Saturday, May 31, 2014

Serhii Plokhy's "The Last Empire," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy.

The entry begins:
The Last Empire is about the event that Vladimir Putin called the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century and that many of his opponents consider its brightest moment—the fall of the Soviet Union. Although my book is not fiction by any stretch of the imagination, it is hard to think of the downward spiral of the USSR in the last five months of 1991 (the chronological scope of my narrative) as anything but the closing act of a drama.

The main actors in the drama were President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, President George H. W. Bush of the United States, and the leaders of two Soviet republics, Boris Yeltsin of Russia and Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine. I also take a close look at the wives of my first two characters, Raisa Gorbachev and Barbara Bush.

Mikhail Gorbachev takes center stage in the book, as he had the most to gain or lose from the way things turned out. He lost it all—prestige, power, and country. Gorbachev’s personal drama—the story of a leader who dragged his country out of its totalitarian past, opened it to the world, introduced democratic procedures, and initiated economic reform, changing his homeland and the world around him so drastically that there was no place left for him—is the hinge of my narrative. I am not sure who would be better at playing Gorbachev, Kevin Spacey or Tom...[read on]
Learn more about The Last Empire at the Basic Books website.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Empire.

--Marshal Zeringue