At The Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War

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At The Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War

By Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott
Little, 1993
498 pp. $24.95
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The coming together of one of Washing-ton's top reporters, Strobe Talbott, and one of the nation's top historians, Michael Beschloss, has produced a remarkable work of instant history. Told in Time magazine's breezy style--short paragraphs, short sentences, lots of quotes (generally without attribution)--this is an insider's account of the most momentous years in world politics since 1945. The authors had unique access to the top players, so much so that reading the book is almost like being an interpreter at the summit meetings (indeed, Gorbachev's interpreter was one of the authors' informants). Long on narrative and anecdotes, wisely short on analysis, a gripping read ("novelistic detail and intimacy," as the dust jacket says), a source for future scholars of the Bush foreign policy, the book is a powerful reminder of just how tumultuous were the events of 1989-93.