In this conversation with Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Archie Brown – author of the recently released book The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War – explains why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations and the varying relationships between his three main protagonists before and after 1985; elaborates on his views on when and how the Cold War ended; and elucidates why the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated in the post-Cold War decades.
Archie Brown is a British political scientist. He is an emeritus professor of politics at the University of Oxford and an emeritus fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, where he served as a professor of politics and director of St Antony’s Russian and East European Centre. He has written widely on Soviet and Russian politics, on communist politics more generally, on the Cold War, and on political leadership. His most important books include The Rise and Fall of Communism from 2009 and The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age from 2014.
The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War was originally published by Oxford University Press in 2020. It was awarded the Pushkin House Book Prize in 2021. A paperback version has been released this year.
In collaboration with Lucie Hunter