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In the preceding years, Mikhail Gorbachev had embarked on far-reaching, historically unprecedented, economic and political reformsperestroika and glasnostat home and large-scale change abroad.
Even as Mikhail Gorbachev was leading the Soviet Union into the most ambitious perestroika-inspired reforms, South African President P.W. Botha entered into secret talks with the only man in the country considered a legitimate representative of the black South African majority, Nelson Mandela.
Several years later Mikhail Gorbachev told George that tear did more for Soviet-U.S. relations than we ever will know.
One night, while having dinner at the home of Elvis and Joan Mason, we watched George and Mikhail Gorbachev open the talks.
Both men had been deeply concerned about Ronald Reagans uncritical embrace of Mikhail Gorbachev and the changes his perestroika policies purported to entail.