Gorbachev's Challenge

Archive Report

New Leader's First Year

Diplomatic and Arms Control Initiatives

Mikhail S. Gorbachev will shortly complete his first year as leader of the Soviet Union. Recognized early as “a man in a hurry,” Gorbachev, 54, has indeed accomplished a great deal since March 11, 1985, when he was named general secretary of the Communist Party. He has met with an American president at the first superpower summit in six years and placed his personal stamp on arms control negotiations. He has overhauled the Kremlin leadership, replacing older officials with men of his own generation. And he has initiated several bureaucratic and economic reforms aimed at improving the country's lagging economy.

It is still unclear whether Gorbachev's changes will prove to be more a matter of style or of ...

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