On Christmas Day 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of
the Soviet Union. By the next day the USSR was officially no more
and the USA had emerged as the world's sole superpower.
Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy presents a page-turning
account of the preceding five months of drama, filled with failed
coups d'etat and political intrigue. Honing in on this previously
disregarded but crucial period and using recently declassified
documents and original interviews with key participants, he
shatters the established myths of 1991 and presents a bold new
interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months. Plokhy argues
that contrary to the triumphalist Western narrative, George H. W.
Bush desperately wanted to preserve the Soviet Union and keep
Gorbachev in power, and that it was Ukraine and not the US that
played the key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The
consequences of those five months and the myth-making that has
since surrounded them are still being felt in Crimea, Russia, the
US, and Europe today. With its spellbinding narrative and
strikingly fresh perspective, The Last Empire is the essential
account of one of the most important watershed periods in world
history, and is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to make
sense of international politics today.