Richard Combs was by training and experience a leading analyst of Soviet doctrine and behavior within the U.S. from the early 1960s until the late 1990s. His book combines scholarly exegesis with historical narrative. It will interest anyone seeking to make sense of the sudden collapse of the Soviet state. Its account of decision-making and advocacy within the Department of State and the National Security Council is equally compelling. In short, Mr. Combs has made a significant contribution to the international history of the twentieth century. --Richard H. Ullman, David K.E. Bruce Professor of International Affairs, Emeritus, Princeton University
Synthesizing memoir, history, and policy analysis, Dick Combs's book combines an instructive inside account of a high-ranking American diplomat's years in the Soviet Union with a critical analysis of the evolution of Soviet thinking about world affairs. It also analyzes American thinking about the USSR and applies the lessons of all this to understand post-Soviet Russian politics and foreign policy, and American misperceptions thereof. --William Taubman, Amherst College
Dick Combs's study is a welcome addition to the many memoirs and scholarly studies devoted to the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union. Readers will be rewarded with a fresh view, penetrating insights, and--equally important--a very good read. --Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
About the Author
Dick Combs spent many years as a Foreign Service officer, from 1966 to 1989, with three tours of duty at the U.S. embassy in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. He later served as a Congressional foreign policy adviser to Senator Sam Nunn and as research professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.