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Article

Diversification of The “Late Soviet”: Attitudes to Mikhail Gorbachev in The Mirrors of History Textbooks

Ideology and Politics Journal. 2013. Vol. 2. No. 4. P. 4-28.
Kurbatov S., Alla Marchenko.

The  article  deals  with  representations  of  Mikhail  Gorbachev,  last  leader  of  the  USSR,  in

textbooks  on the history  of  three  Post-Soviet  countries:  Russia,  Belarus  and  Ukraine.  The

personality of Gorbachev is seen in the wider framework  of attitudes to the “late  Soviet”  and its

embedding  in  three  histories  based  on  the  official  discourses.  The  results  of  historical  textbook

analysis  show  the  ambiguity  and  diversification  of  these  attitudes  reflected  in  three  “faces”  of

Gorbachev changing with the pace of perestroika. It is seen that negative attitudes to the personality

of  Gorbachev  are  connected  to  his  representations  within  the  framework  of  Machiavelist  elite

theories and general fight for power, with certain manifest or latent nostalgia  for the Soviet past.

The case of Ukraine is the most in contrast with a positive evaluation of  Gorbachev’s personality

and activities in comparison to Russia and Belarus.