The landmark story of Bush-Gorbachev diplomacy: “No one has ever given as complete and compelling an account of the higher reaches of foreign policy” (Time).
December 1989. The Berlin Wall had fallen. Millions across the Eastern Bloc were enjoying new freedoms. And the USSR was falling apart. But the peaceful end of the Cold War was far from assured, requiring the leaders of rival superpowers to look beyond the animosities of the past and embrace an uncertain future.
At the Highest Levels is the fascinating story of that unlikely partnership, a real-time exposé of the negotiations between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Granted extraordinary access to private conversations and closed-door meetings at the Kremlin, White House, Pentagon, CIA, and KGB, Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott reveal the high-stakes international diplomacy that ended the nuclear arms race and decades of proxy wars.
The result is “an accurate first draft of the Cold War’s last days,” wrote David Remnick in the New Yorker, “filled with gaudy historical riches.” Each an acclaimed author in his own right, Beschloss and Talbott together deliver journalism at its best: an “intimate and utterly absorbing” record of this critical meeting of minds (The New York Times).
“Intimate and utterly absorbing . . . A highly fluent narrative with the heft and density of history and the emotional resonance of fiction.” —The New York Times
“Superb . . . With extraordinary speed and confounding success, Beschloss and Talbott have produced an accurate first draft of the Cold War’s last days. . . . Filled with gaudy historical riches.” —David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Unprecedented detail . . . No one has ever given as complete and compelling an account of the higher reaches of foreign policy.” —Time
“Did the Reagan-Bush policy of ‘peace through strength’ win the Cold War? . . . Any attempt to provide answers to [such questions] will have to reckon with At the Highest Levels . . . a carefully reported Cold War chronicle from the inside.” —Newsweek
“Step by step, memo by memo, summit by summit, the authors make the reader privy to what happened in closed rooms, sometimes in closed minds. . . . One is treated to an insider’s view of subtle maneuvers and manipulations. . . . A spectacular job of bringing history alive.” —USA Today
“Revelatory, startling, and important.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating insider’s account.” —Library Journal