Resources for Teachers and Students
Prepare: Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1990. His biography
and the text of his Nobel
laureate lecture can be found on the Nobel wesbite.
Mikhail Gorbachev's Architects
of Peace essay, "The Search for a New Beginning,"
is excerpted from his book, The Search for a New Beginning:
Developing a New Civilization."
Explore: As General Secretary of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev initiated systemic reforms
according to policies called "glasnost," and "perestroika,"
terms which denote "openness" and "restructuring,"
respectively. Gorbachev's reforms, however, went far beyond
the dictionary connotations of these words. Using a combination
of library and internet resources, explore the political
impact of the glasnost and perestroika programs, especially
in regard to how they contributed to ending the Cold War.
Write: In his Architects of Peace essay, Mikhail
Gorbachev wrote, "Even if it now seems that the danger
of nuclear annihilation presented by the Cold War is over
and mercifully behind us, it is my firm belief that the
infinite and uncontrollable fury of nuclear weapons should
never be held in the hands of any mere mortal ever again,
for any reason." This is a profound statement, given
that it originates with a man who held the power of launching
a nuclear strike, and yet the question arises of whether
it's realistic. Write a three-to-five page persuasive essay
examining this question.
Not many people are aware that Mikhail Gorbachev is acutely
concerned about environmental causes. In 1993, in response
to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, he founded the Green
Cross International (GCI), which is headquartered
in Geneva, Switzerland. Two of CGI's major projects are
concerned with peacemaking: The Environmental Legacy of
Wars Program, which seeks to mitigate the environmental
consequences of war, especially the Cold War, and The Earth
Charter Project, which seeks to establish a universal code
of conduct to guide nations toward a sustainable future.
Additional Resource: The International Non-Governmental
Foundation for Social-Economic and Political Studies, better
know as "The
became one of the first truly independent think tanks
in post-Soviet Russia, dedicated to helping assert democratic
values and moral, humanistic principles in the life of society.
An affiliate, The
Gorbachev Foundation of North America, is located
at Northeastern University. Their core mission is to contribute
to the spread of democracy and economic liberalization through
a program of advocacy, research, and education.
Biography of Mikhail