Gorbachev looks back on USSR

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the USSR, has unveiled the first five volumes of a huge new work on Soviet era politics at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

More than half the material in the eventual 22-volume series has never been published before.

Written in Russian, the books will give a unique insight into the fall of the Soviet empire.

The collection includes official speeches given by Gorbachev at home and abroad as well as at closed-door meetings with leading foreign politicians.

The books are set to become “a source of varied and unique information about the time when Gorbachev was one of the Soviet Union's leaders and especially about the years when he led the party and the country,” a spokesman for the Ves Mir publishing house said on Wednesday.

If the work is a success, Gorbachev promises to write another book on post-Cold War events.

Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is respected in the United States and Europe for the reforms that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, was awarded the Liberty Medal in September for his role in ending the Cold War.

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