"... Gorbachev became a sort of hero in the west. But he became that hero precisely because he was a massive failure.
"We have to see his legacy in the light of how he is perceived in Russia, not just that he helped the US win the Cold War. The bitterness toward him in Russia is very real and I’m not sure the world is better off for his failures. It’s not that the American evaluation of Gorbachev has no value. But we have to remember that the world is not made up of Americans and the contempt for him at home probably should mean more than what we Americans think.
"Of course, the world probably is a better place for Gorbachev’s life. His actions in 1989-1991 could have been so much worse and resulted in the killing of many people. But again, we can’t just look at him as a hero because his life also ended up serving American interests.
"He’s not an American after all. He’s a Russian. If we don’t consider how people see him in his beloved home, we are myopically seeing the world through American lenses. Let’s try not to do that today." -- history professor Erik Loomis at LGM on the legacy of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who died yesterday at the age of 91.