For those who want to look at late-Soviet leadership and politics, look no further than Mikhail Gorbachev’s own works. As the last Soviet leader, he oversaw the gradual liberalizing of freedoms (such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press) during the late 1980s, and eventually saw the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He has published multiple memoirs in the past, which I highly recommend, but his latest book, После Кремля (Poslye Kremlya, “After the Kremlin”) is now available in English, published by British publisher Polity Press, under the title “The New Russia.”
This book, among other things, will offer the former Soviet leader’s thoughts on modern-day Russia. Quite tellingly, Gorbachev has criticized Putin, saying that the current President “thinks he is second only to God.”