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By Zdenek Mlynar

Mikhail Gorbachev and Zdenek Mlynar have been acquaintances for part a century, considering that they first crossed paths as scholars in 1950. even if one used to be a Russian and the opposite a Czech, they have been either ardent supporters of communism and socialism. One took half in laying the foundation for and undertaking the Prague spring; the opposite opened a brand new political period in Soviet international politics.In 1993 they made up our minds that their conversations can be of curiosity to others they usually started to tape-record them. This ebook is the manufactured from that "thinking out loud" approach. it really is an soaking up list of 2 pals attempting to clarify to each other their perspectives at the difficulties and occasions that decided their destinies. From memories in their starry-eyed collage days to reflections at the use of strength to "save socialism" to contemplation of the top of the chilly warfare, here's a way more candid photo of Gorbachev than we have now ever visible ahead of.

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Sample text

That is why for me and for others of my generation the question of changing the system in which we lived did not arise. m. It could be said that our original conception of socialism simply equated socialism with the kind of system that existed in the USSR. Or when we thought about this on a world scale, socialism began in those countries where a Communist Party had come to power. We saw things in this way for various reasons, but in the end we saw it in quite a similar way. That did not mean that we rejected any criticism of existing conditions.

During my years as leader of the Soviet Union fundamental democratic changes were indeed carried out, and I found support for this not only in my country but also among many friends abroad. One of them was Zdeneˇk, my unforgettable friend, whose support and solidarity I especially treasured. I hope that American readers will take an understanding attitude toward the special kind of political terminology we use in our conversations. I have in mind especially the term “socialism,” which readers will frequently encounter in these pages.

I think that the first ten years after Stalin’s death had a much greater effect on both our lives than we realized at the time. I see two reasons for this. We went from the university lecture hall into practical life, and that is always a time when a person goes through the process of completing his or her formation as an individual. The overall situation at the same time aroused hope that new conceptions would actually be implemented. The so-called socialist world looked impressive. It extended from Prague through Moscow to Peking.

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