By Sharon Hanes
Stretching from the tip of worldwide conflict II to 1989, the chilly struggle among the Western powers and the Communist bloc formed nationwide alliances around the globe. Biographies provides nearly 50 interesting tales of the lives and activities of Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and so forth, either well-known and no more recognized.
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Khrushchev took the Soviet Union in a distinctly different direction than Stalin had charted. He openly criticized some of Stalin’s policies and began a Communist Party reform movement known as de-Stalinization, a plan to introduce reforms to the Soviet Union. These reforms included allowing greater personal freedoms for Soviet citizens, lessening the powers of the secret police, closing concentration and hardlabor camps, and restoring certain legal processes. Khrushchev’s criticism of Stalin was courageous; few in the Soviet Union dared to make such statements.
1985 1986 The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs. S. and Canada sign a freetrade agreement. 1987 1988 Pan Am Flight 747 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland. 1988 January 18, 1989 The labor union Solidarity gains formal acceptance in Poland. March 26, 1989 Open elections are held for the new Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies, with the communists suffering major defeats; Boris Yeltsin wins the Moscow seat. May 11, 1989 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announces major reductions of nuclear forces in Eastern Europe.
S. vice president George Bush is elected president of the United States. January 11, 1989 The Hungarian parliament adopts reforms granting greater personal freedoms to Hungarians, including allowing political parties and organizations. 1985 Microsoft releases Windows. 1985 1986 The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs. S. and Canada sign a freetrade agreement. 1987 1988 Pan Am Flight 747 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland. 1988 January 18, 1989 The labor union Solidarity gains formal acceptance in Poland.