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What Is at Stake Now

My Appeal for Peace and Freedom

Mikhail Gorbachev Jessica Spengler

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Polity Press
18 September 2020
Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, world peace is at risk again. The United States has withdrawn from the disarmament treaty with Russia, Europe is disintegrating, China is surging forward and a wave of nationalism and populism is destabilizing established political institutions and endangering hard-won liberties. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp relief the fragility of the global order and the speed with which it can slide into chaos.

In view of this dangerous and unpredictable state of affairs, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last great statesman of the 1989 revolution, has written this short book to warn us of the grave risks we now face and to urge us all, political leaders and citizens alike, to take action to address them. He focuses on the big challenges of our time, such as the renewal of the arms race and the growing risks of nuclear war, the new tension between Russia and the West, the global environmental crisis, the global threat of diseases and epidemics, the rise of populism and the decline of democracy. He argues that self-serving policies and narrow-minded politics aimed at the pursuit of national interests are taking the place of political principles and overshadowing the vision of a free and just world for all peoples. He offers his view of where Russia is heading and he urges political leaders in the West to recognize that re-establishing trust between Russia and the West requires the courage of true leadership and a commitment to genuine dialogue and understanding on both sides.

Now more than ever, the responses to the great challenges we face cannot be purely national in character but must be based on a collaborative effort in which political leaders put aside their differences and work together to advance the human security of all.
By:   Mikhail Gorbachev
Translated by:   Jessica Spengler
Imprint:   Polity Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   284g
ISBN:   9781509543212
ISBN 10:   150954321X
Pages:   140
Publication Date:   18 September 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Union, serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1985 to 1991 and President of the USSR from 1990 to 1991. He played a pivotal role in bringing an end to the Cold War and he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1990. Since then, he has maintained an active role in world affairs through the Gorbachev Foundation, a non-profit organization which promotes democracy and humanitarian initiatives globally.

Reviews for What Is at Stake Now: My Appeal for Peace and Freedom

I was fortunate in being with Margret Thatcher when she met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1984. He did more to end the Cold War than anyone else and it ended without a shot being fired. We need to listen to his wise advice and encourage Vladimir Putin, not just Donald Trump, to act on it. Neither wants war but, as Gorbachev writes, we could end up with it by accident with the world being devastated. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom Mikhail Gorbachev has written this book to warn us of the grave risks we now face and to urge us all, political leaders and citizens alike, to take action to address them. This succinct account of the immense challenges we now face by one of the world's greatest statesmen will be of interest to everyone concerned about the current state of the world and its future. George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States This is a book that should be read and pondered by every concerned citizen. The shock of pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in the international system that developed following the end of the Cold War. We must demand that our political leaders heed Mikhail Gorbachev's impassioned plea for an end to militarized geopolitical competition in favour of cooperative policies that promote security for all nations. Jack F. Matlock, Jr., author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended


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