The review is a critical analysis of an important book of conversations between two major figures of 20th century communism: former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Prague Spring ideologue Zdenek Mlynár. The review examines Gorbachev's illusions about the possibility of reconciling Leninism and democracy, his efforts to liberalize the Soviets system, as well as his gradual separation from the Bolshevik exclusive and intolerant worldview. Gorbachev still believes that Leninist regimes could democratize as a result of reforms from the top and underestimates the role of civil society movements from below. His break with the communist party came too late and this explains his political defeat. Altogether, this is a significant document highlighting the limits of Marxist revisionism and its role in the dismantling of communism.


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pp. 174-177
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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