August Coup the Truth and the Lessons by Mikhail Gorbachev (Hardcover)


This is an analysis of the causes and consequences of the coup d’etat that began in the USSR on 18 August 1991. It examines such issues as why and how the conspiracy became possible and what was behind the attempt to destroy everything that had been done over the previous six years in an effort to change the nature of Soviet society – to make it democratic, civilized and to rid the world of the threat of nuclear war. The book tells how profound social transformations in the Soviet Union were inevitably accompanied by popular discontent over the hardships of daily life, of which the coup plotters sought to take advantage. Gorbachev speaks frankly of his own mistakes and oversights regarding the differences and conflicts in the democratic movement, which the conspirators also tried to exploit. A large chapter deals with the three days in the Crimea during which the President and his family were totally isolated. Gorbachev writes of the people who showed courage and fortitude in defending democracy – a new breed of people who have learned to appreciate the new values brought to life by perestroika, who put the defence of those values above everything else. He also gives a complete account of his actions, and the reasons for those actions, during the Supreme Soviet session in late August and at the Congress of People’s Deputies in early September.

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