Andrei Gromyko has held high office in the Soviet government for more than 50 years, serving under every leader from Stalin to Gorbachev. As his country's Foreign Minister, he met and negotiated with almost every world leader. His memoirs describe the intrigues of power-politics behind the scenes in the Kremlin, and the characters and events which have dominated his political life. They provide unprecented insight into half a century of Soviet and world politics. We learn of Gromyko's upbringing in a small village far from the main cities, of his academic prominence and courtship of his wife, Lidia Grinevich. We see him, already in 1939, as ambassador to Washington, then in Yalta alongside Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. The book provides portraits of all his leading political contemporaries, and revelations, such as the time Chairman Mao asked for Soviet support for an atomic bombing of American forces.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book fascinating! It wasn't like reading, it was like sitting down and having a conversation with the man! I was sorry when it was over. To anyone who was an adult during the cold war, Andrei Gromyko was a familiar name. He was on every Russian committee that the rest of the world dealt with. Yes, he was a firm believer in communism but he was very good at explaining why he thought the way that he did. And his point of view as to why the Russians did as they did. If you enjoyed the book on Yalta, you will really enjoy this one.
Gromyko's book reads like an issue of Pravda during the Cold War. It is not believable. He simply denies what he doesn't like.
Believe it or not, he even denies the existence of the secret protocol that was part of Russia's non-aggression pact with the Nazis.
He says, "show it to me. I have never seen it."
Not worth the money.
To start off, I actually struggled between 4 and a 5 on this (what I'd want to give is a 9 out of 10--but as I understand, a 5/5 is not supposed to imply a 'perfect' book, otherwise we've have quite a few perfect books on Amazon!).
It's not complicated--this is Gromyko's telling of his life and career, through the Second World War, in the Soviet Foreign Ministry (the equivalent of the State Department). Gromyko was foreign minister of the USSR for nearly thirty years, a consummate insider in his own government. If you're expecting him to give some sort of revolutionary tell-all, flying in the face of the general politics of Soviet high government, prepare to be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I'd love the chance to read a Kissinger autobiography revealing the ACTUAL sordid details of things like Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan, but in these juggernauts of government policy, we'll have to settle for orthodoxy. Gromyko tells this story in 1989, by the time he was an elderly...
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