Gorbachev: His Life and Times

Author or Artist

William Taubman
Gorbachev: His Life and Times

Summary

When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was one of the world's two superpowers. By 1989, his liberal policies of perestroika and glasnost had permanently transformed Soviet Communism, and had made enemies of radicals on the right and left. By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in 1991, after barely escaping from a coup attempt, he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union he had tried to save.

In the first comprehensive biography of the final Soviet leader, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy became the Soviet system's gravedigger, how he clambered to the top of a system designed to keep people like him down, how he found common ground with America's arch-conservative president Ronald Reagan, and how he permitted the USSR and its East European empire to break apart without using force to preserve them. Throughout, Taubman portrays the many sides of Gorbachev's unique character that, by Gorbachev's own admission, make him "difficult to understand." Was he in fact a truly great leader, or was he brought low in the end by his own shortcomings, as well as by the unyielding forces he faced?Drawing on interviews with Gorbachev himself, transcripts and documents from the Russian archives, and interviews with Kremlin aides and adversaries, as well as foreign leaders, Taubman's intensely personal portrait extends to Gorbachev's remarkable marriage to a woman he deeply loved, and to the family that they raised together. Nuanced and poignant, yet unsparing and honest, this sweeping account has all the amplitude of a great Russian novel.

Sourdough

Author or Artist

Robin Sloan
Sourdough

Summary

In his much-anticipated new novel, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her--feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it. Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she's providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up. When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Good Time (OST)

Author or Artist

Oneohtrix Point Never
Good Time (OST)

Summary

Oneohtrix Point Never's pulsating synth soundtrack for the Safdie Brothers' everybody-can't-stop-talking-about-how-good-Robert-Pattinson-is NY crime drama was awarded Best Soundtrack at Cannes.

Sleep Well Beast

Author or Artist

The National
Sleep Well Beast

Summary

New album from The National. Also available on vinyl, if you're into that sort of thing.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Summary

Oprah Winfrey drew rave reviews for her portrayal of Deb in HBO's adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Summary

If calling Wonder Woman the best non-Christopher Nolan DC movie seems like faint praise (and, boy does it ever), it isn't meant to be. Closer in spirit to Marvel's Billion-Dollar Formula™ than to the mistaking-dark-for-significant misfires of Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman - despite a pretty thin plot - would be one of the better entries even in that rival Cinematic Universe simply by centering itself around a compelling character, compellingly portrayed.

Re-Covered

Author or Artist

Dan Wilson
Re-Covered

Summary

On his new album, Dan Wilson plays songs he wrote for or with other people, including hits by Taylor Swift, Adele, Chris Stapleton and many more.

Clay to Go

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Clay to Go

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Minnesota Secretary of State - Business & Liens

Business and filings information, including details on how to start a business in Minnesota.

My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel

Summary

Rachel Weisz and Game of Thrones' Iain Glen star in this new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel.