ABSTRACT

The phrase “the Gorbachev challenge,” so often used in Western writing, reveals the surprise and even embarrassment felt by Western observers of perestroika and novoe myshlenie (new thinking). This embarrassment explains the acrimony of current debates among analysts of diverging schools of thought and among politicians in the Western Alliance. The undeniable change in the USSR came unexpectedly; not everyone welcomes the need to respond to this change.