Tag: Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev, RIP


The first time I met Mikhail Gorbachev he ignored me for a couple of minutes, devoting himself instead to my wife. 

 This was in the early two thousands. Communism had collapsed so completely that even the last leader of the Soviet Union had become a capitalist, visiting the United States on a paid speaking tour. My wife and I met him backstage before one of these events. Chatting with Edita, Gorbachev asked where she was from, how she liked California, and if she had ever visited Russia. As they spoke, I realized he was good. Really good. He had the touch. Unlike Brezhnev, Andropov, Kosygin, and the other aging tyrants he had succeeded, Gorbachev proved human, even, heaven help me–he had lead a country officially pledged to the destruction of our own country, after all–likeable. He may have risen to power in a Communist system, but he’d have done just fine in a democracy, too. When at last Gorbachev turned from my wife to me, his translator explained that I had composed President Reagan’s Berlin Wall address. Gorbachev smiled. “Ah,” he said, “dramaturg!”

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Charles Moore, a columnist for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, and the authorized, three-volume biographer of Lady Margaret Thatcher. Lord Moore explains why Lady Thatcher is considered the most important female political figure of the 20th century, and reviews the challenges she faced at home and abroad, from trade union strikes to high inflation rates and political discord. They talk about Prime Minister Thatcher partnering with American President Ronald Reagan and standing in solidarity with Poland’s Lech Walesa to face down Soviet communism. Lord Moore describes her middle-class background and a leadership style that led to her 12-year tenure as prime minister in the male-dominated arena of British politics (including nearly 700 sessions of the world-renowned Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons). They also discuss “Thatcherism,” her foundational economic principles and their applicability to other domestic policy topics, as well as lessons for today’s world. The interview concludes with Lord Moore reading from his biography of Lady Thatcher.

Stories of the Week: Attorneys general from 14 states are suing the Biden administration over the Department of Justice’s calls to monitor parental protests at school board meetings. In Alabama, a group is seeking to address the teacher shortage by suspending the requirement to pass a Praxis content mastery exam.