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Amram Scholar Series Presents: William Taubman

As memories of the Cold War fade and worries rise about a new era of tense relations between Russia and the West, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Taubman comes to the Amram Scholar Series to revisit the decades when the United States and the Soviet Union — the world's two superpowers — dictated geopolitical strategy, foreign policy, and economic stability. His talk at Temple on Sunday, January 28 at 10:30 am will focus on his new biography, Gorbachev: His Life and Times, for which the former Soviet leader afforded him extensive access. The book has been named as one of five finalists for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award for biography.

Combining rigorous biographical research and a compelling narrative style, Mr. Taubman creates an intimate portrayal of Mikhail Gorbachev that is also a compelling history of the Soviet Union and Russia. The New York Times Book Review applauds it as "masterly … (a) richly layered portrait … which will surely stand as the definitive English-language chronicle of this most intriguing figure for many years to come."

Gorbachev details how a dirt-poor farm boy and Communist Party stalwart became the USSR's most significant reformer; how the leader of the "evil Empire" forged a peaceful partnership with the United States aimed at eliminating nuclear arms; and how Gorbachev's reformist policies of perestroika and glasnost collapsed, leaving him reviled in his homeland even as he was admired in the West.

William Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College. His biography, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2004. He comes to Washington Hebrew Congregation in cooperation with the Jewish Book Council.

Support WHC's youth social justice projects by purchasing this book through the WHC Mitzvah Mall.