An Impossible Dream
Reagan, Gorbachev, and a World Without the Bomb
by Guillaume Serina
Pub Date 02 Jul 2019
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The riveting untold story behind the meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik to stop the nuclear arms race.
When Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev sat down in Reykjavik in 1986, George Shultz, the American secretary of state at the time, said that it was “the poker game with the highest stakes ever played.” It was the last time the world had a chance to do away entirely with nuclear weapons.
This is the behind-the-scenes story of this remarkable summit conference in the remote Icelandic capital. An Impossible Dream is the first exploration of recently-available archives of both sides—top-secret archives of the Kremlin and the personal papers of Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as the archives of Ronald Reagan. These chronicles, personal diaries and previously classified memoranda are deeply enriched by the personal reminiscences of many of the key players at this era.But above all, the stage is set with a personal and exclusive preface from Mikhail Gorbachev himself.
An Impossible Dream is the deeply important examination of the present and the future. The hazards of the nuclear age are legion, from aging weapons to new software that is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. With elements of the Trump administration considering a unilateral abrogation of the intermediate range nuclear missile (INF) treaty, the roots of which were laid at Reykjavik. Serina lays out this pivotal moment in history clearly and dramatically in this landmark work, as the world stands poised on the edge of a potential new arms race.
About the Author: Guillaume Serina, a historian and graduate of the Sorbonne, is currently the outreach coordinator for the International School of Los Angeles. An experienced journalist, he has covered three U.S. presidential elections for several European media and has published five books in French, including the first French-language biography of Barack Obama. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
David A. Andelman has been foreign correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia, the Executive Editor of Forbes and editor and publisher of World Policy Journal. He is currently a voice/commentator for CNN and member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of three books, most recently, A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today. He lives in Washington, DC.