At the Highest Levels synopsis: December 1989. The Berlin Wall had fallen. Millions across the Eastern Bloc were enjoying new freedoms. And the USSR was falling apart. But the peaceful end of the Cold War was far from assured, requiring the leaders of rival superpowers to look beyond the animosities of the past and embrace an uncertain future.
At the Highest Levels is the fascinating story of that unlikely partnership, a real-time exposé of the negotiations between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Granted extraordinary access to private conversations and closed-door meetings at the Kremlin, White House, Pentagon, CIA, and KGB, Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott reveal the high-stakes international diplomacy that ended the nuclear arms race and decades of proxy wars.
The result is “an accurate first draft of the Cold War’s last days,” wrote David Remnick in the New Yorker, “filled with gaudy historical riches.” Each an acclaimed author in his own right, Beschloss and Talbott together deliver journalism at its best: an “intimate and utterly absorbing” record of this critical meeting of minds (The New York Times).