from Europe; to enact a ban on space-strike weapons; for China, France, Britain, the United States, and the USSR to ban tactical nuclear weapons and reduce their arsenals over a five-to-seven-year period; and finally, to ban all nuclear weapons over fourteen years. After hearing of this, Reagan wrote in his diary: “We’d be hard put to explain how we could turn it down.” Yet, as Moscow halted testing for ninety days to try to shame the United States into following suit, on March 22, the AEC detonated a twenty-nine-kiloton bomb at the Nevada Test Site. Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan—one instantly recognizable from his ocher birthmark peninsula; the other from his shiny black macassar helmet—then met on October 11, 1986, at Reykjavík, Iceland, where the first secretary raised his January offer to now include the two superpowers’ eliminating all offensive nuclear arms—the triad of ICBMs, bombers, and sub-launched cruise missiles. Gorbachev: “So let me precisely, firmly, and clearly declare, we are in favor of finding a solution that would lead eventually to a complete liquidation of nuclear arms.


pages: 293 words: 74,709

Bomb Scare by Joseph Cirincione

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Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra

In 1991 President Bush announced that the United States would unilaterally withdraw all of its land- and sea-launched tactical nuclear weapons and would dismantle all of its land- and many of its sea-based systems (thereby denuclearizing the Army and the Navy surface fleet). The president also unilaterally ended the twenty-four-hour alert status of the U.S. bomber force and took a substantial portion of the land-based missile force off of hair-trigger alert (readiness to launch within fifteen minutes). Two weeks later, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev reciprocated with similar tactical weapon withdrawals and the de-alerting of 503 Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. While the process was begun by Eisenhower, inspired by Kennedy, and pushed by Johnson, most of the major diplomatic lifting was actually done by Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, who either negotiated or brought into force almost all the instruments that make up the interlocking network of treaties and arrangements we refer to as the nonproliferation regime.

,The Nuclear Tipping Point: Global Prospects for Revisiting Nuclear Renunciation (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004), cited in Universal Compliance, p. 130. AFTERWORD: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME 1. “Suicide Bomb Hits Pakistani Bus,” BBC News, November 1, 2007, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7072428.stm. 2. Bill Roggio, “Suicide Attack at Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Complex,” Long War Journal, December 10, 2007. 3. Mikhail Gorbachev, “The Nuclear Threat,” Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2007. 4. Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus, “The Saga of a Bent Spear: Six Nuclear Missiles Were Flown Across America,” Washington Post, September 23, 2007, p. A1. 5. Robert Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, “U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2008,” NDRC Nuclear Notebook, The Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 2008. 6. Ibid. 7. Warren Strobel, “Cheney at Center of Struggle to Manage N.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

Actions will be too much or too little to achieve the decision maker’s goals. On the other hand, if action is taken too fast, it may nervously amplify short-term variation and create unnecessary instability. Delays determine how fast systems can react, how accurately they hit their targets, and how timely is the information passed around a system. Overshoots, oscillations, and collapses are always caused by delays. Understanding delays helps one understand why Mikhail Gorbachev could transform the information system of the Soviet Union virtually overnight, but not the physical economy. (That takes decades.) It helps one see why the absorption of East Germany by West Germany produced more hardship over a longer time than the politicians foresaw. Because of long delays in building new power plants, the electricity industry is plagued with cycles of overcapacity and then undercapacity leading to brownouts.

Rules—Incentives, punishments, constraints The rules of the system define its scope, its boundaries, its degrees of freedom. Thou shalt not kill. Everyone has the right of free speech. Contracts are to be honored. The president serves four-year terms and cannot serve more than two of them. Nine people on a team, you have to touch every base, three strikes and you’re out. If you get caught robbing a bank, you go to jail. Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union and opened information flows (glasnost) and changed the economic rules (perestroika), and the Soviet Union saw tremendous change. Constitutions are the strongest examples of social rules. Physical laws such as the second law of thermodynamics are absolute rules, whether we understand them or not or like them or not. Laws, punishments, incentives, and informal social agreements are progressively weaker rules.


pages: 487 words: 147,891

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny

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anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile

., this would have been the price of technologies had we bought them.” All three industries—drugs, arms, and high tech—were deemed of immense strategic value to the Bulgarian state. At the heart of the smuggling operations lay Military Counter Intelligence, the Second Directorate of the DS, which controlled all of Bulgaria’s borders. And the head of Military Counter Intelligence was General Petur Chergelanov, the father-in-law to Ilya Pavlov. In 1986, as Mikhail Gorbachev consolidated his authority in Moscow, Western leaders were unaware that the Soviet Union’s hegemony over its East European allies was coming to an end. The Bulgarian state security service had no such illusions about the system it policed. Experienced observers of the Soviet scene, the DS’s leadership calculated that Communism did not have long to last. Under pressure from Gorbachev, the Bulgarian Communist Party had passed Decree 56, which overnight allowed the creation of private enterprises in Bulgaria, known as joint-stock companies.

Gaunt, serious, and with penetrating blue eyes, Shakhnazarian is an unlikely anti-mafia campaigner, although since he has fought in two wars on the periphery of the Soviet Union as it was breaking up, his courage should not be underestimated. Together with his energetic wife, Oksana Martinuk, he has been fighting to prevent the extermination of the sturgeon for more than a decade. “They were overfishing to such a degree that they ran out of rail trucks to export the stuff. To his credit, Mikhail Gorbachev put a stop to this overfishing and strengthened the Spetznaz [Special Forces] teams who were charged with protecting the sturgeon,” Oksana said. In a short time, the armed protection and a new restocking program had a demonstrably positive impact on sturgeon numbers. But after 1989, the police state that had cowed so many people for seven decades appeared to shrivel and die. “At first the poachers came at night, shooting their way to the river.

“Sharks only move in for the kill when they can taste the fear of their victims,” he mused, “and I don’t believe I understood quite how serious things stood with the gangsters at this time, so I wasn’t as scared as perhaps I should have been.” Tarasov’s affable manner belies his exceptional business acumen, which transformed him from Communist bureaucrat into Russia’s first millionaire after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms had opened a window on private enterprise. “Our first business was fixing Western television sets. There were no spare parts so we had to improvise with Russian ones. And they worked, although if people had looked inside them, they would have seen a rather monstrous apparition—we couldn’t get the genuine parts so we had to bodge them ourselves. After that I started a dating agency.


pages: 669 words: 150,886

Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power by Patrick Major

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, falling living standards, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, open borders, Post-materialism, post-materialism, refrigerator car, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine

Robert Frost, ‘Mending Wall’ (1915) 1989 was to witness the collapse of communism across eastern Europe. Scenes of revellers from East and West Berlin dancing atop the Berlin Wall have remained lodged in memories as the moment the Cold War ended. The ‘fall of the Wall’ became a metaphor for the end of an era, although it was not until August 1991 that the Soviet Union imploded, taking with it the architect of reform, Mikhail Gorbachev. Nevertheless, the fall of the Wall was a symptom as well as a cause of other changes. Radical challenges to orthodox communism had already been under way for years in Poland and Hungary, where, in the latter instance, citizens had been granted freedom of travel in 1988. The GDR, on the other hand, had always been viewed as the most loyal eastern bloc regime. The Wall’s collapse therefore signalled to neighbouring regimes that anything was possible.

See also SED-ZK (PO), ‘Information über Diskussionen unter der Bevölkerung zu Versorgungsfragen’, 28 July 1989, SAPMO-BArch, DY30/IV2/2.039/268, fos. 91–8. ¹⁵ Grieder, East German Leadership, 183–7. The Fall of the Wall 231 towards the FRG under the auspices of Ostpolitik and the modernization of its economy. Nor were his successors much more supportive. Various decisions, such as the dismantling of fragmentation devices along the border fence in 1983, or Honecker’s visit to Bonn in 1987, were not taken with prior consultation with Moscow, much to the Kremlin’s irritation.¹⁶ Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership of the CPSU, beginning in March 1985, signalled fundamental changes to the special relationship. For his common ‘European house’, Gorbachev was keen to foster relations with West Germany, even at the GDR’s expense, despite all protestations to the contrary. The Soviet General Secretary made Delphic allusions to ‘history’ solving the German question. Moreover, the Kremlin leader had realized that the arms race could not continue.

S. 1 Paris summit (1960) 38 liberalization 165–74 Party Information (SED) 13, 14, 15, 17, 33, ending of at 11th Plenum 174 35, 233, 249–50, 284 and New Economic System 166–8 Pass Law (1957) 102–3 limes 2 Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) 281–2 Lindenberg, Udo 175–6 Pervukhin, Mikhail (Soviet ambassador to Lindenberger, Thomas 7–8 GDR) 51, 110 Litfin, Günter 146 petitions ( Eingaben) 19, 84–5, 104–5, 157, Lüdtke, Alf 5, 6 201–3, 210, 230, 236, 249 Lünser, Bernd 146–7 Pfaff, Steven 242 Pieck, Wilhelm, president of GDR 19 Macmillan, Harold 36 Plato 2 Maginot Line 2 Poland 235 320 Index police see Volkspolizei Sex Pistols 1 popular music see music Sheriff Teddy (1957) 98 popular opinion 11–12, 16, 25, 33–4, shootings 145–8, 265; see also trials 120–1, 156–7, 163 Siegfried Line 2 declarations of support 17–18, 121 Social Democrats see SPD postal censorship 189 Sokolovsky, Vasily 27 Potsdamer Platz 278–9 Sonnenallee (1999) 261 propaganda see under Berlin Wall Soviet Union 3, 24, 27, 31, 232, 240, 254; see protests see demonstrations also Mikhail Gorbachev public opinion see popular opinion and Berlin blockade 27 Puhdys 175, 201 Red Army 26, 90 Sparta 2 radio 28, 34, 168, 171; see also music SPD 163–4, 257 Operation Blitz (1961) 191 Springsteen, Bruce 175 ransoming of political prisoners 214 Sputnik ban 233 Ratzel, Friedrich 3 Stalinism 12 refugees see Republikflucht Staritz, Dietrich 289 Stasi 12, 14–15, 15–16, 17, 30, 31, 32, 66, Reimann, Brigitte 179 67–8, 78, 86, 97, 106, 107, 121, 132, Republikflucht 12, 25, 43, 47, 100–1, 197–8 145, 147, 187–8, 189, 199, 220, 237, and Berlin 105 246, 250 combatting of 92–3, 97, 102, 105–6, 109 and building of Berlin Wall 113, 116 demographic impact 56, 79 Central Coordination Group to combat as migration 74–5 emigration 213–4, 215–7 political motives for 57, 64–74 Markus Wolf 232, 250 pull factors 75–6 Strauß, Franz Josef 152, 203, 228 push factors 66, 77, 82, 88 Streletz, Fritz 265 regional factors 59, 60–1 strikes 44, 134–6, 256 social factors 73 suicides 158–9 situational motives for 57–63 threats to commit 83–7, 211–2 teachers 70–1, 73, 200 trigger factors 79–82 television 192–3 RIAS (Radio in the American Sector) 13, 28, Templin, Wolfgang 275 34, 191 Third Reich 11, 13, 59, 65, 131, 156–7, 192, rock ‘n’ roll see under music 264 Rolling Stones 172 Tiananmen Square massacre 236–7, 245 Roman Empire 2 totalitarianism 4, 6, 7, 10 Ross, Corey 289–90 tourism 196–7 Russia see Soviet Union West German tourists 228 trade unions 130 Schabowski, Günter 253 transport 28–9 Schneider, Peter 258 travel 100–4, 194–208 Schnitzler, Karl-Eduard von 122 freedom of 103–4, 198 Schroeder, Klaus 4 travel cadres 196 Schürer, Gerhard 229, 232, 251 travel law (1989) 251–3 Schultz, Egon 148, 275 trials 107, 131–2, 140 Scott, James 6 wall shooter trials 263–7 secret police see Stasi Tucholsky, Kurt 199 SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) 12, tunnel 30 16, 18, 20, 24, 42 Turba, Kurt 170–1, 172 grass roots functionaries 30, 52–3, 65, 67, Turner, Frederick Jackson 8–9 88, 129–31, 192, 203, 222–3, 233–4, 249–50 Ulbricht, Walter 19, 24, 39, 40, 46, 47, 82, reformers within 232 87, 107–8, 156 see Party Information United Nations 3, 202 Seidel, Harry 144–5, 285 United States of America 28, 35, 36 Selbmann, Fritz 181 USSR see Soviet Union Index 321 Versprechen, Das (1994) 260 Weber, Max 4 Vietnam 161 West Germany see Federal Republic of violence 131, 165, 245, 246–7 Germany visas 89, 100, 197 Wings of Desire (1987) 274 Volkspolizei (People’s Police) 12, 19, 28, 67, Wolf, Christa 179–81, 250, 261 76, 87, 92, 93, 100, 104, 106, 132, 157, Wolf, Hanna 102 199, 203, 241; see also arrests women 94, 102, 126, 236 and building of Berlin Wall 114 Wonneberger, Pastor 244 workers 43–6, 138–9 writers 176–83, 234 Wall see Berlin Wall ‘wall sickness’ 158–9 young people 62–3, 67, 77, 95–9, 124–5, ‘wallpeckers’ 274–5 131, 141–3, 160–1, 170–4, 238–9 war, fear of 126–7 Warsaw Pact 109, 112–3 Weber, Hermann 5, 159, 288–9 Zeiss optics works 46, 76 Document Outline Contents List of Illustrations Abbreviations 1.


pages: 566 words: 144,072

In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones

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business climate, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, open borders, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, zero-sum game

Power is transferred to Nur Mohammad Taraki, who establishes the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. 1979 Nur Mohammad Taraki is arrested by his deputy, Hafizullah Amin, and executed. As instability grips the country, Soviet forces invade on Christmas Eve. On December 27, Soviet Special Forces and KGB storm the Presidential Palace, kill Hafizullah Amin, and install Babrak Karmal as president. 1986 Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev announces a partial withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. In November, the Soviets replace Babrak Karmal with Muhammad Najibullah, former head of the Afghan secret police. 1989 On February 15, the last Red Army units roll across the Termez Bridge from Afghanistan and return to the Soviet Union. 1992 The United States ends arms shipments to the Afghan government and militia groups.

A CIA assessment concluded: “The Soviets have had little success in reducing the insurgency or winning acceptance by the Afghan people, and the Afghan resistance continues to grow stronger and to command widespread popular support. Fighting has gradually spread to all parts of Afghanistan.”46 Initial Soviet assessments of the war were optimistic, but by 1985, Soviet leaders had become increasingly concerned.47 At a Politburo session on October 17, 1985, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev read letters from Soviet citizens expressing growing dissatisfaction with the war in Afghanistan. At that same session, Gorbachev also described his meeting with Babrak Karmal in which he said the Soviet Union would pull its troops from Afghanistan. “Karmal was dumbfounded,” Gorbachev noted. “He had expected anything but this from us, he was sure we needed Afghanistan even more than he did, he’s been counting on us to stay there for a long time—if not forever.”

Bush and then secretary of defense under his son, President George W. Bush. It was a win-win bet, Gates told his colleagues. “I would get twenty-five dollars or have the pleasure of paying twenty-five dollars on the occasion of an early Soviet withdrawal. A small price to pay for a large victory.” Gates was fond of quoting an old Chinese proverb: “What the bear has eaten, he never spits out.” But he lost the bet. Mikhail Gorbachev announced in February 1988, before a nationwide audience, that Soviet withdrawals from Afghanistan would begin that May, and they were completed by December 1989. “I paid Mike Armacost the twenty-five dollars—the best money I ever spent,” Gates said. “I also told myself it would be the last time I’d make an intelligence forecast based on fortune cookie wisdom.”1 A Patchwork of Competing Groups The initial U.S. reaction to the Soviet withdrawal was referred to as “positive symmetry.”


pages: 934 words: 135,736

The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 by Mary Fulbrook

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, joint-stock company, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, Sinatra Doctrine, union organizing, unorthodox policies

But the fostering of a muted dissent under the wing of the church spread beyond the bounds which the church could control. More specialized groups developed, focusing on issues pertaining to human rights and the environment, in addition to peace initiatives, which could no longer so easily be contained by the church. This proliferation of dissent coincided with, and was to a degree fuelled by, a quite separate factor of major, indeed decisive, importance. In March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union. Inheriting an ailing economy burdened by high defence spending, a world role it could no longer sustain, and political troubles at home, Gorbachev embarked on a radically new course in the Soviet Union, characterized by his slogans of perestroika and glasnost. Not only did he introduce measures for economic restructuring and increased political openness at home; Gorbachev's reforms, crucially, fostered expectation of change among other eastern European states in addition.

Despite such repression, demonstrators maintained their non-violent stance: young women at the Gethsemane Church, for example, approached members of the militia with flowers, and invited policemen to change out of their uniforms and join them in demanding democratization. Children guarded the candles which were kept alive, symbolically, with the flames of hope for a peaceful revolution. Yet many who joined the protests were deeply afraid, and not without reason. Earlier in the year, the East German regime had officially congratulated the Chinese leadership on the brutal massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Peking's Tiananmen Square. Mikhail Gorbachev came to the GDR, to stand by Honecker's side for the anniversary parades. But he took the opportunity to advise the East German leadership that some willingness to reform was in order and that it might be time for Honecker, given his age and ill-health, to make way for a more effective leader given the current crisis. These hints were to have dramatic consequences in the next ten days. An important turning-point in regime responses to the growing crisis came on 9 October.

Yet it was clear that the Warsaw Pact was no longer a cohesive body posing a serious military threat; and by 6 July 1990, a two-day NATO summit was able to issue the 'London Declaration' announcing a radical reconceptualization of its role and effectively declaring peace, as one newspaper headline put it, on the Warsaw Pact. Little over a week later, on 16 July after discussions in Moscow and the Caucasus between Chancellor Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev, the latter was able to announce that he no longer objected to membership of a united Germany in NATO. Warsaw Pact troops would be withdrawn from the territory of East Germany in phases over a four-year period, and the new, post-unification domestic military force of a united Germany would be reduced from the number produced simply by combining existing East and West German troops. The way finally seemed open for the 'Two-plus-Four' process to work out the remaining problems concerning the external aspects of the unification of two Germanies, catching up with the rapid momentum on the domestic front and paving the way for final political unification.

Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate personhood, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, invisible hand, liberation theology, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, nuremberg principles, one-state solution, open borders, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

McFaul informed the press that “we’re not going to reassure or give or trade anything with the Russians regarding NATO expansion or missile defense,” referring to U.S. missile defense programs in Eastern Europe (to which we return) and NATO membership for Russia’s neighbors Ukraine and Georgia. Obama has spoken about eventual abolition of nuclear weapons, in accord with the legal obligation of signers of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but again in rather vague terms. And as longtime antinuclear activist Joseph Gerson has observed, Mikhail Gorbachev and others have recognized that “Russia will not be able to embrace serious efforts to achieve abolition unless space is demilitarized—something which is not discussed in Washington’s agenda.”47 Obama’s approach may be an improvement over Bush, and offers prospects for popular movements that seek to rid the earth of these threats to survival of the species. But a lot of work will be needed.

The call for negotiations and diplomacy on the part of the American unpeople extends to Cuba, and has for decades, but is again dismissed by both political parties.30 The possibility that functioning democracy might alleviate severe dangers is regularly illustrated. To take another current example, of great importance, there is now justified concern about Russian reactions to U.S. aggressive militarism. That includes the extension of NATO to the East by Clinton in violation of pledges to Mikhail Gorbachev, but particularly the vast expansion of offensive military capacity under Bush, and more recently, the plans to place “missile defense” installations in Eastern Europe. Putin is ridiculed for claiming that they are a threat to Russia. But U.S. strategic analysts recognize that he has a point. The programs, they argue, are designed in a way that Russian planners would have to regard as a threat to the Russian deterrent, hence calling for more advanced and lethal offensive military capacity to neutralize them.

Historical amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon, not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity, but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that lie ahead. TWELVE 1989 and Beyond The month of November 2009 was marked by the joyous twentieth-anniversary celebration of what British historian Timothy Garton Ash calls “the biggest year in world history since 1945.” That remarkable year “changed everything,” thanks primarily to Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms within Russia and his “breathtaking renunciation of the use of force…a luminous example of the importance of the individual in history,” leading to the partially open Russian elections of March 1989 and culminating in the fall of the Berlin wall on November 9, which opened the way to liberation of Eastern Europe from Russian tyranny. The general mood was captured well by barrister Matthew Ryder, speaking for the “niners,” the generation that is now providing global leadership, with Barack Obama in the lead, their conception of history having been “shaped by a world changed without guns” in 1989, events that gave them confidence in the power of dedication to nonviolence and justice.1 The accolades for November 9 are deserved, and the events are indeed memorable.


pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

IRBMs from Turkey and Italy—and that here, as with the Soviet and American response to the strategic dilemmas posed first by the possibility and then by the reality of the ICBM, technology ruled. The presence of mobile Soviet SS-20 IRBMs in Europe from 1977, and the threat of a subsequent tit-for-tat Pershing II deployment by the U.S., loomed large in the logic behind the negotiations between President Ronald Reagan and Premier Mikhail Gorbachev that, as we now know, marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The logic of the scenarios posited above is debatable. What is not is that ICBM-based mutual deterrence was central to the Cold War, a reality reflected in the strategic vocabulary. Such expressions as circular error probable (CEP), preemptive first strike, survivable second-strike capability, and launch on warning, while not exclusively related to ICBMs, arose within a context shaped by the intercontinental ballistic missile.

One or both sides had miscalculated, and in a nuclear age, misunderstanding and misinterpretation could lead to the unthinkable. There was a quiet crisis in the early 1980s, the ramifications of which we do not yet understand. It is possible that the Cold War might have ended sooner but for the prevailing atmosphere of confrontation. It is also possible that the critical international situation steeled subsequent Soviet leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev in their determination to end the superpower struggle. On the other hand, it is equally possible that the end of history could have come right then, in nuclear annihilation. In the spring of 1948, when the government of Czechoslovakia fell to a Russianbacked factional coup, beginning an escalation of tension that culminated with the Berlin Blockade, people spoke of a “war scare of 1948.” Today we can begin to consider the untold story of the war scare of 1983.

American analyst Raymond Garthoff, among our foremost experts on Russia, concludes in a study of the end of the Cold War that any such alert would have been kept very quiet by Soviet intelligence. Garthoff interviewed a number of key Moscow officials, including the first deputies to the foreign minister and chief of the general staff, and the chief of the international department of the Communist Party, and no one had any recollection of an alert. Mikhail Gorbachev, then a Politburo member, also said the matter never came before that body. On the other hand, Gorbachev affirms the general proposition that 1983–84 proved the most delicate moment in the superpower relationship. Ambassador Dobrynin confirms that he heard of the KGB alert from his rezident in Washington. The CIA also apparently learned later from different sources that Soviet military intelligence was put on a state of high alert.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

And it gives the wrong impression—that you can do it alone. I couldn’t. And odds are, you can’t either. We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice, and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we’re stuck with nowhere to go. I have been blessed to find mentors and idols at every step of my life, and I’ve been lucky to meet many of them. From Joe Weider to Nelson Mandela, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Muhammad Ali, from Andy Warhol to George H.W. Bush, I have never been shy about seeking wisdom from others to pour fuel on my fire. You have probably listened to Tim’s podcasts. (I particularly recommend the one with the charming bodybuilder with the Austrian accent.) He has used his platform to bring you the wisdom of a diverse cast of characters in business, entertainment, and sports.

I later purchased an InnoGear 200 ml aromatherapy diffuser in “wood grain” (most diffusers look cheap otherwise) for home use. * * * Tony Robbins Tony Robbins (TW/FB/IG: @tonyrobbins, tonyrobbins.com) is the world’s most famous performance coach. He’s advised everyone from Bill Clinton and Serena Williams to Leonardo DiCaprio and Oprah (who calls him “superhuman”). Tony Robbins has consulted or advised international leaders including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, and three U.S. presidents. Robbins has also developed and produced five award-winning television infomercials that have continuously aired—on average—every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, somewhere in North America, since 1989. Back Story I first read Tony Robbins’s Unlimited Power in high school, when it was recommended by a straight-A student.

Spirit animal: Sponge * * * Cal Fussman Cal Fussman (TW: @calfussman, calfussman.com) is a New York Times best-selling author and a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine, where he is best known for being a primary writer of the What I’ve Learned feature. The Austin Chronicle has described Cal’s interviewing skills as “peerless.” He has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with icons who have shaped the last 50 years of world history: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, Pelé, Yao Ming, Serena Williams, John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, and countless others. Born in Brooklyn, Cal spent 10 straight years traveling the world, swimming over 18-foot tiger sharks, rolling around with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and searching for gold in the Amazon.


pages: 361 words: 111,500

Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Exxon Valdez, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, Mikhail Gorbachev, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Transnistria, union organizing

Now she is reduced to scrimping for food and renting out her spare bedroom to a neurotic American on some crazy search for happiness. The wheels of history can be cruel. Luba’s English consists entirely of the words “no” and “feevty-feevty,” the latter of which she invariably accompanies with a seesawing of her palm. For Luba, everything is feevty-feevty, from the fish sold at the local market to the president of Moldova. Except for Mikhail Gorbachev. The former Soviet leader, the man who hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union, scores much lower than feevty-feevty in Luba’s estimation. My Russian is more extensive than Luba’s English, but just barely. In addition to “no,” I can also say “yes” and “I don’t understand” and “one more vodka, please.” So you can imagine my horror when Natasha explains that she’s leaving, and I will be spending the next two weeks alone with her grandmother.

(Yes, for nuclear bombs.) Have a beautiful daughter, Larissa, and a son, too. Daughter falls ill from the radiation, so they move to Moldova. Luba takes out a yellowing staff directory and shows me her picture. She looks important. She had risen high in the construction ministry; she had a car and a dacha. She lived well, not extravagantly but well. Then a man entered her life. His name was Mikhail Gorbachev, and he was a fool, she says, with a roll of her eyes. He moved too quickly in dismantling the Soviet Union. She lost everything. With this, she begins to sob. I hand her a tissue. Her husband had a stroke and lapsed into a coma for a year, then died. Now she survives on a forty-dollar-a-month pension. Her daughter is in Turkey working as a “hairstylist for dogs.” (At least that’s how Marisha translates it.)


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Amazingly (at least to Westerners), most didn’t recognize the image at all. Chinese university students’ blinkered knowledge and understanding of their own society, past and present, is one of the regime’s most deliberate and profound achievements. The 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were sparked by the death of a reformist leader, Hu Yaobang, but the fire was fueled by the historic Beijing visit of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev soon thereafter. Students hoped that Chinese leaders would follow his policy of glasnost, the Russian word for “openness,” which became the catchphrase for a loosening of controls on the Russian press and discussion of political reform. After the bloody June 4 crackdown, Deng Xiaoping quashed all hopes that China would follow Gorbachev’s lead. Instead Deng focused aggressively and exclusively on the Chinese version of perestroika, or “restructuring”: accelerating the economic reforms that have made China the world’s second-largest economy today and a rising global power.

Having altruistic-sounding mission statements on the corporate website is well and good, but how can people be sure a company is living up to its own ostensibly high ethical standards—any more than they should trust that a sovereign is good simply because he says he is? In the long run, an Internet-related company’s value proposition is questionable at best and fraudulent at worst if it rejects the need for accountability. As Ronald Reagan famously said to Mikhail Gorbachev when they signed a major arms control treaty in 1987, “Trust, but verify.” As citizens, we are right to hold the same attitude toward Internet and mobile communication companies, which we now depend upon to inform ourselves, participate in political discourse, and exercise our rights as citizens. We need to be able to trust these companies upon whose platforms, services, and technologies we increasingly rely.


pages: 471 words: 97,152

Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller

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affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Indeed, it is in this last category, stories, where Animal Spirits itself fits in, because the goal of the book is to give its own story about how the economy behaves. Its intent is to tell a more accurate story than the dominant one of the past thirty years or so, ever since the free market revolution that swept the world, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Deng Xiaoping, Manmohan Singh, Mikhail Gorbachev, Brian Mulroney, Bertie Ahern, Carlos Salinas de Gotari, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Carlos Menem, and others. These stories, embellished by oft told vignettes of newly successful people, and in their mostly justified enthusiasm for expanded free markets, led to too much economic tolerance. Underlying this revolution is the powerful principle of the “invisible hand”—that market forces should be the fundamental framework of resource allocation.

Even more significantly, there are changes over time in the prevalence of bad faith—economic activity that, while technically legal, has sinister motives.1 The exponents of capitalism wax poetic over the goods it provides.2 It produces whatever can be turned out at a profit. Thus the urbanologist Jane Jacobs sees architectural poetry in the variety and excitement of cityscapes that are the creation of individual private entrepreneurs.3 At the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s apertura, Gary Becker, the intellectual heir to Milton Friedman’s legacy at the University of Chicago, described the Yellow Pages to Muscovites. These volumes themselves are a result of free enterprise and an indication of the bounty of capitalism, with their alphabetical listings of its many offerings. A friend of ours opined that capitalism was about chocolate milk. The commissars of Soviet Moscow would never have deigned to produce chocolate milk.


pages: 351 words: 93,982

Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies by Otto Scharmer, Katrin Kaufer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fractional reserve banking, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, peak oil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Washington Consensus, working poor, Zipcar

As the worst-case scenario started to unfold, the children and citizens of the city next door, Pripyat, received no warnings. Citizens of the region, Russian and European, were exposed to a cloud of nuclear radiation that first traveled north to Scandinavia and then covered almost all of Europe and its 500 million inhabitants. Not only were Europe’s citizens not warned about the potential threat, even the top Soviet leaders in the Kremlin were in the dark. Mikhail Gorbachev, who at the time was general secretary of the Communist Party, recounts: “I got a call around 5 A.M. I was told there was some accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The first information consisted of ‘accident’ and ‘fire.’ The information report was that everything was sound including the reactor. … At first, I have been told there was no explosion. The consequences of this information were particularly dramatic. … What had happened?

The Soviet Union quickly increased its industrial production in the years prior to World War II and then again in the 1960s under Brezhnev, when it also became one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas and oil. But the 1965 “economic reform” that aimed at introducing entrepreneurial management ideas reflected the limitation of the centralized 1.0 economy. The war in Afghanistan, economic problems, and then the political changes that led to the revolutions in Eastern Europe ended the Soviet Union. In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced perestroika and glasnost, which marked the transition from a centralized 1.0 to a 2.0 society. After his removal from power and with guidance from Harvard advisers, this transition took full effect in the form of “shock therapy.” The result was nothing short of catastrophic, with a rapid increase in poverty and even worse living conditions. At the same time, a small group of well-connected individuals managed to seize ownership of formerly state-owned enterprises.


pages: 956 words: 288,981

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011 by Steve Coll

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, centre right, colonial rule, computer age, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, index card, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

From his service’s headquarters in the Lubyanka on Moscow’s Dzerzhinsky Square, Andropov oversaw KGB foreign covert operations, attempted penetrations of the CIA, and campaigned to suppress dissent within the Soviet Union. Ashen-faced, he conformed outwardly to the drab personal norms of collective leadership. Because he also read Plato, led drives against Soviet corruption, and mentored younger reformers such as Mikhail Gorbachev, a few Kremlin watchers in the West saw tiny glimmers of enlightenment in Andropov, at least in comparison to decaying elder statesmen such as foreign minister Andrei Gromyko or defense minister Dimitri Ustinov.1 Yet Andropov’s KGB remained ruthless and murderous at home and abroad. In Third World outposts such as Kabul, his lieutenants tortured and killed with impunity. Communist allies who fell out of favor were murdered or exiled.

And despite Abdullah Azzam’s questions, he declared that he was going ahead with his other projects at Jaji. “Inshallah [if it is God’s will], you will know my plans,” bin Laden told his mentor.16 THE ANTI-SOVIET AFGHAN JIHAD was coming to an end, but hardly anyone knew it or understood why. Not bin Laden. Not the CIA. On November 13, 1986, behind the Kremlin’s ramparts, the Soviet Politburo’s inner circle met in secret at the behest of Mikhail Gorbachev, the opaque, windy, and ambitious reformer who had taken power twenty months before. Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, the Soviet armed forces chief of staff, explained that the Fortieth Army had so far deployed fifty thousand Soviet soldiers to seal the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, “but they are unable to close all channels through which arms are being smuggled.” The pack mules kept coming.

Two associates of bin Laden later offered a different version while under interrogation: They said a dissident member of the royal family helped him leave the country by arranging for bin Laden to attend an Islamic conference in Pakistan during the spring of 1991. So far as is known, bin Laden never returned to the kingdom.13 VODKA-SOAKED SOVIET HARD-LINERS, including leaders at the KGB, tried and failed to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev on August 19, 1991. Within weeks the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, nemesis of the United States for almost half a century, collapsed as an effective political organization. Russian liberals, Russian nationalists, Baltic nationalists, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks now ruled what remained of the Soviet Union. A nation constructed from Stalin’s terror hurtled toward its final dissolution.


pages: 956 words: 267,746

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion ofSafety by Eric Schlosser

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, impulse control, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, life extension, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, Stewart Brand, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche

Reagan had a sunny, cheerful disposition, but watching The Day After left even him feeling depressed. With strong encouragement from his wife, Nancy, he publicly called for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Reagan’s criticism of the Soviet Union became less severe, and his speeches soon included this heartfelt sentiment: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” The deaths of Yuri Andropov and his successor, Konstantin Chernenko, brought Mikhail Gorbachev to power. Gorbachev represented a dramatic break from the past. He was youthful and dynamic, the first Soviet leader since Vladimir Lenin who’d attended a university. Although Gorbachev’s attempts to change the Soviet Union were tentative at first, he was committed to reforming its stagnant economy, allowing freedom of speech and religion, ending the war in Afghanistan, rejecting the use of force against other nations, linking the Soviet bloc more closely to the rest of Europe, and abandoning the pursuit of nuclear superiority.

Secretary Watkins and his staff met with Senator Glenn, read the Moe panel report, got worried about the safety of older weapons in the stockpile, and contacted the secretary of defense, Dick Cheney, about the issue. Instead of taking the weapons off alert, the Pentagon commissioned two more studies of the SRAM. One would be conducted by the Air Force, the other by Gordon Moe—who was rehired by the Department of Energy to repeat his earlier work. Almost another year passed. The Berlin Wall had fallen. Mikhail Gorbachev had visited the White House; signed major arms agreements; removed hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe; allowed Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania to leave the Soviet bloc. By any rational measure, the Cold War was over. But every day, across the United States, Short-Range Attack Missiles continued to be loaded into B-52s on ground alerts.

“I came to fully appreciate the truth … we escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” Butler eliminated about 75 percent of the targets in the SIOP, introduced a targeting philosophy that was truly flexible, and decided to get rid of the name SIOP. The United States no longer had a single, integrated war plan. Butler preferred a new title for the diverse range of nuclear options: National Strategic Response Plans. • • • MIKHAIL GORBACHEV WAS ON VACATION in the Crimea on August 18, 1991, when a group calling itself the “State Committee for the State of Emergency” entered his house and insisted that he declare martial law or resign. After refusing to do either, Gorbachev was held hostage, and the communications lines to his dacha were shut down by the KGB. His military aides, carrying the nuclear codes and the Soviet equivalent of a “football,” were staying at a guesthouse nearby.


pages: 631 words: 171,391

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs

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air freight, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, global village, Google Earth, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, stakhanovite, yellow journalism

Immediately after his arrival, he invited Soviet military commanders to his Santiago headquarters for consultations. Together, they reviewed plans for the destruction of the naval base. The commander of the local FKR regiment, Colonel Dmitri Maltsev, took out a map and briefed Raúl on the positions of his troops. The Soviet officer responsible for the ground defense of Oriente was Colonel Dmitri Yazov. (He would later become Mikhail Gorbachev's defense minister and a leader of the failed August 1991 coup against Gorbachev.) Like Kovalenko in Remedios, Yazov had great difficulty finding a suitable camp for his motorized rifle regiment. The first site was in a forest filled with poisonous trees and bushes. Unaware of the danger, the troops had used branches from the trees to construct makeshift huts and even beds. The monsoon rains released poison from the branches, infecting an entire tank battalion with terrible skin lesions.

A two-story mansion with a mock neoclassical facade, the Novo- Ogaryevo dacha bore a passing resemblance to the White House in Washington. It had originally been built for Stalin's putative successor as Soviet prime minister, Georgi Malenkov, who was quickly pushed aside by the more forceful Khrushchev. After Malenkov's disgrace, the estate was taken away from him and turned into a government guest house. Novo- Ogaryevo would achieve greater fame decades later as the presidential retreat of Mikhail Gorbachev and the site of negotiations that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Presidium members were seated in front of the first secretary along the long, polished oak table. The eighteen attendees included Andrei Gromyko, the foreign minister, and Rodion Malinovsky, the defense minister. Aides hovered in the background, to be summoned and dismissed as needed. As usual, it was Khrushchev's show.

His family was told only that he died "performing his internationalist duty." George Anderson was dismissed from his position as chief of naval operations in August 1963 and appointed U.S. ambassador to Portugal. William Harvey was removed as head of Operation Mongoose after the missile crisis and sent as CIA station chief to Rome, where he drank heavily. Dmitri Yazov became Soviet defense minister in 1987 and led a failed coup against Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991. John Scali served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Nixon. Curtis LeMay was caricatured as the maniacal Air Force general Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove. In 1968, he ran for vice president of the United States on a ticket headed by the segregationist George Wallace. Ernesto "Che" Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to pursue his dream of worldwide revolution.


pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pearl River Delta, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

But on October 9, just before that night’s demonstration was about to begin, the director of the Leipzig Orchestra and several other local notables persuaded three local party leaders to come out publicly against a crackdown. Together they issued a call committing the party to “peaceful dialogue.” The security forces never went into action. After that the number of demonstrators swelled with each successive Monday evening. In fact, the Leipzig tradition of regular Monday-evening “Prayers for Peace” dated back to 1982, three years after John Paul II’s first pilgrimage and three years before Mikhail Gorbachev’s rise to the top of the Soviet leadership. Protestant clergy at Leipzig’s Church of St. Nicholas organized the prayers as a forum for the non-state-approved airing of controversial social topics, ranging from military conscription to industrial pollution. Although the human rights movement in the German Democratic Republic never assumed the same prodigious scale as its Polish counterpart, it is striking how much East German dissident activity—much of it avowedly secular and left-wing—took place under the aegis of local churches.

In January 1988, Tomášek publicly came out in favor of a petition calling for religious freedom that drew six hundred thousand signers (both Christians and non-).17 The petition was an important act of resistance that set a precedent for the tumultuous events of the following year, when the Czechs (inspired by the examples of their neighbors in Poland and East Germany) succeeded in launching their own nonviolent uprising against Communist rule that came to be known as the “Velvet Revolution.” Here, too, Tomášek also played a vital part, pledging the support of the church to the peaceful demonstrators who clashed with the security forces. To be sure, John Paul II cannot be credited with masterminding everything that happened in Central Europe in 1989. The ascent to power of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 was, of course, a factor of enormous consequence; so, too, was the deepening economic malaise within the USSR, which weakened its ability to retain its hold over its satellites. Yet neither of these conditions determined the form that change, when it came, would take. In this respect, the nine days of John Paul II’s June 1979 pilgrimage had a profound impact. We have fallen into the habit of regarding the collapse of Soviet-style Communism as inevitable: the direct consequence of a dysfunctional economic model of central planning, of the rigidity and institutionalized lies of command politics, and of the vast gap between the sublime designs of Marxist-Leninism and a reality that proved infinitely more vicious and mundane.

In some places, workers joined the students, setting off alarm bells in the minds of party leaders who were especially sensitive to the ideological threat posed by anti-Communist proletarians. Some of the students camped out on Tiananmen Square started a hunger strike to press their demands for more democracy. Various party stalwarts paid visits to the students, warning them to desist. The visitors included, toward the end, Zhao Ziyang himself, who pleaded with them to put an end to the protests. Mikhail Gorbachev came to Beijing, and his example inflamed the malcontents: why couldn’t China implement its own brand of perestroika? How it all ended is known. In the early hours of June 4, 1989, the Communist Party declared martial law and sent in the troops. We may never know the precise casualties, but it seems safe to say that hundreds of people were killed in central Beijing that day. Even more obscure is the outcome in dozens of other Chinese cities where similar protests were suppressed at the same time.


pages: 900 words: 241,741

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Petre

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Berlin Wall, California gold rush, call centre, clean water, cleantech, Donald Trump, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Y2K

The United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and I had been working on an ambitious response to global warming. Two years earlier, in 2007, he’d been so impressed by California’s climate change initiative that he’d invited me to speak at the opening session of the United Nations. When I stepped to the podium that fall, I was almost overwhelmed to realize that I was standing where John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev had all addressed the UN before me. The occasion gave California a world stage—and an opportunity to contribute to a crucial international conversation. Now, two years later, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was meant to be the most important meeting on global warming since the completion of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. After years of environmental conferences and programs and debates, leaders from more than 110 nations were coming to Copenhagen to hammer out an action plan.

She has traveled all over the country promoting the fight against Alzheimer’s, and is very active on the Special Olympics board, helping prepare for the 2015 International Special Olympics Games in Los Angeles. I was glad to have a busy schedule after we separated because otherwise I would have felt lost. I kept working and stayed on the move. By the summer, I’d appeared at a series of post-governorship speaking engagements across the northern United States and Canada. I went to the Xingu River in Brazil with Jim Cameron; to London for Mikhail Gorbachev’s eightieth birthday party; to Washington, DC, for a summit on immigration; and to Cannes to receive the Legion d’Honneur medal and promote new projects. Yet while I was as busy as ever, none of it felt the way it should. What had made my career fun for more than thirty years was sharing it with Maria. We’d done everything together and now my life felt out of kilter. There was no one to come home to.

Every time he hit me. Every time he said my weight training was garbage, that I should do something useful and go out and chop wood. Every time he disapproved of me or embarrassed me, it put fuel on the fire in my belly. It drove me and motivated me. 8. Change takes big balls. While on a trade mission to Moscow during my last year as governor, I took a little time out to visit former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev at his home. We’d become friends over the years and I’d given a speech for him and sat with him at his eightieth birthday party in London a few months before. Gorbachev’s daughter Irina made lunch for us and several friends from the Gorbachev Institute. We ate for at least two and a half hours. I’ve always idolized Gorbachev because of the courage it took him to dismantle the political system that he grew up under.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Far from challenging the United States for economic supremacy, as Khrushchev had threatened, the Soviet Union had achieved per-capita consumption of around 24 per cent of the American level – a challenge to Turkey, at best.107 At the same time, the shift in superpower relations towards détente and disarmament made the Soviets’ ability to mass-produce missiles a good deal less valuable. High oil prices in the 1970s had given the system a stay of execution; as oil fell in the 1980s the Soviet bloc was left with nothing but hard-currency debts – money borrowed from the very system Khrushchev had promised to ‘bury’. Mikhail Gorbachev, appointed general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in March 1985, felt there was now no alternative but to reform both the economic and the political system, including the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. With perestroika and glasnost the new watchwords in Moscow, hard-liners in East Berlin were left high and dry – forced into censoring publications and reports not only from the West but from the Soviet Union as well.

The most recent and familiar example of precipitous decline is, of course, the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the benefit of hindsight, historians have traced all kinds of rot within the Soviet system back to the Brezhnev era and beyond. According to one recent account, it was only the high oil prices of the 1970s that ‘averted Armageddon’.16 But this was not apparent at the time. In March 1985, when Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, the CIA (wrongly) estimated the Soviet economy to be approximately 60 per cent the size of the US economy. The Soviet nuclear arsenal was genuinely larger than the US stockpile. And governments in what was then called the Third World, from Vietnam to Nicaragua, had been tilting in the Soviets’ favour for most of the previous twenty years.


pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller

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airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

Its love affair with revolution in the advanced capitalist world, frustrated for decades, ceased to have even theological relevance, and its venerable and once visceral attachment to revolution and to “wars of national liberation” in the Third World no longer even inspired much in the way of lip service. As Francis Fukuyama observed at the time, the role of ideology in defining Soviet foreign policy objectives and in providing political instruments for expansion steadily declined in the postwar period, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev further accelerated that process after he took office in 1985. Early in his tenure, Gorbachev said his country required “not only a reliable peace, but also a quiet, normal international situation.” And in 1986, he began to forcefully undercut Communist ideology about the “class struggle” and about the Soviet Union’s “internationalist duty” as the leader of world socialism. By 1988, the Soviets were admitting the “inadequacy of the thesis that peaceful coexistence is a form of class struggle,” and their chief ideologist explicitly rejected the notion that a world struggle was going on between capitalism and Communism.

In part they were concerned that the technology had offensive potential because it could be used either to destroy Soviet missiles on the ground or to neutralize a Soviet retaliatory strike. In addition, it also promised a new, extremely expensive arms race in an area in which they were well behind: highly sophisticated technology. At the same time, however, they were becoming distinctly aware that they were in deep trouble in many other areas as well: their previous economic, military, and ideological excesses were catching up with them. A new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, desperate to reduce defense spending,13 worked with Reagan to establish the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces agreement in 1987 that caused Europe to become missile-free. At the same time, he essentially abandoned international communism’s class-struggle ideology that had appeared so threatening to the West, a process that two years later led to the end of the cold war, as discussed in chapter 4.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

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Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

What it was engaged in, however, was guerra, the thankless, ambivalent task of playing globo-cop. And it was not equipped to handle the latter. Had the Berlin Wall never come down, Barnett probably would probably have made a career as a Kremlinologist, counting ICBM payloads in advance of arms control talks with the Soviets. But his timing was off: He graduated from Harvard University’s Soviet area studies program in 1986, just as Mikhail Gorbachev began accidentally dismantling the Soviet system through perestroika and glasnost. He completed his Ph.D. in 1990—his dissertation compared Romanian and East German policies in the Third World—just a year before the final collapse of the Soviet Union. Before joining the faculty at the Naval War College, Barnett worked at the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research, federally funded nonprofit research organizations.

By the late 1990s, those ethnic conflicts had cooled down—or at least, the separatist boundaries were frozen in place, leaving hundreds of thousands of Georgians displaced from their homes. Georgia had stabilized somewhat under the rule of President Eduard Shevardnadze, a former secretary general of the Georgian Communist Party and onetime member of the Soviet Politburo. Shevardnadze, known as the “Silver Fox” for his political longevity, was well known in Western capitals: He served as Mikhail Gorbachev’s foreign minister, and played a key role in allowing the Warsaw Pact states to go their own way during the wave of democratic transformations that swept Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. Shevardnadze was a canny political operator, and he had cultivated closer ties with the United States. Under his leadership, Georgia joined the Partnership for Peace, a club for NATO aspirants, and he signed off on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, a new route for transporting Caspian oil from Azerbaijan that was favored by the United States.


pages: 482 words: 122,497

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank

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affirmative action, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, edge city, financial deregulation, full employment, George Gilder, guest worker program, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, P = NP, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, War on Poverty

They are the career State Department officers who have, naively or otherwise, argued that the Sandinistas pose no threat to the Americas and who have recently redoubled their efforts to appease the Leninists in Managua with various “peace plans.” They are the media . . . whose lies about Nicaragua are exposed in Requiem. They are the world’s masters of mis-and disinformation, the Soviet KGB and their Kremlin masters, who have much to gain from America remaining ignorant. As late as 1990, with the Warsaw Pact itself having rebelled successfully against the Soviets, the magazine was still insisting that Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms were merely “strategic deception,” a clever trick staged to cause headaches for the Western “pro-defense consensus.”15 Ridiculous though this stuff seems today, the IFF had good reason to believe in a world in which grand conspiracies gulled the masses and public opinion was manipulated by the hidden hand of a foreign power. After all, that’s what they themselves were doing. As it turns out, the IFF itself was steered and subsidized not just by the government of another country, South Africa, but by its military intelligence.

He even invents a handy voter guide to show how frequently the libs in Congress take the Kremlin line. It was brilliant! Here is how Human Events covered the book’s publication, in its August 15, 1987 issue. Pick your issue: Pershing and MX missile deployment, the Strategic Defense Initiative, or aid to freedom fighters in Nicaragua and Angola. Then compare the positions of, say, Ted Kennedy and Mikhail Gorbachev. The same? They usually are. This alarming affinity is served up with skill and humor in My Dear Alex, a new novel by two of the brightest young rising stars in the conservative movement. 35. “Now it’s our turn”: Sidney Blumenthal, “Jack Wheeler’s Adventures with the ‘Freedom Fighters’: The Indiana Jones of the Right and His Worldwide Crusade Against the Soviets,” Washington Post, April 16, 1986.


pages: 405 words: 121,531

Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini

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Albert Einstein, attribution theory, bank run, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Ralph Waldo Emerson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds

The problem for a government that seeks to improve the political and economic status of a traditionally oppressed group is that, in so doing, it establishes freedoms for the group where none existed before. Should these now established freedoms become less available, there will be an especially hot variety of hell to pay. We can look to events in the former Soviet Union for evidence that this basic rule holds across cultures. After decades of repression, Mikhail Gorbachev began granting the Soviet populace new liberties, privileges, and choices via the twin polices of glasnost and perestroika. Alarmed by the direction their nation was taking, a small group of government, military, and KGB officials staged a coup, placing Gorbachev under house arrest and announcing on August 19, 1991, that they had assumed power and were moving to reinstate the old order. Most of the world imagined that the Soviet people, known for their characteristic acquiescence to subjugation, would passively yield as they had always done.

For example, a child who unavoidably misses lunch can be given a before-dinner snack because this would not violate the normal rule against such snacks and, consequently, would not establish a general freedom. The difficulty comes when the child is capriciously allowed a treat on some days but not on others and can see no good reason for the difference. It is this arbitrary approach that can build perceived freedoms and provoke rebellion. * * * Tanks, but No Tanks Incensed by the news that then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had been replaced in favor of plotters planning to cancel the newly instituted freedoms, Moscow residents confronted the tanks, defied the coup, and won the day. * * * READER’S REPORT 7.3 From a New York Investment Manager * * * I recently read a story in the Wall Street Journal that illustrates the scarcity principle and how people want whatever is taken away from them. The article described how Procter & Gamble tried an experiment in upstate New York by eliminating all savings coupons for their products and replacing the coupons with lower everyday prices.

Killing Hope: Us Military and Cia Interventions Since World War 2 by William Blum

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, kremlinology, land reform, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, trickle-down economics, union organizing

He contends that the extreme militarization of American policy strengthened hard-liners in the Soviet Union. "Thus the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union."26 Though the arms-race spending undoubtedly damaged the fabric of the Soviet civilian economy and society even more than it did in the United States, this had been going on for 40 years by the time Mikhail Gorbachev came to power without the slightest hint of impending doom. Gorbachev's close adviser, Aleksandr Yakovlev, when asked whether the Reagan administration's higher military spending, combined with its "Evil Empire" rhetoric, forced the Soviet Union into a more conciliatory position, responded: It played no role. None. I can tell you that with the fullest responsibility. Gorbachev and I were ready for changes in our policy regardless of whether the American president was Reagan, or Kennedy, or someone even more liberal.

It turned out that the Russians were human after all—they responded to toughness with toughness. And the corollary: there was for many years a close correlation between the amicability of US-Soviet relations and the number of Jews allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union.28 Softness produced softness. If there's anyone to attribute the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to, both the beneficial ones and those questionable, it is of course Mikhail Gorbachev and the activists he inspired. It should be remembered that Reagan was in office for over four years before Gorbachev came to power, and Thatcher for six years, but in that period of time nothing of any significance in the way of Soviet reform took place despite Reagan's and Thatcher's unremitting malice toward the communist state. The argument is frequently advanced that it's easy in hindsight to disparage the American cold-war mania for a national security state—with all its advanced paranoia and absurdities, its NATO-supra-state-military juggernaut, its early-warning systems and airraid drills, its nuclear silos and U-2s—but that after the War in Europe the Soviets did indeed appear to be a ten-foot- tall world-wide monster threat.


pages: 489 words: 132,734

A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook

Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, joint-stock company, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pearl River Delta, Potemkin village, profit motive, rent control, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

The morning after Gandhi left, Rashid suffered a debilitating stroke from which he never fully recovered. But he had laid the foundation for modern Dubai, the strange society—cosmopolitan and fundamentalist, authoritarian and libertine—the whole world would come to know. 8 FROM PERESTROIKA TO PETROLGRAD Leningrad, 1985–St. Petersburg, Present Proposed Gazprom tower in architect’s rendering When the reform-minded new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visited Russia’s historic Window on the West in May 1985, his initial itinerary followed that of any Soviet ruler on an official visit. The new general secretary toured factories, met with faculty at the Polytechnical Institute, and attended a Party meeting at Smolny, the revolutionary headquarters turned city hall. Then Gorbachev did something no Soviet leader had ever done: he went to Nevsky Prospect and plunged into the crowds, mixing and chatting with ordinary Leningraders.

General Secretary Zhao Ziyang publicly endorsed “dialogue,” but paramount leader Deng Xiaoping wanted a crackdown, violent if necessary, against the now tens of thousands of Tiananmen Square demonstrators. A mix of workers and students, the protestors rallied around a handmade torch-bearing “Goddess of Democracy” that looked uncannily like America’s Statue of Liberty—hardly the Western import Deng hoped to encourage with his reforms. Though intra-Party disagreements were not unusual, the public daylight between Deng and Zhao was unprecedented. Escalating the situation was Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s long-planned May 15 state visit. “How big is this square?” the USSR’s general secretary asked en route, high over Mongolia, when his advance team reported there were now, a full month after Hu’s death, well over a hundred thousand protestors in Tiananmen. Ironically, it was Soviet urban planners who had helped expand Tiananmen in the 1950s, but Sino-Soviet relations had so soured over the intervening decades that this would be Gorbachev’s first visit to the world’s largest Communist country.


pages: 240 words: 60,660

Models. Behaving. Badly.: Why Confusing Illusion With Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life by Emanuel Derman

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Cepheid variable, creative destruction, crony capitalism, diversified portfolio, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Henri Poincaré, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, Isaac Newton, law of one price, Mikhail Gorbachev, Myron Scholes, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, riskless arbitrage, savings glut, Schrödinger's Cat, Sharpe ratio, stochastic volatility, the scientific method, washing machines reduced drudgery, yield curve

Wall Street overshoots in its greed. The Senate committees grandstand. The president seeks to get reelected. The world and the markets silently beg for a Churchill, and society throws them Chamberlains. That’s the way of human affairs. But occasionally there comes that wonderful moment when people who are in a position to make a difference cease to behave mechanically. I think of Mandela and de Klerk, Vaclav Havel, and Mikhail Gorbachev, men who, rather than fulfilling their preprogrammed destinies, could imagine others as others experience themselves, men who broke the cycle of karma, and so got one step ahead of fate and altered the status quo. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen sometimes. Appendix ESCAPING BONDAGE The title of part 4 of Spinoza’s Ethics is “Of Human Bondage, or The Strength of the Emotions.”

What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

The same is true with the uproar about the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, re-creating the Cold War by objecting to an anti-missile system in eastern Europe.21 There is the speech he gave in Munich. If you look at what he said, it is not really controversial. Maybe you don’t like the tone, but the facts are correct, and there is a background to it. The Russians really have security problems. They were practically destroyed a couple of times in the last century by Germany alone. In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev made the quite remarkable concession of allowing the unification of Germany within the NATO military alliance.22 So a country that had practically destroyed Russia twice in that century was allowed to be part of a huge hostile military alliance, always aimed at Russia, of course. It was an incredible gesture by Gorbachev, but there was a quid pro quo. The George Bush I administration had to pledge that NATO would not expand eastward.

On Power and Ideology by Chomsky, Noam

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, feminist movement, imperial preference, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, union organizing

For those who want to understand the Cold War era, an obvious question is: what happened when the slave state disintegrated? The answer is straightforward: little changed, except that earlier policies were pursued more intensively. Consider NATO. According to doctrine, NATO was established to protect Western Europe (and the world) from the Russian hordes. What happened, then, when the Russian hordes disappeared? Answer: NATO expanded to the East, in violation of verbal agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev, reaching right to the borders of Russia in ways that are by now raising a serious threat of confrontation. The official role of NATO was also changed. Its mandate became control over the global energy system, sea lanes, and pipelines, while it serves in effect as a U.S.-run intervention force. Shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, the United States invaded Panama in order to kidnap a minor thug, Manuel Noriega, who had fallen out of favor when he began defying U.S. orders.


pages: 204 words: 61,491

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message

There’s still time. Andrew Postman Brooklyn, New York November 2005 In 1985 ... If you were alert back then, this refresher may be unnecessary, even laughable. If you were not alert then, this may just be laughable. But it also may help to clarify references in the book about things of that moment. In 1985: The United States population is 240 million. The Cold War is still on, though Mikhail Gorbachev has just become the Soviet leader. Ronald Reagan is president. Other major political figures include Walter “Fritz” Mondale, Democratic presidential nominee the year before; Geraldine Ferraro, his vice-presidential running mate; and presidential hopefuls/Senators Gary Hart and John Glenn (the latter a former astronaut). Ed Koch is mayor of New York City. David Garth is a top media consultant for political candidates.


pages: 83 words: 7,274

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom

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anti-work, Berlin Wall, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Mikhail Gorbachev, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

And because they don’t look like models, we feel like they really believe in what they are selling. Yet when we see supermodels, no matter how glamorous and seductive they may be to the human eye, we intrinsically feel that whatever they claim about the product is phony. They’re not telling a story; they’re acting in one. If you need more evidence that unglamorous people can sell products, consider that Mikhail Gorbachev, hardly anyone’s idea of a glamour-puss, shows up in the latest Louis Vuitton commercial—and also appears in a Russian Pizza Hut ad along with his granddaughter.16 Indeed, what we’re beginning to witness in the advertising world today is a fascinating marriage between the world of the airbrushed supermodel and the world of the ordinary consumer—a blurry union between perfect and not so perfect.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

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airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

What if, instead of empowering the state to protect citizens from crisis, the G-Zero creates the kinds of problems that discredit the state, cripple its credibility, and arouse enough public anger that citizens look for alternatives? In fact, there are many ways in which central governments could lose much of their power, especially to local-level power brokers. The subtlest form of this trend might be a willingness by midlevel officials or local governments to ignore central government rules, plans, and policies and to substitute their own. Mikhail Gorbachev’s earliest efforts to reform the Soviet state came to almost nothing, in part because officials within the bureaucracy, anxious to protect the privileges that the system provided them, simply ignored many orders from above. The system itself fought back against efforts to change it. Gorbachev then turned to a policy known as glasnost (openness) to bypass much of the bureaucracy and appeal directly for public support for his plans.

Toast by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

This is not the 21st century we were promised: instead of our flying cars and food pills—or the more prosaic but believable “long boom” pushed by WIRED’s panglossian technophiles, we hit the buffers with a crash and the wreckage of the 20th century is still crumpling around us. The 20th century was a remarkable era. Historian Eric Hobsbawm dated it as running from June 28th, 1914 (when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, raising the curtain on the First World War) until December 25th, 1991 (when Mikhail Gorbachev formally dissolved the Soviet Union). But that diagnosis was carried out in the 1990s, back when it was possible for conservative political analyst Francis Fukuyama to publish a book titled The End of History without being laughed out of town and pelted with rotten fruit. It is seductively tempting in 2005 to say that the 20th century really ended on September 11th, 2001, with an iconic act of violence that may well lead to long-term consequences as horrific as the start of the First World War.


pages: 285 words: 78,180

Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine

Due in part to his collaboration with foreign scientists, including d’Herelle, and for pursuing a woman who was also admired by Lavrentiy Beriya, Stalin’s chief of secret police, Eliava was pronounced an “enemy of the people” and executed in 1937.24 The Eliava Institute survived without its founder and became one of the largest units developing therapeutic phage, at its peak producing several tons a day. In 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union, restored Eliava’s name during a reassessment of the victims of the Great Purge. By the middle of the 1930s, the hype and hope that phage therapy would end bacterial diseases had failed to materialize, and any evidence of its efficacy had been clouded by the lack of standardization of materials.25 During that decade the American Medical Association issued withering critiques of the method,26 but lying as they did at the borderline of life, phages continued to fascinate basic researchers.


pages: 232 words: 77,956

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, call centre, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, HESCO bastion, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, Mikhail Gorbachev, post-industrial society, pre–internet, price mechanism, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Washington Consensus, working poor

Thatcher’s programme in Britain was an inspiration for the IMF and the World Bank as they experimented with the conditions they attached to bail-out loans to developing countries.* But at the end of 1990, the triumph of marketism seemed to hang in the balance. Reagan and Thatcher had relinquished the stage to less fervent, less charismatic successors. The man who’d introduced the market economy to China, Deng Xiaoping, had been blamed by traditional communists for fostering the Tiananmen Square protests, and was in disgrace. In the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, the great hope of free marketeers, was facing a similar backlash from hardliners, and the Baltic countries’ hopes of escape from the USSR looked bleak. Saddam Hussein, dictator of semi-socialist Iraq, had invaded semi-capitalist Kuwait. Yet the following year conviction began to grow among the marketeers that the final defeat of centrally planned, communitarian government was at hand, the sense that seemed to confirm such ideas as America having ‘won’ the Cold War, and the ‘end of history’.

Comedy Writing Workbook by Gene Perret

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Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan

The more colors on your palette, the more shading, detail, and depth you can add to your painting. The following workouts will help you practise finding the relationships that will aid in your comedy writing. 44 COMEDY WRITING WORKBOOK = WORKOUT 4A = "That Goes With This" This workout will be practice in searching out similar ideas to relate to your basic premise. Below are the two basic ideas that you will be working on: 1. Mikhail Gorbachev visiting New York City in December of 1988. He travelled around the city extensively, visiting many tourist attractions and attending official meetings. He travelled, though, in a motorcade of 49 cars. That's your premise—the size of that motorcade. • * * • • 2. Some years ago Queen Elizabeth II visited California and was scheduled to visit then President Reagan's Santa Barbara ranch and then enjoy some horse' back riding with the President.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M. D., Keith Ferrazzi

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hiring and firing, index card, Jeff Bezos, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, zero-sum game

When you succeed, you can change the dynamics of a relationship in a heartbeat. At that instant, instead of trying to get the better of each other, you “get” each other and that breakthrough can lead to cooperation, collaboration, and effective communication. The Cold War, in fact, may have ended on just such an empathic tipping point. In a now-legendary moment, President Ronald Reagan’s talks with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev seemed to be at a standstill when Reagan looked behind his adversary‘s stubborn face to see a leader who truly loved his people. In a moment of brilliant simplicity, he invited Gorbachev to “Call me Ron” (as opposed to “Let’s keep fighting president-to-president, digging our heels in and getting nowhere”). Gorbachev not only accepted the invitation, he joined Reagan in calling an end to the Cold War.

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama

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Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John von Neumann, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

A more flexible leader might have managed a “soft landing” for the Soviet Communist Party; witness the current situation in China. It was impossible to provide a more definitive estimate fifteen years before the fact because the future was not yet certain. It never is. Intermediate and Immediate Warning By the early 1980s, the faltering Soviet economy was a given, the assumed context within which the intelligence community viewed Soviet political and military developments. For example, in 1985, as Mikhail Gorbachev took control, the National Intelligence Estimate on the Soviet domestic scene 2990-7 ch04 berkowitz 34 7/23/07 12:09 PM Page 34 bruce berkowitz encapsulated the fundamental weaknesses in the Soviet state. It did not yet say that the conditions for collapse were present, but it explained how such a path was possible: The growth of the Soviet economy has been systematically decelerating since the 1950s as a consequence of dwindling supplies of new labor, the increasing cost of raw material inputs, and the constraints on factor productivity improvement imposed by the rigidities of the planning and management system. . . .


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

For more than a decade, dissidents and civil society groups such as Solidarity in Poland, led by Lech Wałęsa, or Charta 77 in Czechoslovakia, funded by the writer Václav Havel and others, had undermined the communist system. They disseminated critical literature underground with the help of photocopiers, and challenged oppression publicly. As resistance grew, what had been open secrets became public facts. People already knew that their governments were oppressive and bankrupt, but now they learned that everybody else knew as well. When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of a stagnating Soviet Union in 1985, he encouraged reform and raised the hope that the Soviets might not respond militarily if the satellite states chose their own path, as they had done in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. This bred hope. Nationwide strikes in Poland in 1988, and the support of the Catholic Church, forced the government to legalize Solidarity and accept partly free elections in June 1989.


pages: 202 words: 8,448

Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, Rosa Parks, urban planning, urban sprawl

At the risk of generalizing, they weren’t particularly interested in dialogue. They were young and idealistic, and they wanted all or nothing. Rather than negotiate, they announced a round of even more radical tactics designed to regain momentum and reengage the masses in their cause: they would go on a hunger strike. The strike began on May 13. The timing wasn’t incidental, as the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was scheduled to land in Beijing two days later on a visit that was sure to include the city’s epicenter, Tiananmen Square. And again, it was soon obvious that the government was deeply interested in compromise: the state-run media continued to hold its nose and cover the hunger strike favorably, censorship restrictions were loosened, and a handful of intellectuals were given permission to express their critical views in a large national newspaper.


pages: 211 words: 69,380

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman

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experimental subject, fear of failure, Kibera, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, science of happiness, selection bias, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, World Values Survey

The organisers of Get Motivated! describe it as a motivational seminar, but that phrase – with its suggestion of minor-league life coaches giving speeches in dingy hotel ballrooms – hardly captures the scale and grandiosity of the thing. Staged roughly once a month, in cities across north America, it sits at the summit of the global industry of positive thinking, and boasts an impressive roster of celebrity speakers: Mikhail Gorbachev and Rudy Giuliani are among the regulars, as are General Colin Powell and, somewhat incongruously, William Shatner. Should it ever occur to you that a formerly prominent figure in world politics (or William Shatner) has been keeping an inexplicably low profile in recent months, there’s a good chance you’ll find him or her at Get Motivated!, preaching the gospel of optimism. As befits such celebrity, there’s nothing dingy about the staging, either, which features banks of swooping spotlights, sound systems pumping out rock anthems, and expensive pyrotechnics; each speaker is welcomed to the stage amid showers of sparks and puffs of smoke.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World by Tim Marshall

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9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed by an association of European and North American states, for the defense of Europe and the North Atlantic against the danger of Soviet aggression. In response, most of the Communist states of Europe—under Russian leadership—formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955, a treaty for military defense and mutual aid. The pact was supposed to be made of iron, but with hindsight, by the early 1980s it was rusting, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it crumbled to dust. President Putin is no fan of the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev. He blames him for undermining Russian security and has referred to the breakup of the former Soviet Union during the 1990s as a “major geopolitical disaster of the century.” Since then the Russians have watched anxiously as NATO has crept steadily closer, incorporating countries that Russia claims it was promised would not be joining: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia in 2004; and Albania in 2009.


pages: 282 words: 82,107

An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

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agricultural Revolution, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, carbon footprint, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

High oil prices from the mid-1970s helped to pay for food imports, and for military spending to keep up with the United States. But the Soviet leaders assumed that oil prices would remain high indefinitely, and therefore they did not build up their foreign-currency reserves before the oil price fell sharply in 1985–86. Indeed, the Soviet Union’s borrowing increased. The Soviet leaders were all too aware of the danger of relying on their Cold War adversaries for food. But they had little choice. Mikhail Gorbachev, who came to power as the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, began to introduce economic reforms, but to little avail as infighting paralyzed the regime. Soon all of the Soviet Union’s oil revenue was being consumed by interest payments; and poor global grain harvests in 1989–90 drove up prices, in particular of wheat. The Soviet Union began to miss payments to foreign suppliers for food imports, causing some shipments to be halted.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

But when either the United States or the Soviet Union sent troops to a contested region (Berlin, Hungary, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan), the other stayed out of its way.139 The distinction matters a great deal because as we have seen, one big war can kill vastly more people than many small wars. In the past, when an enemy of a great power invaded a neutral country, the great power would express its displeasure on the battlefield. In 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States expressed its displeasure by withdrawing its team from the Moscow Summer Olympics. The Cold War, to everyone’s surprise, ended without a shot in the late 1980s shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev ascended to power. It was followed by the peaceful tear-down of the Berlin Wall and then by the mostly peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union. • Zero is the number of times that any of the great powers have fought each other since 1953 (or perhaps even 1945, since many political scientists don’t admit China to the club of great powers until after the Korean War). The war-free interval since 1953 handily breaks the previous two records from the 19th century of 38 and 44 years.

Mueller reviewed the history of superpower confrontations during the Cold War and concluded that the sequence was more like climbing a ladder than stepping onto an escalator. Though several times the leaders began a perilous ascent, with each rung they climbed they became increasingly acrophobic, and always sought a way to gingerly step back down.177 And for all the shoe-pounding bluster of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, its leadership spared the world another cataclysm when Mikhail Gorbachev allowed the Soviet bloc, and then the Soviet Union itself, to go out of existence—what the historian Timothy Garton Ash has called a “breathtaking renunciation of the use of force” and a “luminous example of the importance of the individual in history.” This last remark reminds us that historical contingency works both ways. There are parallel universes in which the archduke’s driver didn’t make a wrong turn in Sarajevo, or in which a policeman aimed differently during the Beer Hall Putsch, and history unfolded with one or two fewer world wars.

Not only was it becoming ludicrous for a modern economy to do without photocopiers, fax machines, and personal computers (to say nothing of the nascent Internet), but it was impossible for the country’s rulers to keep scientists and policy wonks from learning about the ideas in the increasingly prosperous West, or to keep the postwar generation from learning about rock music, blue jeans, and other perquisites of personal freedom. Mikhail Gorbachev was a man of cosmopolitan tastes, and he installed in his administration many analysts who had traveled and studied in the West. The Soviet leadership made a verbal commitment to human rights in the 1975 Helsinki Accords, and a cross-border network of human rights activists were trying to get the populace to hold them to it. Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost (openness) allowed Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn’s The Gulag Archipelago to be serialized in 1989, and it allowed debates in the Congress of People’s Deputies to be televised, exposing millions of Russians to the brutality of the past Soviet leadership and the ineptitude of the current one.254 Silicon chips, jet airplanes, and the electromagnetic spectrum were loosing ideas that helped to corrode the Iron Curtain.


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Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, Corn Laws, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, labour mobility, land tenure, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, Red Clydeside, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, trade route, urban renewal

Bronze Soldier monument in the Tallinn military cemetery (akg-images/RIA Nowosti) 78. Linda Monument in front of the Long Herman tower in Tallinn (copyright © RIA Novosti/TopFoto) 79. Red Army soldiers occupying Tallinn, June 1940 (private collection) 80. Volunteers of the Latvian Legion parade in Talinn, 1943 (SV-Bilderdienst) 81. The Baltic Way Protest, August 1989 (ullstein bild/Nowosti) 82. Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev, 1991 (copyright © RIA Novosti/TopFoto) List of Figures 1. Carolingians and Bosonids 2. The Burgundian succession 3. Early rulers of Aragon: the House of Ramiro 4. The House of Trastámara 5. The Jagiellons 6. The early Radziwiłłs 7. Hohenzollerns and Jagiellons 8. The later Hohenzollerns, 1701–1918 9. Counts of Savoy 10. I Buonaparti: the Bonapartes 11. Bourbon – Borbón – Borbone (the Bourbons) 12.

After 1975, the Helsinki Agreement, which encouraged so-called ‘legal opposition’, and the so-called Baltic Appeal of 1979, which demanded publication of the Nazi–Soviet Pact’s protocols, made world headlines;73 in 1980 youth riots were reported. Reprisals were severe, but nonconformism never dried up. Throughout those long decades, it was illegal to wave the Estonian colours of blue, white and black; it was illegal to sing the pre-war national anthem; and it was treasonable to talk in public about independence. Above all, it was unwise to dream. When the young, dynamic and affable Mikhail Gorbachev stepped onto the world scene in March 1985 as the new general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, no one thought that the Soviet Union’s funeral was approaching. Gorbachev came to save the USSR, not to bury it. Western politicians, and the Western public, were enchanted by him. His determination to end the Cold War naturally played well, while the slogans of glasnost (often taken, wrongly, to mean ‘openness’) and perestroika (‘reconstruction’) were universally applauded.

The forces of the Soviet Union occupied Estonia twice, in 1940–41 and for a second time between 1945 and 1991. 80. A Latvian battalion of the Waffen SS marches through Tallinn. The forces of the Third Reich occupied Estonia from July 1941 to September 1944. CCCP 81. The Baltic Chain, 23 August 1989, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet Pact: two million protesters link hands over the 350 miles from Estonia to Latvia and Lithuania. 82. Moscow, August 1991: Mikhail Gorbachev, secretary general of the Soviet Communist Party and president of the USSR, is publicly berated by Boris Yeltsin, president of the RSFSR (Soviet Russia). Fifteen Soviet republics, including Russia, were starting out on their road to sovereign independence, and the Soviet Union was about to vanish.


pages: 1,445 words: 469,426

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, fudge factor, informal economy, joint-stock company, land reform, liberal capitalism, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Thomas Malthus, Yom Kippur War

Soviet oil production in 1945 was only 60 percent of that of 1941. The country had desperately mobilized a range of substitutes during the war—from oil imports from the United States to charcoal-burning engines for its trucks. Shortly after the war, Stalin interrogated his petroleum minister, Nikolai Baibakov (who subsequently was to be in charge of the Soviet economy for two decades—until 1985, when Mikhail Gorbachev replaced him). Mispronouncing Baibakov's name, as he always did, Stalin demanded to know what the Soviet Union was going to do in the light of its very bad oil position. Its oil fields were seriously damaged and heavily depleted, with little promise for the future. How could the economy be reconstructed without oil? Efforts, the dictator said, would have to be redoubled. Toward that end, the Soviet Union made its demands for a joint oil exploration company within Iran.

"The Doctor is one of the greatest actors in the world," was the acid comment of one of the many men who had mistakenly thought himself Hammer's heir apparent. Hammer renewed his contacts with the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev and ended up as a go-between for five Soviet General Secretaries and seven U.S. Presidents. His access to the Kremlin was unique. He was virtually the only person who could tell Mikhail Gorbachev firsthand about Lenin, who had died a decade before Gorbachev's birth. As late as 1990, at age ninety-two, Hammer was still the active chairman of Occidental, and loyal stockholders continued to sing his praises. He was indeed in the line of the great buccaneer- creators of oil: Rockefeller, Samuel and Deterding, Gulbenkian, Getty and Mattei. He was also an anachronism, a privateer from the past, in spirit a "merchant from Odessa" circling the globe in his corporate jet in search of the next great deal.

The Soviet Union was not a Third World country, he insisted. "We are not a producer of bananas." It was true in a way; one could not find bananas in Moscow. But, bananas or not, Soviet officials could read their balance of trade accounts, and the loss in terms of hard currency earnings from oil and gas, if continued, could be devastating for the plans to reform and revive the stagnant Soviet economy that were just beginning to be formulated under Mikhail Gorbachev. The Soviet Union promised to contribute a 100,000-barrel-per-day cutback to OPEC's efforts. The pledge was vague enough and the job of tracking Soviet exports sufficiently difficult that the OPEC countries could never be sure that the Russians were really as good as their word. But in the immediate turmoil, the symbolism was important. The next step to cool off the good sweating was for OPEC to formalize quotas and do something about price.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

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airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

Are political scientists, or analysts at Washington think tanks, any better at making predictions? Are Political Scientists Better Than Pundits? The disintegration of the Soviet Union and other countries of the Eastern bloc occurred at a remarkably fast pace—and all things considered, in a remarkably orderly way.* On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and implored Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall—an applause line that seemed as audacious as John F. Kennedy’s pledge to send a man to the moon. Reagan was prescient; less than two years later, the wall had fallen. On November 16, 1988, the parliament of the Republic of Estonia, a nation about the size of the state of Maine, declared its independence from the mighty USSR. Less than three years later, Gorbachev parried a coup attempt from hard-liners in Moscow and the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time before the Kremlin; Estonia and the other Soviet Republics would soon become independent nations.

But they came back with a vengeance in the 2000s, when newer and seemingly more statistically driven methods of earthquake prediction became the rage. One such method was put forward by Vladimir Keilis-Borok, a Russian-born mathematical geophysicist who is now in his late eighties and teaches at UCLA. Keilis-Borok had done much to advance the theory of how earthquakes formed and first achieved notoriety in 1986 when, at a summit meeting in Reykjavík with Mikhail Gorbachev, President Reagan was handed a slip of paper predicting a major earthquake in the United States within the next five years, an event later interpreted to be the Loma Prieta quake that struck San Francisco in 1989.46 In 2004, Keilis-Borok and his team claimed to have made a “major breakthrough” in earthquake prediction.47 By identifying patterns from smaller earthquakes in a given region, they said, they were able to predict large ones.


pages: 639 words: 212,079

From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman

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Ayatollah Khomeini, back-to-the-land, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Thomas L Friedman, Unsafe at Any Speed

As always, it wasn’t great decisions or actions on Arafat’s part that would resurrect him. Instead, it was his role as a symbol, and some unexpected emotional chemistry within the soul of the Palestinian community under Israeli occupation, that would bring him back to political life. The way the Palestinian issue was shunted aside by King Hussein and the other Arab leaders in Amman, the way Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev ignored it a few weeks later at their summit meeting in Washington, the way Israeli leaders were boasting that no one cared about the PLO any longer, were taken as direct insults by many West Bankers and Gazans. After all, Arafat and the PLO were the symbols of their national aspirations, their only symbols on the world stage; if they were being marginalized by the Arabs and the Great Powers, this meant that all Palestinian aspirations were being marginalized—possibly for good.

According to A.D.T.’s tabulations, from December 1987, when the intifada erupted, through February 1988, when it peaked, the story of the Palestinian demonstrations and the Israeli responses occupied a total of 347 minutes of evening news time on the three major American networks combined. That, according to A.D.T., was almost 100 minutes more than the second most popular story during the same time period, the December 1987 Washington superpower summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, which merited only 249 minutes, and it was almost 200 minutes more than the third most popular story, the 1988 New Hampshire presidential primary (139 minutes). Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’s entire campaign for August, September, and October 1988 totaled only 268 minutes on the three major American networks. No wonder Jerusalem’s mayor, Teddy Kollek, once remarked, “There is a hole in the floor of the nave of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.


pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

More couples. Elizabeth II and Rupert Murdoch, Wapping, February 1985; General Wojciech Jaruzelski and Pope John Paul II, Warsaw, June 1987 48. and 49. Cold War spin-offs. President Mohammed Najibullah meeting Soviet troops, Kabul, October 1986; Prime Minister Turgut Özal meeting Ronald Reagan, April 1985 50. and 51. The end. The East German leader Egon Krenz about to lose his job, with Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow, November 1989; Boris Yeltsin earlier in the same year It was of course a racial matter. Crime was associated substantially with non-whites, including the Puerto Ricans. Jonathan Reider, in his well-known study of the white backlash in Canarsie, Brooklyn, said that his interlocutors ‘spoke about crime with more unanimity than they achieved on any other subject, and they spoke often and forcefully . . . one police officer explained that he earned his living by getting mugged.

Tarnovsky. He had contributed to a multivolume series on Russia’s history that was not bad at all. He was packed off to Siberia as a schoolteacher, and the orthodoxy was maintained by one S. P. Trapeznikov, who recycled Lenin on radiant-tomorrow lines. Tarnovsky is said to have died of drink. Curiously enough the Central Asian historians suffered less, and rehabilitated their nations. In 1980 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected to the Politburo, by twenty years its youngest member. There had been signs of a rethink in the system, but at the top level it carried on much as before. The Olympic Games were the last old-fashioned piece of triumphalism and by now Brezhnev was only just capable of doing his job. He died in November 1982 and was succeeded by another piece of old furniture, in this case the KGB’s Andropov, who had once crushed Budapest and in the seventies had had charge of persecuting the dissidents, especially Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

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affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game, éminence grise

For instance, the United States objected to Russia’s rollback of democratic reforms: circumscribing journalists, murdering dissidents, and seizing radio stations, as well as Vladimir Putin’s plan to abolish the election of governors and instead empower the Kremlin to appoint them. Russia, meanwhile, objected to Nato’s granting of membership to countries of the former Eastern Bloc—Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, as well as the three Baltic states. After all, Mikhail Gorbachev believed that, in exchange for Russia accepting the reunification of Germany, NATO would not expand to the east, which would pose a geopolitical threat to Russia and lessen its sphere of influence. Nor was Russia pleased when President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to continue development of a US missile defense system, including deployment in the former Eastern Bloc territories of Poland and the Czech Republic.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative, presciently ridiculed as “Star Wars” at the time because it sounded like as much of a fantasy as it does to this day. Patriot missiles were deployed in the Middle East during the first Gulf War and, while they achieved little success, the idea of missile defense, at least against smaller nuclear arsenals, caught on. At the Reykjavík summit in 1986, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposed eliminating half of all strategic (as opposed to tactical, or battlefield) nuclear weapons. In exchange, he asked that Reagan refrain from implementing missile defense for the next ten years. Reagan’s team responded with an offer to eliminate all ballistic missiles within the same time span, while retaining the right to missile defense thereafter. That is when Gorbachev made the game-changing proposal that both sides abolish all nuclear weapons within ten years.


pages: 267 words: 106,340

Europe old and new: transnationalism, belonging, xenophobia by Ray Taras

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, carbon footprint, centre right, collective bargaining, energy security, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, immigration reform, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, North Sea oil, open economy, postnationalism / post nation state, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, World Values Survey

But his analysis identified another factor triggering change: “the combination of substantial levels of economic development and short-term economic crisis or failure was the economic formula most favorable to the transition from authoritarian to democratic government.”23 Many other variables can be cited, of course, for communism’s collapse: the organization of civil society in the east, the revolutionary impact of Lech Wałęsa’s independent trade union Solidarity in Poland, more liberal foreign travel for eastern European citizens, their decreasing fear, Soviet military defeat in Afghanistan, the rise and fall of Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin, perhaps even the threat of Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars antimissile project. But special mention must be given to the 1975 Helsinki Agreement concluded by thirty-five European and North American states. It pledged signatories to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and, against the odds, ended up boxing communist governments in. As citizen groups formed Helsinki committees in eastern European states, communist authorities found their societies opening.


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

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Ada Lovelace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, clean water, double helix, Etonian, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549

During the Soviet purges of the 1930s, it had been his idea to use lists to sentence people to death, greatly speeding up the process. In 1937–8, he personally signed 372 orders for mass executions – more than Stalin himself – leading to the murder of more than 43,000 people. Vegetarian, teetotal and a studious collector of first editions (many were dedicated to him by authors he later sent to the Gulag), Molotov was the last surviving Bolshevik. He died, an unrepentant Stalinist, in 1986, just after Mikhail Gorbachev announced the perestroika (restructuring) reforms that would lead, five years later, to the dissolution of the USSR. Why was the speed camera invented? It was designed to speed cars up, not slow them down. A Dutch engineer called Maurice Gatsonides (1911–98) devised the first speed camera. Far from being a road-safety campaigner, Gatsonides was Europe’s first professional rally driver.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

In East Germany, the decision to alter a solidly analog technology—the Berlin Wall—and allow Berliners to travel back and forth had by late 1989 created a political tide the Communist Party could not withstand. All of this change in the satellite nations was reinforced by the progressive weakening of the Soviet state, caused in part by its futile war in Afghanistan. In addition, change was rapid within Soviet society itself. The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev invited the growth of a nascent public sphere, Judt writes, by engaging in glasnost, or a policy of openness, thus allowing dissent to be expressed through clubs, meetings, and publications. Glasnost even liberalized what appeared on Soviet television—a far THE GOOGL IZAT I ON OF T HE WORL D 123 more powerful and universal medium than the fax machine. Gorbachev himself decided to break the Communist Party’s monopoly on news and information.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

Unlike your average cruise ship, the Explorer has no casinos, spas, or fancy nightclub entertainment. What the 24,300-ton vessel does offer is an 8,000-volume library, nine classrooms, a computer lab, a student union, a campus bookstore, a swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa, and a health clinic. But the best perks are the interport lecturers. Over the years, students at sea have been treated to talks by Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Indira Gandhi, Corazon Aquino, Mother Teresa, and Fidel Castro, who one year met with students for eight entire hours. Desmond Tutu, a frequent interport lecturer and big fan of the floating campus for global studies, even signed on to be a guest lecturer for the entire spring semester voyage of 2007. Most of the onboard faculty are visiting professors from colleges across the country. The 70-plus classes each semester (30 in the summer) are diverse, covering subjects from engineering to theater arts.


pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar

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anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

So it was shock enough to have me spill my tea when Robert, our Armenian office assistant who had been studying every tic of the TASS teleprinter, suddenly ripped off a short three-line despatch which had just come up and waved it excitedly under my nose. I had already leapt to the computer to enter the same Snap codes as before – without asking London for fresh authorisation – with Robert still babbling excitedly in my ear: ‘Eto Gorbachev, Peter, Eto Gorbachev!!’ It’s Gorbachev! It was too. But even as I typed the six bells and the brief formulaic line: ‘Mikhail Gorbachev elected Soviet leader – official’, I had no idea how important those six words were going to prove. Nor had the rest of the world. 8 Back to Blighty, Back to Berlin The Gorbachev effect was still no more than two hazily understood words – glasnost and perestroika – by the time my spell in Moscow came to a truncated end. It was truncated at my own instigation, though as things turned out it was unlikely to have lasted much longer anyhow.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

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Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

Uruguay ceased to represent an actual nation for me; it was just that shape, that slightly lopsided teardrop. I saw these outlines even after the atlas was closed, afterimages floating in my mind’s eye. The knotty pine paneling in my grandparents’ upstairs bedroom was full of loops and whorls that reminded me of faraway fjords and lagoons. A puddle in a parking lot was Lake Okeechobee or the Black Sea. The first time I saw Mikhail Gorbachev on TV, I remember thinking immediately that his famous birthmark looked just like a map of Thailand.* By the time I was ten, my beloved Hammond atlas was just one of a whole collection of atlases on my bedroom bookshelf. My parents called them my “atli,” though even at the time I was pretty sure that wasn’t the right plural. Road atlases, historical atlases, pocket atlases. I wish I could say that I surveyed my maps with the keen eye of a scientist, looking at watersheds and deforestation and population density and saying smart-sounding things like “Aha, that must be a subduction zone.”


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

At the top of intellectual life are semiprofessional, semisocial institutions like Renaissance weekends, Jackson Hole conferences, the TED technology confabs, and the Colorado Conference on World Affairs. They bring together people who are often total strangers. The only thing the attendees have in common is that they are all successful. These meetings serve as meritocratic Versailles, exclusive communities for the educated aristocracy, to gather and chat about their various lecture fees. Except instead of Lord So-and-So conversing with Duke Such-and-Such, at these meetings Mikhail Gorbachev will be in the corner conferring with Ted Turner, Elie Wiesel will be lecturing Richard Dreyfuss, and George Steiner will be lost in conversation with Nancy Kassebaum Baker. These institutions are run by the new consecrators of social prestige, foundation officials. Program officers are like the hostesses of the French salons, great themselves for their ability to recognize success. If our intellectual has succeeded with essays, books, panels, conferences, and TV appearances, she will find herself invited to retreats at an Arizona rock resort.


pages: 329 words: 106,831

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg

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Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

But Tetris was already being distributed in Europe, a handful of companies throughout the world claiming they owned the licensing rights based on miscommunication with the Soviets and downright lies from sketchy middlemen seeking to make a buck. It was like B. Traven’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, except in this case, the Soviet Union stood in for Mexico. Everyone, including the growing Microsoft, lusted after Tetris as though it were the south-of-the-border trove of gold and the game companies were the gringo prospectors. In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev set forth new policy decrees that thawed the Cold War with glasnost and perestroika. But doing business within the layers of Soviet culture remained fraught with suspicion and never-ending enigmas, and those shadows of lingering distrust hung over the Computing Centre and Tetris as well. Henk Rogers felt he could beat all the other companies with a trump card—Nintendo. He had honed his relationship with Nintendo to the point that his company was permitted to release a controller for the Nintendo system in the United States.


pages: 376 words: 110,796

Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight by Chris Dubbs, Emeline Paat-dahlstrom, Charles D. Walker

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Berlin Wall, call centre, desegregation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mikhail Gorbachev, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, V2 rocket, X Prize, young professional

Arianespace, the French-led European space consortium, was quickly overbooked with launch contracts, and an unlikely new competitor, the Soviet Union, took the first tentative steps toward commercializing its space program by offering the powerful Proton rocket as a launch vehicle. In part, the move was born of desperation. The sweeping political and economic restructuring implemented by the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, had introduced free-market forces into the Soviet economy. Industries that had previously enjoyed lavish state subsidies, such as its space program, saw dramatic budget cuts. They were now expected to be self-financing, operating much as free-market enterprises, covering expenses with revenues. The end result was that the Soviet space program, which had been shrouded in great secrecy, suddenly emblazoned its top-secret Proton rocket on slick brochures and hired agents to promote its satellite launch services.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, women in the workforce, yield curve

OVERNIGHT RATE: The interest rate on money market funds that are lent and borrowed overnight. PALACE COUP: An overthrow of or challenge to a sovereign or other leader by members of the ruling family or group. PATRONAGE SYSTEM: The postelection practice in which loyal supporters of a winning candidate and/or party are rewarded with appointive public offices. PERESTROIKA: Policies instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s that brought about governmental and economic reforms. PERSONAL CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURE: Goods and services that are purchased by a person. POLITBURO: A Communist party’s principal policymaking and executive committee. PONZI SCHEME: An investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. PREMIUM: The amount by which an investment vehicle sells above its par value.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

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Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce

Moreover, the Soviets were deeply in debt to their Western creditors and now also completely vulnerable to attack, since they could no longer trust the early warning systems that had also been created by and stolen from Western companies. This excruciating moment of vulnerability occurred in the summer of 1983, when, according to Weiss’s immediate NSC superior, “the two blocs were closer to hot war than at any time since the 1962 missile crisis.”52 Fortunately, the hardliner Yuri Andropov would eventually be replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev. Within the decade, glasnost and perestroika would follow—partly, at least, because of the intelligence roles played by an American patriot and a Soviet traitor. Very soon after Vetrov’s death, Gorbachev would trade an interest in the development of Siberian energy resources to Western companies. Ironically, by the end of 1991 more than thirty-six oil companies had set up headquarters in Moscow.53 Today, America’s sabotage of energy development in Siberia and the subsequent privatization of these energy resources are once again highly politically charged issues.


pages: 356 words: 95,647

Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by Charles Seife

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Project Plowshare, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, Yom Kippur War

No single nation could afford to build a tokamak that could achieve breakeven and sustained burn. Perhaps, though, by pooling their resources and joining together in one great effort, fusion scientists around the world could finally build a working fusion reactor. The idea of an international reactor had been around since the budgets started dropping, but it truly came to life in 1985. At a summit in Geneva, Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reduce tensions between the U.S. and the USSR. Gorbachev suggested to Reagan the possibility of a joint effort to build a fusion reactor. Reagan jumped at the chance, as did France and Japan. Together, the four countries would build an enormous tokamak that would finally achieve ignition and sustained burn. For the first time, humans would be able to harness the power of the sun for peaceful purposes.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

Part of the protest was about grotesquely dangerous conditions: the death rate for Soviet miners was fifteen to twenty times higher than it was for their American equivalents, with the local pits claiming the lives of over fifty men every month. But the strike was also provoked by simple deprivation: the miners often had no meat or fruit to eat, and few had access to soap or hot water. After risking their lives each day in the suffocating depths, they couldn’t even wash themselves or rest in a comfortable bed. President Mikhail Gorbachev was forced to appear on national television, acknowledging the justice of the miners’ cause and offering substantial concessions. It was a notable moment in the downfall of the Soviet system. The miners who had walked out and humiliated Gorbachev worked, of all places, in the Don Basin. Sixty years after Peter Palchinsky’s execution, and eighty-eight years after he had initially pointed to the problem of working conditions in the Don coal mines, the Soviet system had still failed to adapt. 8 Beyond Coca-Cola problems The Soviet Union, like poor Phineas Gage, is a grotesquely extreme example.

Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn

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Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, East Village, greed is good, Live Aid, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, University of East Anglia, young professional

I may be wrong, but I think that the job of selecting Britain’s musical representatives had fallen to All Trade Booking, the live-music wing of Rough Trade. And in their wisdom they selected Everything But The Girl and our natural musical allies, reggae band Misty in Roots. Also on the trip with us was Sean O’Hagan from the NME, and I’m indebted to the piece he later wrote in the paper for any clear recollections of the trip at all. To say the experience was a strange one would be an almost criminal understatement. Mikhail Gorbachev had only been in power for four months, and it was too early for his glasnost policy to have yielded any significant or noticeable changes. The country may have been poised on the brink of sweeping and radical reforms, but to our eyes it still seemed to be operating in an almost parodically oppressive manner. For a start, Moscow seemed to have been cleared of all its inhabitants under the age of forty – anyone, in fact, who may have been interested in witnessing the appearance of some Western pop or reggae groups.


pages: 323 words: 94,406

To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad by Christian Wolmar

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anti-communist, Cape to Cairo, land reform, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, railway mania, refrigerator car, stakhanovite, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban planning

Apart from the fact that just one of the major tunnels was ready for use, only a third of the 2,000 miles of track was fully operational and the condition of much of the line was lamentable, with insufficient ballast, rails that were too light and severe speed restrictions. Some other sections could be used by work trains, but the prospect of a through journey on the whole line was several years ahead. Therefore, seven years later, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, announced once again that the line was complete, and he stressed that it would form a new link with Japan. The Severomuysky Tunnel, however, was nowhere near finished and there were still other sections that could only accommodate work trains. As a result, it was only under the first presidential term of Vladimir Putin that the line was completed, and a third announcement was made in 2001, although the Severomuysky Tunnel still did not open until two years later.


pages: 319 words: 95,854

You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity by Robert Lane Greene

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anti-communist, British Empire, centre right, discovery of DNA, European colonialism, facts on the ground, haute couture, illegal immigration, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Parag Khanna, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

There are many words for “sex,” and Irish, like some other languages, just repeats the verb in a question to reply with “yes”); that the Moken people of Thailand have no word for “when”; that the Inuit had to come up with a word for “twilight” because of global warming, and so on. The problem is that the harm of these myths goes beyond the reputations of those who pass them on. In 1985, Ronald Reagan, about to begin a summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, mused about the differences between America and the Soviet Union, saying “I’m no linguist, but I’ve been told that in the Russian language there isn’t even a word for ‘freedom.’ ” There is one, of course: svoboda. Reagan, like Bryson, was dabbling in Whorfianism—in this case, the notion that the Russians had lacked freedom for so long that they did not have a word for it and presumably couldn’t even talk about it.


pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Drones help catch terrorists, but also violate our sense of privacy. The internet was supposed to change politics forever, but every new app seems to expose us to new risks. But we’ve actually just come through the era of real uncertainties—a kind of interregnum. It was a twenty-five-year stretch between the political order of the Cold War and the beginning of something new. In 1991 a group of hard-line Communist leaders tested Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union. Dedicated citizens wouldn’t give up their cause and kept up their acts of civil disobedience. Boris Yeltsin made an impassioned plea from atop a tank in front of Russia’s parliament buildings, and the hard-liners lost. Yet that was also the year that Tim Berners-Lee published the first text on a webpage and demonstrated how large amounts of content could be made widely available over digital networks.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms

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Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

There was something about the year 1984 that gave it a peculiar resonance for the post-war generation. Those who grew up with George Orwell’s novel with that year as its title looked ahead to 1984 as a symbol of everything that could go wrong with society – and with the hope that the world might be different from that experienced by Big Brother and Winston Smith. In the event, there were certainly convulsions enough – the British Miners’ Strike, the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev and the arrival in the UK of cruise missiles. There was the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, and the start of the countdown towards the Big Bang deregulation in the City of London, and the wild worldwide speculation that we have become used to since. There was no one Big Brother, but there was – in a sense – a series of them. They were the six Big Brothers and one Big Sister of the G7, the leaders of the seven richest industrial countries of the A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NEW ECONOMICS 23 world, whose increasingly influential summit meetings every summer presumed to decide the economic future of the planet.


pages: 407 words: 109,653

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

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Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, industrial cluster, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Clinton was the first American president ever invited to meet the emperor at his private home, and Hanlin knew that even the slightest delay could cause an international incident. The location of a diplomatic event is often seen as a reflection of the entire negotiation process. Ideally, it all happens in a neutral territory, where no one can claim any sort of home field advantage. Napoleon I of France and Tsar Alexander I of Russia met on a raft in the middle of a river when they signed the Treaty of Tilsit. President George Bush and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev ended the Cold War with a summit held on two ships. Clinton’s meeting with the emperor was coming at an incredibly sensitive time. The United States was in the midst of an ongoing conflict with Japan over a number of trade issues, and, to make matters worse, many Japanese were still furious over a U.S. military-involved rape that had occurred two years earlier in Okinawa. There were around 50,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan, and 40% of the Japanese public wanted all of them to leave.


pages: 295 words: 89,430

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

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autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, big-box store, correlation does not imply causation, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Florida, rolodex, self-driving car, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, urban sprawl

A 2014 study in the Lancet tracked 151,000 adults across three Russian cities for over a decade and concluded that up to 25 percent of all Russian men die before the age of 55, with liver disease and alcohol poisoning the main causes of death. Drinking and alcohol-related morbidity are linked to political volatility, too. In 1985, then-General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, cut back on nationwide vodka production and passed a law prohibiting stores from selling liquor before noon. Consumption and overall death rates both dropped. When communism fell, vodka became available again, and rates of consumption and alcohol-related deaths rose accordingly. Russian women aren’t teetotalers by any means, but the average life expectancy for Russian men today is around 64, the lowest of any country in the world outside African nations.


pages: 372 words: 109,536

The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money by Frederik Obermaier

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banking crisis, blood diamonds, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, family office, high net worth, income inequality, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, out of africa, race to the bottom, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

It was true that he had not declared Fleg Trading – but this was because he had never been a shareholder. 26 United by marriage, united by money There are not many photos showing Vladimir Putin with his family around him. The private life of the president is taboo in Russia. He keeps his two daughters firmly out of the public eye. So we were amazed when, in the course of our Internet research, we stumbled across a rather pixelated black and white photo showing a young, serious-looking Vladimir Putin. The snapshot was taken in 1985 in Leningrad, as St Petersburg was known during the Soviet era. Mikhail Gorbachev had just become general secretary and Vladimir Putin was still a minor, insignificant KGB officer. In the photo, he holds his baby daughter Maria in his arms, and standing next to him is his ex-wife Lyudmila; she has threaded her arm through his and looks happy. Next to Lyudmila stands a young man with longish hair and a steady gaze. It is Sergei Roldugin, the godfather of Putin’s daughter Maria.

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents by Lisa Gitelman

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Andrew Keen, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, optical character recognition, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Turing test, Works Progress Administration

No joking at airport checkpoints: “Your safety is our priority,” says the Transportation Security Administration’s website, adding: “Think before you speak.”42 If the executive branch under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama has managed to bring the term “gulag” back into circulation,43 Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, like Nixon and the Watergate tapes, in retrospect lend the term “glasnost” a certain appeal. Glasnost—­openness, transparency, availability to public speech—did not become a familiar term in the West until the era of Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s, although it was long used by authors and producers of samizdat, self-­made publications—typed carbon paper duplicates, triplicates, quadruplicates, etc.—which circulated semi-­privately in the Soviet Union as a medium of dissent.44 It can be applied in a narrow sense to the exposing of the Pentagon’s machinations and Nixonian malfeasance. When Western authors took stock of xerography, they typically did appeal to the idea of self-­publication, like samizdat, but without any explicit attention to openness, Ellsberg notwithstanding.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Since first taking office in 1999, Putin has reimposed control over the media, eliminated the freedoms of association and assembly, divvied up control of the economy to his chosen hangers-on, and concentrated power in his office. His policy is part of a longer Russian history of autocratic leadership that extends back centuries. Russia has always suffered from a schizophrenic relationship with the outside world. A zeal for control from the top has always been at odds with the requirements for more openness. While leaders like Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Mikhail Gorbachev wanted to open Russia up to new ways of thinking and doing business, most of the czars and Soviet premiers, and now Putin, have wanted to impose control not only over Russian politics but also over Russian society, the Russian economy, even Russian thought. Putin, a former KGB agent, is symptomatic of this trend in Russian history. Putin’s paranoia about the outside world is itself at odds with the requirements of a modern economy.

Rogue States by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collective bargaining, colonial rule, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, deskilling, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, oil shock, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, Tobin tax, union organizing, Washington Consensus

For those who wish to understand the nature of the Cold War, and a good deal of modern history, there could hardly be a more instructive moment than when the Cold War came to an end. The first question is: What happened to NATO, which was established to protect Europe from the hordes of the slave state, according to doctrine? Answer: with no more Russian hordes, NATO rapidly expanded. After the Berlin Wall fell, Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to allow Germany to be unified and to join NATO, a hostile military alliance and the most powerful in history. An astonishing concession in the light of recent history, when Germany alone had virtually destroyed Russia several times. Gorbachev believed that Washington had promised him that NATO would not expand “one inch to the East,” meaning to East Berlin, let alone East Germany. When NATO at once expanded to East Germany, he complained bitterly, but was informed by the Bush I administration that there was nothing on paper, just spoken words.


pages: 459 words: 109,490

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Stephen Braun, Douglas Farah

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air freight, airport security, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company

He had detoured from following his father’s path into corporate law by painting and rehabbing houses. But the following year, he joined a group of young internationalists and headed for Moscow to help Russia’s new leaders on their shaky trek toward the free-market system. Between 1990 and 1992 Wolosky shuttled between Cambridge and Moscow, working with the Moscow City Council on political reforms. He met occasionally with former Communist general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, then in his final months as the first president of Russia, and Grigory Yavlinsky, a liberal economist who was overseeing the rush to market reform. Yavlinsky and other Russian economists were still struggling to fulfill the ideals of perestroika, Gorbachev’s effort to restructure the hidebound Communist economy, and some of The United States’ top government and economic experts had joined them.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das

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9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

They looked to emerging nations for new opportunities, liberalizing trade and capital movement. The re-emergence of Russia, India, and especially China, three of the BRICS countries, was central to the rise of developing markets. The Soviet Union, “Upper Volta with rockets,” collapsed under the weight of the unsustainable cost of the Cold War and a corrupt, inefficient central planning system.6 President Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of glasnost (openness), perestroika (restructuring), demokratizatsiya (democratization), and uskoreniye (acceleration of economic development) failed. Praised by foreigners but unpopular at home, Gorbachev later confessed to having hugely underestimated the depth of the problems. Slowly and painfully, Russia emerged from the detritus, adopting a more market-based economy and elements of democratic government.

Pirates and Emperors, Old and New by Chomsky, Noam

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, union organizing, urban planning

As U.S. global dominance declined from its quite phenomenal postwar peak and the relative independence of members of the UN increased, attitudes towards the UN became more critical, and by now are extremely hostile. We no longer read disquisitions on the curious negativism of the Russians, but rather on the equally curious fact that the world is out of step, as New York Times UN correspondent Richard Bernstein thoughtfully explains.6 Opinion polls in Europe show similar results. A recent classified USIA poll shows that outside of France, European opinion trusts Mikhail Gorbachev on arms control far more than Reagan, by four to one in England and seven to one in Germany.7 The international isolation is of little concern to the Reagan Administration. They have shown a shrewd understanding of the efficacy of violence and intimidation. Like some of their predecessors and models elsewhere in the world, they are well aware that cheap victories over weak and defenseless enemies can be manipulated to arouse jingoist sentiments and popular enthusiasm at home, if the population can be properly terrified by grave threats to its existence; among earlier examples that come to mind are Hitler’s warnings of the encirclement of Germany by hostile states bent on its destruction, the Czech “dagger pointed at the heart of Germany,” the aggressiveness and terror of the Czechs and Poles, and above all, the threat of the international Jewish conspiracy.


pages: 331 words: 104,366

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins by Garry Kasparov

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, Freestyle chess, Gödel, Escher, Bach, job automation, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, rolodex, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

My first match with Karpov began in September 1984, the “marathon match” that dragged on for five months and forty-eight games before being cancelled by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) after I had narrowed the gap with two consecutive wins. When I finally took the title from Karpov in a new match in 1985, I was twenty-two, Western leaning, and eager to explore my newfound political and economic advantages as world champion. My ascent to the top of chess Olympus also coincided with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev to the leadership of the Soviet Union, and his policies of glasnost and perestroika (openness and reform). I exploited the new environment to ask questions. If I won a tournament in France, why should I have to give most of my winnings to the Soviet Sports Committee? Why couldn’t I sign lucrative sponsorship deals with foreign companies the way any other sports star in the world could? Why, I asked, in the pages of Playboy, no less, shouldn’t I drive around Baku in the Mercedes I had won fair and square in a tournament in Germany?


pages: 341 words: 87,268

Them: Adventures With Extremists by Jon Ronson

friendly fire, Livingstone, I presume, Mikhail Gorbachev, Silicon Valley, the market place

There were Ceauescu’s shoes, his hats and coats, Elena’s furs, their chess sets and cutlery and hunting knives. Their photograph albums were there also, along with some vases and statuettes. There were ugly paintings of Nicolae Ceauescu standing victoriously before the corpses of bears. There were backgammon sets and dusty, factory-built tea sets that had never been used – gifts from Yasser Arafat and Kim Il-sung and Mikhail Gorbachev. The truth was, Mr Ru Ru and I concluded, the stuff being auctioned was tatty and disappointing. It would be worth almost nothing if it wasn’t for the Ceauescu connections. It looked like a Ceauescu car boot sale rather than the spread of overwhelming riches I had envisaged as I drove up here from Bucharest. There were many stories of Elena Ceauescu’s extravagance and hoarding of expensive items.


pages: 332 words: 109,213

The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, dark matter, double helix, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman

For the next fifty years we should attempt to drive the nuclear arms race in reverse gear, to persuade our allies and our enemies that nuclear weapons are more trouble than they are worth. The most effective moves in this direction are unilateral withdrawals of weapons. The move that signaled the historic shift of the arms race into reverse gear was the unilateral withdrawal of land-based and sea-based tactical nuclear weapons by President George Bush in 1991. Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev responded quickly with similarly extensive withdrawals of Soviet weapons. The testing moratorium of 1992 was another effective move in the same direction. To drive the nuclear arms race further in reverse gear, we need to pursue three long-range objectives: worldwide withdrawal and destruction of weapons, complete cessation of nuclear testing, and an open world in which nuclear activities of all countries are to some extent transparent.


pages: 1,509 words: 416,377

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin

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anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, four colour theorem, illegal immigration, informal economy, kremlinology, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Potemkin village, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, stakhanovite, UNCLOS, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Solving economic problems would require admitting past mistakes at least implicitly—but Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were, of course, infallible; any hint of contradicting their past “precious teachings” would weaken their claim to absolute loyalty and obedience. What I saw in 1989 did not give me confidence that major changes would come in timely fashion. In the end, adding up every change that could be detected on that visit produced a list that seemed unimpressive at best and, when compared with the exciting things happening elsewhere in the communist world at the time, downright pitiful. It was the heyday of Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union, but North Koreans knew little or nothing about Soviet liberalization and restructuring. They did not even know about the popular protests that had been raging next door in China. My guide, a twenty-nine-year-old college English teacher, mentioned that he hoped to go the following September to Beijing to study English and Chinese. I asked him if he knew what had happened at Tiananmen Square.

Now, the rest of the communist bloc had shrunken to China, Cuba and not much else, and that flow of aid and subsidized trade was squeezed off. A clear sign that Pyongyang’s external partnerships were falling apart had come in the summer of 1990, when South Korean President Roh Tae-woo’s “northern policy” of wooing the Soviet Union and Pyongyang’s other communist allies paid off spectacularly: Roh flew to San Francisco (I was the lone foreign reporter on his plane) for an epochal meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Diplomatic relations followed—and by late 1992, China, the last major communist holdout, would exchange ambassadors with Seoul. With 21 million people to keep reasonably satisfied, the regime had little alternative but to look to the global free-market economy. Belatedly following China’s example, Pyongyang had decided to set up its first free economic zones. The North Koreans welcomed the visitors from capitalist countries in the hope they would funnel investment into infrastructure and manufacturing.

Frank noted that strength stood for the workers and peasants and knowledge for the intellectuals—the three groups represented in the hammer-sickle-writing brush emblem on Pyongyang’s Juche Tower. “But ‘money’ is a new component,” he wrote. “It stands for those who excel in economic activities.” Frank found it “remarkable that the leveling of the ideological battlefield has begun so early. Kim Jong-il may be no Mikhail Gorbachev, nor a Deng Xiaoping, but the evidence makes it hard to believe he is a stubborn opponent of reform.” At the 2003 parliamentary budget session came an announcement of another initiative, issuance of People’s Life Bonds. “Why would a state like North Korea care about collecting large quantities of its own currency?” asked Frank. He speculated that “the one-time extra revenue created by issuing the bonds will be used to pay wages until the new price system functions.”


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

The politburo was already worried that ordinary Russians could see their train was standing still. Its state-run economy could churn out tanks and Kalashnikovs but not computers or cars (another Soviet joke—“How do you double a Lada’s* value?” The answer: “Fill up the tank”). Dissent was simmering everywhere. The thought of a new arms race terrified the Soviet Empire’s rulers. “We can’t go on living like this,” Mikhail Gorbachev confessed to his wife, Raisa, as they paced their garden in 1985. Gorbachev would, in a few hours, be named premier of the Soviet Union, yet the garden was the only place he could escape his own snooping spies. Like Deng, Gorbachev knew he had to face reality. The explosion of an antiquated nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in 1986 revealed that the Soviet Union was not just falling behind but actually falling apart, and Gorbachev threw restructuring (perestroika) and transparency (glasnost’) into high gear—only to rediscover what Marx and Engels had known a century and a half before: liberalization sweeps away all fixed, fast-frozen relations, not just those we dislike.

In 1976 the “Gang of Four” (an ultraleftist clique including Mao Zedong’s widow) was accused of inventing this whole episode. 547 “a socialist train”: slogan attributed to the Gang of Four (1976), cited from Spence 1990, p. 651. 548 “During the ‘Cultural Revolution’”: Deng Xiaoping, speech (September 2, 1986), cited from Gittings 2005, p. 103. 548 “How do you double”: cited from “Soviet Cars: Spluttering to a Halt,” The Economist, July 10, 2008. 549 “We can’t go on”: Mikhail Gorbachev, private conversation (1985), cited from Gorbachev 1995, p. 165. 549 “In the Soviet Union”: Gorbachev 1995, p. 490. 549 “dregs of society”: Deng, speech to party leaders and army officers (June 9, 1989), cited from Spence 1990, p. 744. 550 “Our first objective”: Zalmay Khalilzad, Defense Planning Guidance, FY 1994–1999, Section IB, cited from http://www/gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb245/index.htm (accessed October 17, 2008). 551 “an official who believes”: Patrick Tyler, New York Times (March 8, 1992), p.


pages: 441 words: 135,176

The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--And Their Architects--Shape the World by Deyan Sudjic

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, megastructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, Victor Gruen

The Soviet Union repaid the compliment by featuring him in Leningrad’s Cathedral, after it was converted into the Museum of Atheism, as a wicked exploiter of the gullibility of the masses by soaking them of their savings to pay for his churches. He evolved into a freeway evangelist with a sunnier disposition, taking a more ecumenical view than most of his peers. He dropped the paranoia and started meeting popes and rabbis and communists. There is even an image of a bemused Mikhail Gorbachev at the Crystal Cathedral. Schuller was ready to hire Philip Johnson, an unabashed homosexual, and Richard Meier, who is a Jew. ‘Don’t call yourself a Dutch Reform, or a Methodist Church,’ he once advised tyro pastors and ministers planning their first move into the exploding and churchless new suburbs of southern California. ‘Drop the labels, and call yourself a community church.’ It’s a formula that has certainly been successful.


pages: 471 words: 124,585

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deglobalization, diversification, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, iterative process, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Parag Khanna, pension reform, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

It was a company that claimed to have reinvented the entire financial system. And it was a company that took full advantage of its impeccable political connections to ride all the way to the top of the bull market. Named by Fortune magazine as America’s Most Innovative Company for six consecutive years (1996-2001), that company was Enron. In November 2001, Alan Greenspan received a prestigious award, adding his name to a roll of honour that included Mikhail Gorbachev, Colin Powell and Nelson Mandela. The award was the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service. Greenspan had certainly earned his accolade. From February 1995 until June 1999 he had raised US interest rates only once. Traders had begun to speak of the ‘Greenspan put’ because having him at the Fed was like having a ‘put’ option on the stock market (an option but not an obligation to sell stocks at a good price in the future).


pages: 485 words: 148,662

Farewell by Sergei Kostin, Eric Raynaud

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active measures, car-free, cuban missile crisis, index card, invisible hand, kremlinology, Lao Tzu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

World peace would have crumbled overnight had the president of the United States been matched by an equally stubborn and entrenched Kremlin leader, and the Soviet gerontocracy contained many such characters. Shaken, the communist regime under Yuri Andropov’s leadership kept trying to revamp its façade, but would not change a thing in substance. After Andropov’s death, the degradation of the international climate brought Mikhail Gorbachev to power. Being a flexible politician, Gorbachev eventually cooperated with the West to find a solution allowing the world to survive. The rest is history. Therefore, it is tempting to think that without Farewell’s solitary action—whose motivations were miles away from reshaping the world—perestroika and the end of the Cold War could very well have occurred ten, fifteen, or even twenty years later, assuming that world peace could wait that long.


pages: 564 words: 153,720

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

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business climate, commoditize, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Honoré de Balzac, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, open economy, out of africa, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

In April, the head of the U.S. delegation to the ICA announced that the government had not yet decided whether it would renew membership in the agreement when it expired in September 1989. Rumors of the ICA’s possible demise, then hopeful reports that a new agreement was near, sent coffee prices reeling up and down throughout the rest of 1988 and early 1989, but they sank gradually as Brazil and the United States squared off over tourist coffee and selectivity. With reformer Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin and the Sandinistas recently voted out of power in Nicaragua, cold war fears no longer provided a compelling reason for the United States to support the agreement. Brazil’s economy now relied more on the export of soybeans, oranges, weapons, mahogany, and ballpoint pens than coffee. The deadlocked negotiations became so bitter that the ICA did not even survive until the September expiration date.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

But on 24 October, the NACODS executive decided to accept a ‘modified’ colliery review offered by the government and to call off their strike, a decision that Scargill thought ‘inexplicable’.27 The miners’ last chance of victory had slipped away. No sooner had that opportunity been lost than Scargill suff ered his worst publicity so far when the Sunday Times revealed that Roger Windsor, chief executive of the NUM, had been in Libya, apparently soliciting money from Colonel Gaddafi. It was not the only tale of money from dubious foreign sources going to the NUM. In December 1984, Mikhail Gorbachev, who was soon to become head of the Soviet Communist Party, visited Britain and was chided by Thatcher over intelligence reports that the USSR was secretly funding the strike. In fact, some Soviet money was sent to the International Miners’ Organisation run from France by Alain Simon, a Communist ally of Scargill. It would be a source of endless recrimination within the NUM in the early 1990s, precisely because the money never reached the British miners.


pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

That’s not to say that Russia couldn’t justifiably claim that it is part of Europe as much as it is part of Asia, and that it ought to be included in the European Union. Up to now, however, it has enjoyed only a special partnership status, and few observers think that’s likely to change in the foreseeable future. I broached the subject of membership in the European Union at dinner once with Mikhail Gorbachev. He said that his country was just too big to fit into the EU room, and that instead Russia would likely enjoy an ever-closer partnership with the union, even to the point of being connected in an integrated continental electricity, communication, and transport grid—in effect, becoming part of a single market but not a single political space. The same may happen in Asia with respect to China and India.

The Rough Guide to Prague by Humphreys, Rob

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active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, clean water, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, land reform, Live Aid, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, sexual politics, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile

The Jazz Section of the Musicians’ Union, who disseminated “subversive” Western pop music (such as pirate copies of “Live Aid”), highlighted the ludicrously harsh nature of the regime when they were arrested and imprisoned in the mid-1980s. Pop concerts, religious pilgrimages and, of course, the anniversary of the Soviet invasion all caused regular confrontations between the security forces and certain sections of the population. Yet still, a mass movement like Poland’s Solidarity failed to emerge. With the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev, the KSČ was put in an extremely awkward position, as it tried desperately to separate perestroika from comparisons with the reforms of the Prague Spring. Husák and his cronies had prided themselves on being second only to Honecker’s GDR as the most stable and orthodox of the Soviet satellites – now the font of orthodoxy, the Soviet Union, was turning against them. In 1987, Miloš Jakeš, the hardliner who oversaw Husák’s normalization purges, took over from Husák as General (First) Secretary and introduced přestavba (restructuring), Czechoslovakia’s lukewarm version of perestroika.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Carlos Slim, who bought his first share when he was twelve, started to make serious money straight out of college, when he was one of Los Casabolseros, or Stock Market Boys, a group of aggressive young men who traded shares on the Mexican stock market and played dominoes together after the market closed. Many of the Russian oligarchs first ventured into commerce while they were students taking advantage of Mikhail Gorbachev’s tentative perestroika reforms to open businesses as diverse as window washing and computer programming. The result is a super-elite whose members have been working to join it for most of their conscious lives—if not since nursery school, certainly since high school, when the competition for those elite college places begins in earnest. College, which boomers may fuzzily recall as a halcyon season of parties and self-discovery, has become, for the future 1 percent, a grueling time to found your start-up or to build a transcript that will earn a first job at an elite firm like Goldman Sachs or McKinsey.


pages: 538 words: 121,670

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig

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asset-backed security, banking crisis, carried interest, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, place-making, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

The one bit someone did translate was a warning that flashed before the station aired The Simpsons, advising parents that the show was “antisocial,” not appropriate for kids. Midway through that month, however, that television became the center of my life. On Monday, August 19, I watched with astonishment the coverage of Russia’s August Putsch, when hard-line Communists tried to wrest control of the nation from the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. Tanks were in the streets. Two years after Tiananmen, it felt inevitable that something dramatic, and tragic, was going to happen. Again. I sat staring at the TV for most of the day. I pestered people to interpret the commentary for me. I annoyed the bartender by not drinking as I consumed the free TV. And I watched with geeky awe as Boris Yeltsin climbed on top of a tank and challenged his nation to hold on to the democracy the old Communists were trying to steal.


pages: 542 words: 132,010

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner

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Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandatory minimum, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional

But in 1985, the Soviet Union and the United States possessed sufficient nuclear weaponry to kill half the human race and reduce the rest to scavengers scuttling amid the ruins. These weapons were pointed at each other. They could be launched at any moment. Annihilation would come with nothing more than a few minutes’ notice and, in 1985, it increasingly looked like it would. The Cold War had been getting hotter since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, and we know now that Gorbachev and Reagan later met and steadily reduced tensions, that the Cold War ended peacefully, and the Soviet Union dissolved within a few years. But in 1985, that was all in the black void of the future. In 1985, what actually happened would have seemed wildly improbable—which is why almost no one predicted anything like it.


pages: 511 words: 148,310

Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide by Joshua S. Goldstein

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, failed state, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of writing, invisible hand, land reform, long peace, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, selection bias, Steven Pinker, Tobin tax, unemployed young men, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

On December 14, we went to the Berlin Wall and saw young West Germans chipping away at it with sledgehammers. I reached down and scooped up two fragments with remnants of purple graffiti on them—one to keep and one for my colleague at the University of Southern California, Jim Rosenau, one of the few international relations professors to have foreseen transformational change in the international system. Ten days earlier, presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush met on a boat in Malta, tossed about in stormy seas, to officially end the 73 Cold War after forty years. And with the end of the superpower standoff, the UN Security Council suddenly got a fresh wind, and started to operate as intended. Suddenly peacekeeping was not held hostage to opposing superpower interests in civil wars. A rapid expansion in peacekeeping followed.


pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, money market fund, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The best they could offer was to spend any growth dividend more wisely than the Conservatives would – and to leave capitalist reform to one side unless ‘market failure’ could be proved unambiguously. To prove market failure to that degree would in effect become a prohibition on all but the most obviously necessary action. New Labour did not grow up in a vacuum. Christmas Eve 1991 had seen Mikhail Gorbachev dissolve the Soviet Union. Then, at the end of January 1992, veteran leader Deng Xiao Ping embarked on his famous tour of southern China, during which he told his countrymen that they must redouble their efforts at market reform and open themselves up to foreign investment if China were to grow. International communism, he acknowledged, was dead. The future, said Deng, lay in the ‘socialist market’ economy.


pages: 521 words: 125,749

Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon by Colin Burgess, Kate Doolan

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Ferguson, Missouri, Mikhail Gorbachev, profit motive, Ronald Reagan

There's absolutely no reference to it on his tombstone, yet both these men were in the first cosmonaut detachment—the equivalent to America's Mercury 7. Pavel Belyayev's grave in the famous Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow is still pointed out to tourists as that of a pioneering cosmonaut, but they are usually more interested in the monuments of other famous Russians such as Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev's wife, Raisa. As was the case in the Soviet era, the plaque-marked graves of the five cosmonauts in the Kremlin Wall are still shielded from the public by dozens of policemen, and in a way, Yuri Gagarin, Vladimir Komarov, and Vladislav Volkov are less approachable now than they were after they first flew in space. Although I haven't yet been able to pay my personal respects to Georgy Dobrovolsky and Viktor Patsayev, who are also memorialized in the Kremlin Wall, I am sure the situation is no different.


pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Bush’s administration), publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg (ambassador to the United Kingdom during the Reagan administration), technology tycoon Richard Egan (ambassador to Ireland during George W. Bush’s first term), and real-estate tycoon George Argyros (ambassador to Spain during George W. Bush’s first term). David Rockefeller, during his tenure64 as head of the Chase Bank, functioned as a sort of ambassador at large for foreign policy, crisscrossing the world on diplomatic missions, including meetings with Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev. His involvement in foreign policy dates back to the late 1940s, when he joined the Council on Foreign Relations (a body that had been partly funded by his father). “Part of the reward if you are loyal, helpful, bright, and capable is a good position overseas,” says Michael Huffington, whose father was ambassador to Austria during the first Bush administration. But in the end, how successful have all the millions and machinations been?


pages: 497 words: 123,718

A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins

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airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate personhood, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial independence, full employment, global village, high net worth, land reform, large denomination, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

At the time, the Soviet Union was on its last legs, with its constituent republics declaring de facto independence. It was this that propelled Witt from targeting U.S. domestic taxes onto the international stage. Just seven months after Witt became its executive director, the Tax Foundation “organized the substantive part of” the U.S.-USSR Conference on Trade and Bilateral Economic Relations, held in Moscow in December 1991. The conference was attended by both Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. American delegates included Ambassador Robert Strauss, Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury John Robson, as well as numerous corporate CEOs invited by the Tax Foundation. This conference marked the start of Witt’s new direction. Coming just three weeks before the final collapse of the Soviet Union was declared, the conference marked a change in direction for the newly independent former Soviet states, a direction over which Witt and his colleagues had extensive influence.


pages: 545 words: 137,789

How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, zero-sum game

As a method of ramping up the production of basic goods, such as steel and wheat, collectivism proved pretty effective. But once the Communist economies moved beyond the stage of industrialization, they couldn’t deal with the variegated demands of a consumer-driven society. Innovation was lacking, and information about consumer preferences got lost, or was ignored. Even after the Soviet government, under Mikhail Gorbachev, freed up some prices, shortages and surpluses were endemic, which confirmed Hayek’s argument that attempts to create market socialism would founder. In their 1990 book, The Turning Point: Revitalizing the Soviet Economy, Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov recall what happened when the government in Moscow increased the price it would pay for moleskins, prompting hunters to supply more of them: “State purchases increased, and now all the distribution centers are filled with these pelts.

Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott, Jonathan Marshall

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active measures, air freight, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing

The nation’s enemy number one today is drug abuse. Before the crisis with Iraq, nearly two-thirds o f the American people viewed it as “the most important problem facing this country.” 1 More Americans ranked drugs an “extremely serious threat” to national security than they did any other issue—including terrorism, the Persian G ulf or Middle East conflicts, and the spread o f communism in Central America.2 Now that Mikhail Gorbachev has put a benign face on America’s traditional foe, the United States is beginning to turn the weight o f its power against this new evil, represented above all by Colombia’s cocaine cartels and their corrupt allies, like former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega. Drugs have played a role in American foreign policy since the early part o f the twentieth century. During the Cold War, American leaders played the theme o f the “ Red dope menace” in their propaganda against communist China, Castro’s Cuba, and, most recently, Nicaragua under the Sandinistas.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

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8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

But the truth is that I’m not here to unleash the power within me (though I’m always happy to pick up a few pointers); I’m here because this seminar is the first stop on my journey to understand the Extrovert Ideal. I’ve seen Tony Robbins’s infomercials—he claims that there’s always one airing at any given moment—and he strikes me as one of the more extroverted people on earth. But he’s not just any extrovert. He’s the king of self-help, with a client roster that has included President Clinton, Tiger Woods, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa, Serena Williams, Donna Karan—and 50 million other people. And the self-help industry, into which hundreds of thousands of Americans pour their hearts, souls, and some $11 billion a year, by definition reveals our conception of the ideal self, the one we aspire to become if only we follow the seven principles of this and the three laws of that. I want to know what this ideal self looks like.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

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Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning

I'm not old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, but as a young reporter in Washington in the 1980s I had a front-row seat for the belligerent jousting between the nuclear superpowers, when the massive arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union were poised on hair triggers. I wrote a lot about the arms race in the 1980s, and there were times the facts left me pretty depressed. Yet humanity ended up dodging the nuclear bullet, at least for the time being, and it did so thanks to what at the time seemed rather unlikely developments. Who would have guessed that a radical reformer like Mikhail Gorbachev would somehow rise to the top of the repressive Soviet system and make peace with Ronald Reagan, a right-wing zealot who never met a weapons system he didn't like? It's a useful reminder: history is full of surprises, and sometimes it really is darkest just before the dawn. But this line of thinking brings only so much consolation, I'm sorry to say, for there is a fundamental difference between the climate crisis and the nuclear arms race.


pages: 476 words: 144,288

1946: The Making of the Modern World by Victor Sebestyen

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, Etonian, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, imperial preference, land reform, long peace, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, operation paperclip

Russia, in the words of Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana, would again become ‘half prison, half barracks’ as it had been before the war.2 Soviet troops, in particular, had cherished high hopes of peace, quiet and some longed-for prosperity when they returned from the Front. Aleksandr Yakovlev, who later became the father of glasnost and perestroika as one of the chief reformist advisors to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, was twice seriously wounded; once so badly that he carried a limp for the rest of his life. He was awarded the Red Army’s highest honours, but when he returned home, despite the propaganda surrounding Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War, he could see the harsh conditions that actually prevailed: trainloads of prisoners of war being sent to Siberia, malnourished children, and the return of lengthy jail sentences for minor offences.


pages: 442 words: 135,006

ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Saviano

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Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, call centre, credit crunch, double entry bookkeeping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, open borders, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

But Kiki’s story is central. It’s the origin of the world, I’m tempted to say. It’s essential to understanding where our modern world begins, its birth pains, its principal path. What we experience today, the economy that regulates our lives, is determined more by what Félix Gallardo, El Padrino, and Pablo Escobar, El Magico, decided and did in the eighties than by anything Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev decided or did. Or at least that’s how I see it. Various testimonies relate that in 1989 El Padrino convened all the most powerful Mexican drug lords in a resort in Acapulco. While the world was preparing for the fall of the Berlin Wall, while the past of the cold war, iron curtains, and insuperable borders was being buried, the future of the planet was silently being planned in this city in southwestern Mexico.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Third, new leaders emerged—political, business, social, community—to propel many developing countries to take advantage of these opportunities and move in new directions. This section explores each in turn. SIX GOOD-BYE COLD WAR, SO LONG COMMUNISM If the owners of socialism have withdrawn from the one-party system, who are the Africans to continue with it? —Frederick Chiluba, chairman of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, December 31, 1989 WHEN MIKHAIL GORBACHEV TOOK OVER as General Secretary of the communist Party on March 11, 1985, the Soviet Union was in trouble. Its economy had been declining since the 1970s. Inefficient factories were producing poor-quality products that neither Soviet consumers nor foreigners wanted, worker productivity was falling, and agricultural production could not keep up with growing demand. The inevitable weaknesses of state control, central planning, and collectivized agriculture were showing through in nearly every corner of the economy.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Since many of them were poor, gradually this term came to refer to underdeveloped countries in general (now such labels are considered pejorative). Today, this map is obsolete. By the 1980s, the failings of centrally planned economies—clunky industries, perverted incentives, uninterested workers—had become painfully obvious, and even the biggest among them bowed to economic reality. Deng Xiaoping opened up China, and his then 1-billion-person economy began to normalize trade relations with the West. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev pronounced his perestroika (“restructuring”). Economic collapse across a wide range of countries, from the Philippines to Zambia, Mexico, Poland, Chile, Bangladesh, Ghana, Korea, Morocco and others, led them all in search of a better growth model. Import substitution, whereby countries raised trade walls against each other so that they could nurture their own industries at home, proved a failure: the industries could not achieve scale or excellence on the strength of domestic demand alone, nor were they strong enough to compete outside their tariff-padded walls.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam

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Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, working-age population, zero-sum game

In Iceland Mr Oddsson would become a national hate figure, and the bat-cave would find itself besieged by angry protesters. The roots of Iceland’s woes go back a quarter of a century. In 1986 the world’s two superpowers met on this chilly rock in the Northern Atlantic. The Reykjavik summit proved to be a historic staging post on the way to the worldwide financial crisis, a staging post at which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, representing the West and the Soviet Union, met as equals. But they were not equal. Cold War had turned to economic freeze for the Russians and to hot boom for the United States and Europe. The summit witnessed the birth of a hyperpower, yes, but also the beginning of a hyperbubble, as, in a mood of triumphalism, borrowing, debt and deregulation all swelled to unsustainable dimensions – hence the scale of the subsequent financial calamity.


pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, drone strike, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

The central committee of the Communist Party just could not deal with the rapidly changing world of the late twentieth century. When all data is accumulated in one secret bunker, and all important decisions are taken by a group of elderly apparatchiks, you can produce nuclear bombs by the cartload, but you won’t get an Apple or a Wikipedia. There is a story (probably apocryphal, like most good stories) that when Mikhail Gorbachev tried to resuscitate the moribund Soviet economy, he sent one of his chief aids to London to find out what Thatcherism was all about, and how a capitalist system actually functioned. The hosts took their Soviet visitor on a tour of the City, of the London stock exchange and of the London School of Economics, where he had lengthy talks with bank managers, entrepreneurs and professors. After a few hours, the Soviet expert burst out: ‘Just one moment, please.


pages: 409 words: 138,088

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

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British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, full employment, game design, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket

A couple of weeks later, Armstrong will make me smile by confiding via e-mail that he was “very disappointed” with his performance, because a light on the lectern was broken, making it hard to see his notes. The delivery was thus “below my usual standards, though I’m told I ‘got away with it.’ ” Even so, I’ll marvel again six months later when someone sends me Accountancy Age magazine’s review of a business convention in Manchester, at which the ex-astronaut replaced Mikhail Gorbachev (urgent business in Kazakhstan) as the star speaker. The key part reads: “Having paid £250 [$475] a head for the pleasure [of hearing Armstrong speak], delegates at the North West Business Convention would not unreasonably have expected the great man to reminisce about his time on the Moon – ‘No, it wasn’t faked in a TV studio in Houston,’ etc. Instead, they were treated to a boring discourse on the history of manned flight.


pages: 403 words: 125,659

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

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Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Bubbling with hope, the entire country needed, for a moment in history, to forget what it knew about Kibaki and his chums. Nations must indulge in periods of selective amnesia if they are ever to progress. History suggests that sclerotic systems are not transformed by untainted outsiders, but by those within, and usually by those who have been within the system so long they are associated with its worst abuses, rising thereby to the positions of power that make it possible to bring about change. Mikhail Gorbachev was such a figure in the Soviet Union – a seemingly loyal party stalwart who turned radical once he had the means to see his novel vision through. On the surface, there was little reason to view Kibaki, who had played the Kenyan system to the hilt as both vice president and finance minister, as a likely champion of reform. The first African to graduate from the London School of Economics, a former lecturer at what became Uganda's respected Makerere University, one of the drafters of independent Kenya's constitution, Kibaki was routinely described as ‘brilliant’.

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

If the Czech Republic had been independent after World War II, it would probably today be a rich European state. Poland, whose modern territory includes much of German Prussia, Hungary, for long joined in empire with Austria, and Slovenia are today the most promising Eastern European econom1es. Russia itself is the largest new state. Experience here is not encour- { 288} John Kay aging. Mikhail Gorbachev's attempts to reform the Soviet system failed: it proved impossible to introduce economic pluralism without undermining political centralism. And all structures of economic and political authority depended on that centralization. The combination of pluralism in economic matters with centralism in political affairs has been more successfully achieved in China. China inherited from Mao a dysfunctional economic system.


pages: 872 words: 135,196

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security by Deborah D. Avant

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barriers to entry, continuation of politics by other means, corporate social responsibility, failed state, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rolodex, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, trade route, transaction costs

The primary goal of the proposed 144 In this paper Smith and Hillman-Smith indicate that they had sought clearance from the Ministry of the Environment for the plan, acknowledge that they would need to re- establish ICCN (IZCN became ICCN as Zaire was renamed Democratic Republic of Congo) authority over arms and equipment before such a contract would be feasible, and state that they had project funds available to carry it out. Hillman-Smith and Smith, “Conservation Crises and Potential Solutions.” They recommended that the Game Ranger’s Association of Africa (or some other body) explore a mobile training force, in conjunction with the United Nations African Crisis Initiative or the Inter- national Green Cross. The International Green Cross was formed under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993. As of now, it operates as an international network to transform values, encourage dialogue, and reconcile trade-offs between the environ- ment and economic development. See http://www.gci.ch/. 145 “Project Proposal: An anti-poaching training programme by the Game Rangers Asso- ciation of Africa for guards in Garamba National Park, D. R. Congo.” This proposal was based on the training needs assessment.


America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism by Anatol Lieven

British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, income inequality, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, moral panic, new economy, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, World Values Survey, Y2K

Because America is in the general evangelical view the world's leading Christian nation, the implications for American power are also clear: "Our goal is world domination under Christ's lordship, a 'world takeover' if you will....We are the shapers of world history."116 These beliefs play their part in fueling the tendency of the American Right to implacable nationalist moral absolutism, with a succession of foreign leaders, from Hitler to Saddam Hussein, identified as Antichrist or Antichrist's servant. (Earlier, of course, the Vatican often had played this role.) Because Satan is supposed to be deceitful and alluring, these leaders do not even have to be actively hostile. In these circles, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was widely identified with Antichrist precisely because of his popularity in the West. Both millenarian belief itself and the tendency of its American exponents to link it to hard-line U.S. foreign and security policies were given a tremendous boost by the Cold War and the much wider image of the Soviet Union as an "empire of evil." Because Antichrist is supposed to extend his dominion over the whole earth, these millenarian beliefs fuse with nationalist ones in absolute, untrammeled American national sovereignty to produce the widespread and pathological hatred of the United Nations on the American Right, and the dark fantasies associated with these views—which are extraordinarily widespread in American society, and by no means just in the Bible Belt.117 The European Union too can be made to play this apocalyptic role, for example in the pages of the millenarian journal The Philadelphia Trumpet, which sees the EU as a new "Holy Roman Empire" under German rule.118 The Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations have also frequently been portrayed as agencies of Antichrist for world unification and domination.


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

ROBOCK’S WARNING It is hard to know precisely what the political effects of the nuclear-winter theory were, but those who were the leaders of the U.S. and USSR at the time later admitted that it had helped prompt them to act. Ronald Reagan was the U.S. President at the time and was widely thought to be eager for a fight with the Soviet Union. Yet after reading about the nuclear-winter theory, Reagan met with his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev, in Iceland and proposed the abolition of nuclear weapons. The Russian leader, who also had a growing concern about a nuclear winter, agreed in principle, but suggested that the two countries start by limiting the deployment of new weapons and then later reducing their stockpiles. In the years that followed, interest in the nuclear winter theory diminished. The Cold War ended peacefully. The Soviet Union and its military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, dissolved.


pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

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active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

He hopes to meet Scargill again to continue to try to exert influence on him.’64 On 10 December the Security Service received intelligence that in early November the Soviet Foreign Trade Bank had attempted to transfer the equivalent of almost US$1.2 million to the NUM via banks in Switzerland and London, but had abandoned the attempt after the Swiss bank began to suspect a Soviet money-laundering operation. The report gave Mrs Thatcher the opportunity a week later to raise the question of Soviet financial support to the NUM, without compromising Oleg Gordievsky, during her talks in London with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet heir apparent.65 Gorbachev ‘claimed to be unaware’ that financial support was being given. Subsequent intelligence reports to the Prime Minister indicated that, on the contrary, Gorbachev ‘was among those who authorised payment’.66 By early January 71,000 of the 187,000 miners were back at work. Though Scargill refused to accept defeat and sought further funds from Libya, the end of the strike was now only a matter of time.

A marginal lessening of East–West tension was evident even at Andropov’s funeral, attended by Mrs Thatcher and other Western dignitaries. The Soviet ambassador in London, Viktor Popov, told a meeting of embassy and residency staff that Mrs Thatcher had gone out of her way to charm her hosts. In March Nikolai Vladimirovich Shishlin, a senior foreign affairs specialist in the Central Committee (and later an adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev), addressed the staff of the London embassy and KGB residency on current international problems. Gordievsky reported to his case officer that Shishlin made no mention of the supposed threat of surprise nuclear attack which had been the residency’s chief preoccupation for the past three years. The bureaucratic momentum of Operation RYAN, however, took some time to wind down. When, in the early summer of 1984, the London residency grew lax about sending its pointless fortnightly RYAN reports, it received a reprimand from the Centre (passed on by Gordievsky to his SIS case officer) telling it to adhere ‘strictly’ to the original RYAN directive.87 Bettaney’s conviction and sentencing to twenty-three years’ imprisonment in April 1984, later followed by a report of the Security Commission, provided public embarrassment for both the Security Service and the KGB.

The Prime Minister emphasized her concern for Gordievsky as an individual – not just as an ‘intelligence egg layer’.96 Gordievsky expressed his warm appreciation when the Prime Minister’s concern was reported to him by his case officer.97 The insights into Soviet policy provided by Gordievsky’s intelligence were of particular importance to Mrs Thatcher in December 1984 during the visit to Britain of Mikhail Gorbachev, heir apparent to the ailing Konstantin Chernenko, at the head of a delegation from the Supreme Soviet – a visit which proved to be a turning point in Soviet–British relations. To assist Gordievsky in writing briefs during the visit which would impress both Gorbachev and the Centre, his case officer showed him the brief prepared by the FCO for Sir Geoffrey Howe. Gordievsky later recalled: We knew that Gorbachev was reading what we wrote with close attention, because one morning, after we had included a flattering paragraph about his wife, Raisa, which recorded how [British] people had admired her, he made his first and only correction, crossing out five lines, to leave only two lines of modest, matter-of-fact tribute, and adding a note: ‘It is very dangerous to make other members’ wives jealous.’98 Gorbachev’s visit began a slow thaw in the glacial Soviet–British relations of the early Thatcher era.


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Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War by Robert Fisk

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, friendly fire, haute couture, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, open economy, Ronald Reagan, Yom Kippur War

.* The most powerful analysis of the period is contained in Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, a book of great detail and even greater anger which concludes that ‘as long as the United States remains committed to an Israeli Sparta as a strategic asset … the prospects are for further tragedy: repression, terrorism, war, and possibly even a conflict that will engage the superpowers …’† Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascendancy in Moscow suggests that this last grim prognosis may be exaggerated. But since these books were published, the political crisis in the Levant has grown ever darker. The Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank must finally have convinced those Israelis who wanted to destroy the PLO in Lebanon of the futility of the 1982 invasion; and the Islamic revolution unleashed in Lebanon by Israel’s catastrophic adventure created a climate so ferocious that no Westerner could go on living in the country without fear of assassination or abduction.

Israel’s humiliation in Lebanon was replayed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where the Palestinians at last began to fight back against their occupiers—initially with stones rather than guns—with the same tenacity that the people of southern Lebanon had shown half a decade earlier. Further east, freed from the burden of his titanic war against Iran, Saddam Hussein took upon himself the leadership of the Arab world, inspiring fear among most of his Arab neighbours, and contempt in Syria. And, fatefully for Lebanon, he decided to give political and military support to General Aoun. The revolution inspired by Mikhail Gorbachev initiated another of those historical repetitions which are visited upon the Middle East. Just as the Holocaust helped to create the state of Israel, so Gorbachev’s abandonment of communism—and the policies continued by his successors in the new Russia—revived Jewish hopes of a new, greater Israel under an increasingly right-wing Israeli government. Instead of arriving on tramp steamers from the camps of Europe, Israel’s new Jewish immigrants poured into Tel Aviv airport from the Soviet Union in their tens of thousands.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Broad relinquishment would require a totalitarian system to implement, and a totalitarian brave new world is unlikely because of the democratizing impact of increasingly powerful decentralized electronic and photonic communication. The advent of worldwide, decentralized communication epitomized by the Internet and cell phones has been a pervasive democratizing force. It was not Boris Yeltsin standing on a tank that overturned the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, but rather the clandestine network of fax machines, photocopiers, video recorders, and personal computers that broke decades of totalitarian control of information.26 The movement toward democracy and capitalism and the attendant economic growth that characterized the 1990s were all fueled by the accelerating force of these person-to-person communication technologies. There are other questions that are nonexistential but nonetheless serious.


pages: 351 words: 102,379

Too big to fail: the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system from crisis--and themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, Northern Rock, oil shock, paper trading, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, too big to fail, value at risk, éminence grise

Given that no one at the time seriously thought that would ever happen, the insurance was relatively cheap: For $150 million, Goldman could insure some $2.5 billion worth of debt. The Goldman board ended its day in St. Petersburg in a more leisurely manner. With the northern sky still light well after 10:00 p.m., the thirteen directors and their spouses rode gondolas along the city’s storied canals. On Sunday, the board flew down to Moscow for the second part of the meeting, gathering at the Ritz-Carlton, on the edge of Red Square. Mikhail Gorbachev was the speaker at their dinner that evening. Power in Russia was still very much in the hands of Vladimir Putin, even though Dmitry Medvedev had recently been elected to succeed him. Many foreign investors feared that Russia’s commitment to open and free markets was quickly fading, particularly in light of the power grabs in the energy industry. Gorbachev, who had initiated the changes that led to the end of communist rule, struck several Goldman directors as oddly deferential to the Kremlin.


pages: 446 words: 578

The end of history and the last man by Francis Fukuyama

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, centre right, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labour mobility, land reform, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, nuclear winter, open economy, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

Petersburg was originally conceived of as a naval base at the head o f the Neva River. Russia's defeat in the C r i m e a n W a r led directly to the r e forms of A l e x a n d e r II, including the abolition o f serfdom, while its defeat in the Russo-Japanese W a r m a d e possible the liberal reforms of Stolypin and the period o f economic growth f r o m 1 9 0 5 to 1 9 1 4 . 7 8 9 Perhaps the most recent example of defensive modernization was the initial phase of Mikhail Gorbachev's own perestroïka. It is quite clear f r o m his speeches and those of o t h e r senior Soviet officiais that one of the chief reasons that they initially considered undertaking a fundamental r e f o r m of the Soviet economy was their realization that an u n r e f o r m e d Soviet Union was going to have serious problems remaining competitive, economically and militarily, into the twenty-first century.


pages: 826 words: 231,966

GCHQ by Richard Aldrich

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belly landing, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

This was paid for on a three-way split between the British, the Americans and the Germans, with the French joining soon after.58 In September 1987 Peter Marychurch suggested the Swedish FRA join as a ‘sleeping partner’, since Sigdasys was saving costs for everyone by eliminating overlap.59 The Americans continued to be impressed by the BND’s aggressive and expanding global sigint programme, for example its cooperation with the code-breaking agency in Taiwan.60 Sadly, Odom’s desire to give more sigint to NATO’s front-line divisions was twenty years too late. By 1986 the new Russian Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, was beginning to transform world affairs. In the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence, Gorbachev was welcomed with cautious optimism. Observers were not only watching him but also the ‘exceptionally able’ Russian Ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, who was a natural diplomat.61 Meanwhile, the Middle East and Africa were becoming more important to NSA, which was anxiously watching the conflict in Angola between the Marxist regime and rebel forces of Joseph Savimbi, who received support from both South Africa and the CIA.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

The ideas of influential economists, like John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, were subsumed into political agendas to shape the money economy. 7. Los Cee-Ca-Go Boys For a quarter of a century, the Berlin Wall symbolized the difference between the free markets of the West and the socialist economies of the East. On June 12, 1987, speaking at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Berlin, U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued a challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: “Tear down this wall!” On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. At the fall of the Wall, when asked “Who won?”, Western political scientists cited the triumph of capitalism over socialism. The economists’ response was “Chicago.” The University of Chicago radically changed how the world thought about economics, politics, and business, with a system based on: “belief in the efficacy of the free market as a means for organizing resources...skepticism about government intervention into economic affairs and...emphasis on the quantity theory of money as a key factor in producing inflation.”1 In the early part of the twentieth century, work in theoretical physics was centered around the Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, England), Göttingen (Germany), and the Institute of Theoretical Physics (Copenhagen, Denmark).


pages: 604 words: 177,329

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

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airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, rolodex, Silicon Valley, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Afterward, the Arabs surrendered their weapons to an Afghan commander and caught buses back to Peshawar. They began calling themselves the Brigade of the Ridiculous. When they got back to the city, they disbanded. IN 1986 BIN LADEN BROUGHT his wives and children to Peshawar, where they joined the small but growing community of Arabs responding to Sheikh Abdullah Azzam’s fatwa. It was clear by then that the Afghans were winning the war. Admitting that Afghanistan was “a bleeding wound,” Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, offered a timetable for the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops. That was also the year that the American-made Stinger, the hand-fired missile that proved so deadly for Russian aircraft, was introduced, decisively tipping the balance in favor of the mujahideen. Although it would take another three bloody years for the Soviets to finally extricate themselves, the presence of several thousand Arabs—and rarely more than a few hundred of them actually on the field of battle—made no real difference in the tide of affairs.


pages: 762 words: 206,865

Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Frederick Kempe

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Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, index card, Kitchen Debate, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, Ronald Reagan, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, zero-sum game

In the pages that follow are clues and cautions that are particularly timely during the first term of another young and relatively inexperienced commander in chief, President Barack Obama, who, like Kennedy, came to the White House with a foreign policy agenda aimed at engaging our adversaries more skillfully and understanding more reliably what lurks beneath seemingly intractable conflicts in order that we can better solve them. I know something of such issues and challenges myself from our days dealing with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when I served as national security advisor in President George H. W. Bush’s White House. The two U.S. presidents who dealt with Gorbachev, Bush and Ronald Reagan, were very different men. However, both understood that nothing was more important in trying to end the Cold War than the ways in which they engaged their Soviet counterpart. Despite labeling the Soviets “the evil empire,” President Reagan engaged in five summit meetings with Gorbachev and worked on countless concrete agreements that helped build confidence between the two countries.


pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

1401 First Lollard Martyr 1403 Percy’s Revolt; Henry Percy killed at Shrewsbury 1406 James I of Scots 1409 Owen Glyndŵr 1411 Foundation of Guildhall in London 1413 Henry V 1415 Agincourt 1420 Treaty of Troyes; Paston Letters 1422 Henry VI 1429 Joan of Arc at Orléans 1437 James II of Scots 1450 Cade’s Rebellion 1453 End of Hundred Years War; Gutenberg Bible 1455 Wars of the Roses begin 1460 James III of Scots 1461 Edward IV c.1474 Caxton prints first book in English 1483 Richard III 1485 Henry VII; founding of the Yeomen of the Guard 1488 James IV of Scots 1492 Christopher Columbus reaches America 1509 Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon 1513 James V of Scots 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 1527 Henry VIII fails in attempt to divorce Catherine of Aragon 1533 Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn; Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury 1536 Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour; Wales annexed to England 1540 Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves; marries Catherine Howard 1540 Henry VIII, King of Ireland 1542 Mary, Queen of Scots 1547 Edward VI 1549 First Book of Common Prayer 1553 Mary I 1556 Cranmer executed 1558 Elizabeth I 1561 Mary, Queen of Scots returns to Scotland from France 1562 British slave trade starts 1567 James VI, King of Scotland 1571 First anti-Catholic Penal Law 1580 Drake’s circumnavigation 1587 Mary, Queen of Scots executed 1596 Robert Cecil, Secretary of State 1600 British East India Company incorporated 1601 Essex executed 1603 James I 1603 Ralegh treason trial and imprisonment 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible 1616 Death of William Shakespeare 1618 Ralegh executed; Thirty Years War starts 1625 Charles I 1632 Lord Baltimore granted patent for the settlement of Maryland 1641 The Grand Remonstrance issued 1642 Civil War starts; Battle of Edgehill 1643 Battle of Newbury 1644 Battle of Marston Moor 1645 New Model Army established 1649 Charles I executed; massacres at Wexford and Drogheda 1651 Charles II crowned at Scone; Hobbes’ Leviathan published 1655 Jamaica captured 1658 Cromwell dies 1660 Charles II; Declaration of Breda; Pepys begins his diary 1662 The Royal Society; Boyle’s Law 1666 Fire of London 1670 Hudson’s Bay Company 1673 Test Act 1678 Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress 1685 James II 1689 William III and Mary II 1690 Battle of the Boyne 1692 Massacre of Glencoe 1694 Bank of England 1695 Bank of Scotland 1702 Queen Anne 1704 Battle of Blenheim; capture of Gibraltar 1707 Union with Scotland 1714 George I 1719 Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe 1722 Walpole, first Prime Minister 1727 George II 1740 War of Austrian Succession; Arne composes ‘Rule Britannia’ 1742 Handel’s Messiah 1746 Battle of Culloden 1751 Clive captures Arcot 1755 Dr Johnson’s Dictionary 1756 Seven Years War 1759 General Wolfe dies at Battle of Quebec 1760 George III 1765 Stamp Act; Hargreaves’ spinning jenny 1767 Revd Laurence Stone’s Tristram Shandy 1768 Royal Academy of Arts founded 1772 Warren Hastings, first Governor General of Bengal 1773 Boston Tea Party 1774 Priestley isolates oxygen 1775 American Revolution – Lexington and Concord 1776 American Declaration of Independence 1779 Captain Cook killed in Hawaii 1780 Gordon Riots; Epsom Derby 1781 Battle of Yorktown 1783 Pitt the Younger PM 1788 Regency Crisis 1789 French Revolution 1792 Tom Paine’s The Rights of Man 1799 Napoleon 1801 Union with Ireland 1805 Trafalgar 1807 Abolition of Slave Trade Act 1815 Waterloo 1820 George IV 1828 University of London founded 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act 1830 William IV 1832 First Reform Act 1833 Abolition of slavery in British colonies Act 1834 Houses of Parliament burned down 1836 Births, Marriages & Deaths Act 1837 Queen Victoria 1838 Public Records Office founded 1839 Bed Chamber Crisis; Opium War 1840 Prince Albert; Treaty of Waitangi 1843 Joule’s First Law 1844 Rochdale Pioneers; first telegraph line in England 1846 Repeal of Corn Laws 1847 Marks and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto 1849 Punjab conquered 1850 Public libraries; Tennyson, Poet Laureate 1854 Crimean War; British Medical Association founded 1855 Daily Telegraph founded; Palmerston PM 1857 Sepoy Rebellion (Indian Mutiny); Trollope’s Barchester Towers 1858 Canning, first Viceroy of India 1859 Darwin’s On the Origin of Species 1861 Prince Albert dies; American Civil War 1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated 1867 Second Reform Act; first bicycle 1868 TUC 1869 Suez Canal opened; Cutty Sark launched 1870 Death of Dickens 1876 Victoria made Empress of India 1880 Gladstone PM 1881 First Boer War 1884 Third Reform Act 1885 Gordon dies at Khartoum 1887 Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee 1891 Elementary school fees abolished 1895 Salisbury PM 1896 Daily Mail founded 1898 Omdurman 1899 Second Boer War 1900 Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius 1901 Edward VII 1903 Suffragettes 1904 Entente Cordiale 1908 Borstal opened 1909 Old Age Pensions 1910 George V 1914 Irish Home Rule; First World War 1916 Lloyd George PM 1918 RAF formed from Royal Flying Corps; Marie Stopes 1919 John Maynard Keynes’ Economic Consequences of the Peace 1920 Black and Tans; Anglican Church in Wales disestablished 1921 Irish Free State 1922 Bonar Law PM 1923 Baldwin PM 1924 First Labour Government (MacDonald PM); Baldwin PM; Lenin dies 1925 Britain joins Gold standard 1926 General Strike 1928 Women over twenty-one given vote 1929 The Depression; MacDonald PM 1931 National Government; Statute of Westminster 1932 British Union of Fascists 1933 Hitler 1935 Baldwin PM 1936 Edward VIII; George VI; Spanish Civil War 1937 Chamberlain PM 1938 Austria annexed by Germany; Air Raid Precautions (ARP) 1939 Second World War 1940 Battle of Britain; Dunkirk; Churchill PM 1942 Beveridge Report; fall of Singapore and Rangoon 1944 Butler Education Act; Normandy allied landings 1945 Attlee PM; Germany and Japan surrender 1946 UN founded; National Insurance Act; National Health Service 1947 India Independence; Pakistan formed 1948 Railways nationalized; Berlin Airlift; Ceylon (Sri Lanka) independence 1949 NATO; Irish Independence; Korean War 1951 Churchill PM 1952 Elizabeth II 1955 Eden PM; Cyprus Emergency 1956 Suez Crisis 1957 Macmillan PM 1958 Life Peerages; EEC 1959 Vietnam War; Fidel Castro 1960 Macmillan’s Wind of Change speech 1963 Douglas-Home PM; De Gaulle veto on UK EEC membership; Kennedy assassination 1964 Wilson PM 1965 Southern Rhodesia UDI 1967 Pound devalued 1969 Open University; Northern Ireland Troubles; Robin Knox-Johnston first solo, non-stop sailing circumnavigation 1970 Heath PM 1971 Decimal currency in UK 1972 Bloody Sunday, Northern Ireland 1973 Britain in EEC; VAT 1974 Wilson PM 1976 Callaghan PM; first Concorde passenger flight 1979 Thatcher PM; Rhodesian Settlement 1982 Falklands War 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev; Global warming – British report hole in ozone layer 1986 Chernobyl; Reagan–Gorbachev Zero missile summit 1987 Wall Street Crash 1988 Lockerbie 1989 Berlin Wall down 1990 John Major PM; Iraq invades Kuwait 1991 Gulf War; Helen Sharman first Briton in space; Tim Berners-Lee first website; collapse of Soviet Communism 1992 Maastricht Treaty 1994 Church of England Ordination of Women; Channel Tunnel opens 1995 British forces to Sarajevo 1996 Dolly the Sheep clone 1997 Blair PM; Diana Princess of Wales dies; Hong Kong returns to China 1998 Rolls-Royce sold to BMW; Good Friday Agreement 1999 Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections 2001 Terrorist attacks on New York 2002 Elizabeth the Queen Mother dies 2003 Second Gulf War 2004 Asian Tsunami 2005 Freedom of Information Act; Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles wed; terrorist attacks on London 2006 Queen’s eightieth birthday 2007 Ministry of Justice created; Brown PM 2008 Northern Rock collapse 2009 Market crash; banks partly nationalized; MPs expenses scandal 2010 Cameron PM.


pages: 589 words: 197,971

A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon by Neil Sheehan

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, double helix, European colonialism, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment

Although no one could have foreseen it when Bernard Schriever assembled his small band at the Schoolhouse in Inglewood in the summer of 1954, their greatest achievement and that of all those who were to labor with them was to help buy the time needed for the Soviet Union to collapse of its own internal contradictions. Time was the only solution. A nuclear war was certainly not the answer. And until the coming of Mikhail Gorbachev, whose attempts at reform hastened the collapse, the leaders of the Soviet state regarded the post-Second World War status quo as nonnegotiable. But they could not evade the cumulative effects of time. The Soviet society that Joseph Stalin fashioned was not sustainable. The three pillars of the state—the Communist Party, the military, and the secret police—were costly to maintain. The precise figure is difficult to arrive at, but a high percentage of total production went to the military.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The very same Arab Muslim world that produced Nasser and bin Laden, so consumed with lashing out to overcome their humiliation, also produced Tunisia under Habib Bourguiba and Dubai under Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who chose instead to dig deep, embrace change, learn from the other, and build out. The very same Latin America that produced the dictator Hugo Chávez in Venezuela produced the dynamic democratic president Ernesto Zedillo in Mexico. The very same Russia that produced Putin produced Mikhail Gorbachev, with his relatively more liberal vision for his country. The very same Southeast Asia that produced the genocidal Pol Pot in Cambodia produced the builder Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore. Embracing Diversity As for embracing diversity, it is more vital than ever today for creating resilience in a changing environment. Thanks to diversity, no matter what climate changes affect your environment, some organism or ensemble of organisms will know how to deal with it.

Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

If you don’t have the illusions, then you don’t get burnt out by the failure—and the way we overcome the illusions is by developing our own institutions, where we can learn from experiences like this. For instance, if we see a big organizing effort where everybody signs the petitions and some people try to introduce the isssue into the ’84 Democratic Party platform, and it has absolutely no effect, and a year later Mikhail Gorbachev [Soviet leader] declares a unilateral nuclear test freeze and still there’s no effect—well, we should be learning something. 4 Then we should be carrying on to the next step. But that wasn’t the reaction of the nuclear freeze organizers. The reaction among the organizers wasn’t, “Well, we obviously misunderstood the way things work”—it was, “We did the right thing, but we partially failed: we convinced the population, but we didn’t manage to convince the elites, so now let’s convince the elites.”


pages: 777 words: 186,993

Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani

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affirmative action, Airbus A320, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, LNG terminal, load shedding, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

CEO Forum that Ratan Tata and William Harrison chaired consisted of ten CEOs from India and ten from the United States.As an advisory body to the prime minister and the U.S. president, our focus was on improving ties between India and the United States. We offered inputs on everything from FDI to trade relations and energy concerns. t The fact that official Soviet statistics greatly exaggerated levels of growth became clear only in the 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev’s government reported growth rates that were “close to zero.” u Opinions differ on how much was compromise and how much of this was from industrialists who were true believers. Historians such as Baldev Raj Nayar have argued that the industrialists coauthoring the plan, including the Tatas, truly believed that state-led capitalism was “the only option” if India was to go from a desperately poor to a developed country.


pages: 554 words: 168,114

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower

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Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, bonus culture, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, fear of failure, forensic accounting, index fund, interest rate swap, kremlinology, LNG terminal, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, passive investing, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, price stability, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-sum game, éminence grise

With the US importing half its oil consumption, Clinton made the diversification of supplies a priority, and the Caspian could offer at least 200 billion barrels. To win the gamble, the politicians combined with BP’s John Browne, Exxon’s Lee Raymond and Ken Derr of Chevron to display utter indifference to Russia’s gradual collapse. Chapter Six The Booty Hunters THE INTRODUCTION OF DEMOCRACY wrecked Russia’s oil industry. To secure political popularity in 1989 for “Glasnost” and “Perestroika” — openness and reform — Mikhail Gorbachev had diverted investment from industry to food and consumer goods. Blessed by reopened borders, free discussion in the media and the waning of the KGB, few in Moscow noticed the crumbling wreckage spreading across the oilfields in western Siberia, an area of 550,000 square miles, nearly the size of Alaska. Finding oil in that region after the Second World War had been effortless. Gennady Bogomyakov, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Tyumen province, was famous during the 1950s for increasing production from the easiest and best fields “at any price,” regardless of the environmental cost or human welfare.

Bali & Lombok Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, first-past-the-post, global village, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, spice trade, sustainable-tourism

The croissants and German breads are baked fresh daily and there's a short selection of fresh meals including European-style breakfasts. Kalibukbuk This is ground zero for nightlife. There's a good range of restaurants, beachside cafes, bars where you can get a pizza and maybe hear some music, or fun places that defy description. oGlobal Village KafeCAFE ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %0362-41928; Jl Raya Lovina, Kalibukbuk; mains from 15,000Rp; h8am-10pm; W) Che Guevara, Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela are just some of the figures depicted in paintings lining the walls of this artsy cafe. The baked goods, fruit drinks, pizzas, breakfasts and much more are excellent. It has a welcoming, mellow vibe. There's free book and DVD exchanges plus a selection of local handicrafts. Watch for art-house movie nights. AkarVEGETARIAN ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %0817 972 4717; Jl Bina Ria, Kalibukbuk; mains 40,000-50,000Rp; h7am-10pm; Wv)S The many shades of green at this cute-as-a-baby-frog cafe aren’t just for show - they reflect the earth-friendly ethics of the owners.


pages: 1,800 words: 596,972

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Farzad Bazoft, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, IFF: identification friend or foe, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, Ronald Reagan, the market place, Thomas L Friedman, Transnistria, unemployed young men, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Less than twenty-four hours before he was to enter the eighteenth-century folly of the Palacio Real for the opening of the conference, here was the American president breezily handing responsibility for the future to the peoples who inhabit what in Bush-speak was now repeatedly called “that troubled corner of the world.” Those who wished to revisit history, of course, remembered another palace and another peace conference in which victors had shared out the spoils of the conquered. The Palacio Real in Madrid was not Versailles, but there were some distinct parallels. Mikhail Gorbachev was there, the “loser” in the Cold War, a smiling, compliant figure, agreeing demurely with all of the American president’s remarks. It was the future of Gorbachev’s former Arab allies that would be under discussion in this Bourbon mansion. No one could dispute the difference in scale. More than 10,000 delegates attended the Paris peace conference of 1919. Armenia, the most bloody of victims, had forty independent delegations.

The Zionists had to wait twenty-nine years for the Balfour Declaration to be honoured. But Woodrow Wilson—while in Paris—had stuck to his Fourteen Points. American diplomats in Madrid, however, noted George Bush’s refusal to comment on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which called for Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab land and which, for the Arabs, were the touchstone of any peace treaty. He would not talk of “land for peace,” nor would the obedient Mikhail Gorbachev. The man who in 1990–91 sent half a million soldiers to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution—which called for another Middle East army, Iraq’s, to withdraw from another occupied Arab land, that of Kuwait—felt able to dismiss the darkness of history. “It’s not my intention to go back to years of differences,” was what Bush said.84 For the Americans, the present was the future; for the Arabs and Israelis, the present was also the past.


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

Professor Stephen Shalom, analyzing this incident, writes (Imperial Alibis): “If terrorism is defined as politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets, then one of the most serious incidents of international terrorism of the year was precisely this U.S. raid on Libya.” Early in the presidency of George Bush, there came the most dramatic developments on the international scene since the end of World War II. In the year 1989, with a dynamic new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, at the head of the Soviet Union, the long suppressed dissatisfaction with “dictatorships of the proletariat” which had turned out to be dictatorships over the proletariat erupted all through the Soviet bloc. There were mass demonstrations in the Soviet Union and in the countries of Eastern Europe which had been long dominated by the Soviet Union. East Germany agreed to unite with West Germany, and the wall separating East Berlin from West Berlin, long a symbol of the tight control of its citizens by East Germany, was dismantled in the presence of wildly exultant citizens of both Germanies.


pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

Gigerenzer argues that people’s intuitive equation of probability with frequency not only makes them calculate like statisticians, it makes them think like statisticians about the concept of probability itself—a surprisingly slippery and paradoxical notion. What does the probability of a single event even mean? Bookmakers are willing to make up inscrutable numbers such as that the odds that Michael Jackson and LaToya Jackson are the same person are 500 to 1, or that the odds that circles in cornfields emanate from Phobos (one of the moons of Mars) are 1,000 to 1. I once saw a tabloid headline announcing that the chances that Mikhail Gorbachev is the Antichrist are one in eight trillion. Are these statements true? False? Approximately true? How could we tell? A colleague tells me that there is a ninety-five percent chance he will show up at my talk. He doesn’t come. Was he lying? You may be thinking: granted, a single-event probability is just subjective confidence, but isn’t it rational to calibrate confidence by relative frequency?


pages: 1,157 words: 379,558