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Oct. 27: Mikhail Gorbachev speaks! "Security and Environment: The Challenges of the 21st Century"

A talk by the former head of the USSR

When: Thursday 27 October, 4:00-6:00 PM

Where: DePauw University

Noter from DePauw: Mikhail Gorbachev's October 27 Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture at DePauw University will take place in the Lilly Center, 702 South College Avenue (directions), to accommodate what is expected to be a very large crowd.

Has there ever been a more noble and heroic screw-up than Mikhail Gorbachev? A genuine idealist who was handed the keys to the Evil Empire in 1985, in less than six years he lost the empire, his country broke apart, and he had a Nobel Peace Prize. Seeing Gorbachev is definitely worth a trip to Greencastle.

I am curious how kids these days think of Gorbachev, who had such an impact on the world of my generation. University of Indianapolis grad student Courtney Burkey says:

Many of us remember the dark days of the Cold War with President Reagan on one
side and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev on the other. Events such as “Star Wars”, Reagan’s strategy to reduce the threat of nuclear war and end the tactic of mutual deterrence in the early 1980s, and the declaration by the President stating that the USSR was the “Evil Empire” were constantly seeking to create a sense of security for Americans, and yet, worked to create fear in the public. During the 1980s we could not escape discussions or references to the Cold War and the supposed espionage that went on between government agencies, the CIA and KGB. Surpassing the daily news reports, merican television entertainment programs, such as, MacGyver to sitcoms, like the Golden Girls and Designing Women would chime in with political commentary on the Cold War. The Cold War finally came to end in the late 1980s, early 1990s with the signing of several treaties beginning with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987. This treaty eliminated tactical or "battlefield" nuclear devices and GLCMs (cruise missiles) from Europe. Additionally, the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty I (START I), signed in 1991 by George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev; reduced the numbers of U.S. and Soviet long-range missiles and nuclear warheads from 10,000 per side to 6,000 per side. At the height of the Cold War, as Reagan called upon the United States to build a space-based missile defense system to ward off potential nuclear attacks by the Soviets, Gorbachev stated, "What we need is Star Peace and not Star Wars." He also said, "We can either climb together or fall into the abyss." President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev are credited as bringing the Cold War to an end. Mr. Gorbachev is a remarkable person; he is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1990) presented for his efforts to bring about global peace, lifting the oppressive Soviet laws, and freeing Eastern Europe and Central Asia from the Soviet Communist System. In 1992, Gorbachev founded a
non-partisan, non-profit, educational foundation known as the Gorbachev Foundation or International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies. The Foundation became one of the first independent think-tanks in the post-Soviet Russia.

For background, Courtney recommends:

Part of DePauw University's Ubben Lecture Series, this is free and open to the public

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