Films: Mikhail Gorbachev – Interpretations

Film series: Power and authority in Russia and the Soviet Union

Published: 22nd January 2024

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Power and authority in Russia and the USSR: Gorbachev

How much of what Russia is today, how its people behave, and how they are perceived is dependent on its history and those that have led it? Was it the first melting pot of the world? Do its broad range of cultural traditions and diversity play a part in its external persona as well as creating a strong set of identities? Have its leaders in the twentieth century really been the idealogues and monsters the west portrayed them as? Could those at the top be the instruments of a changing Russian identity moulded by their diverse peoples of the Empire/USSR? And how much was the period that they lived in important to their success as a leader of a one of the most powerful nations in the modern world?

In this new film series running over the course of 2024, some of the leading historians working on Russia have contributed their expertise to build a clear understanding of the leaders of modern Russia and how they have shaped their country and the rest of the world through it.

Our first set of films below features Emeritus Professor Archie Brown (University of Oxford) and focuses on the life, significance and legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev. Films on Stalin, Yeltsin, Lenin, Khruschev, Brezhnev and Alexander II will be published throughout 2024 as part of the connected series.

1. Gorbachev - Early life and influences

2. Gorbachev - Domestic Reform

3. Gorbachev - Foreign Relations

4. Gorbachev - Downfall

5. Gorbachev - Interpretations