From Washington to Moscow: US-Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.8 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Louis Sell is a retired Foreign Service officer who served twentyseven years with the US Department of State, specializing in Soviet and Balkan affairs. He is the author of Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, also published by Duke University Press.


"A masterfully written book, From Washington to Moscow offers a comprehensive, magnificent, and primarily chronological narrative of the USSR--the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics--under the leadership of its General Secretaries--Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko, and Mikhail Gorbachev--up to its stupendous collapse, and the ascent of Boris Yeltsin, the First President of the Russian Federation."--Sapphire Ng "Impeccable Business blog" (8/1/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"[A] rich and readable history.... A rare and intimate look at Gorbachev and the events leading up to his presidency...."-- "Kirkus Reviews" (8/5/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"Books on the era abound, but Sell's account helps remind us what really happened, and in some cases fills in some important gaps. His book combines meticulous use of archival and other sources with telling personal reminiscences and nuanced observations. A particular strength is his grasp of the personalities involved."--Edward Lucas "Center for European Policy Analysis" (8/16/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"Sell is obviously a talented writer who is able to simplify complicated issues without removing their important subtleties. He also breaks down Cold War arms negotiations to a point where any reader can clearly understand which games each side was playing and who really won or lost despite the final number of missiles. The fact that he was present at many of the negotiations lends a sense of clarity to his writing that is rarely seen on this issue."
--April Curtis "LSE Review of Books" (10/13/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"Methodologically rigorous and qualitative, Sell deploys thorough archival research aided by personal observation, which makes the book a fluid and enjoyable, but serious, read. It is also a welcome departure from contemporary political scholarship, which tends to be mostly quantitative in nature and is often devoid of the historical 'long views.'"
--Sumantra Maitra "International Affairs" (11/9/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"[A] modest and sensible account of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. . . ."--Robert Cottrell "New York Review of Books" (12/22/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"[T]his is a story that is extremely vivid, lively in its detail and persuasive in its assessments, that engagingly recreates what is now a bygone era for many readers and so a world they have difficulty imagining through dry, academic analysis." --Robert D. English "H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews" (3/10/2017 12:00:00 AM)
"An engaging, detailed narrative of Soviet developments and U.S.-Soviet relations that draws principally on a highly impressive range of memoir and documentary sources, especially Soviet and many unavailable in English, that have appeared since 1991.... I can testify to the meticulous care with which he has constructed his narrative, and to how successfully it weaves together data from those sources and his own lived experience."
--Thomas W. Simons, Jr "Journal of Cold War Studies" (10/1/2017 12:00:00 AM)