Featured Book:

Mikhail Gorbachev

Essential Thoughts

This book sets out the ideas and ideals, the spirit and vision that guided Mikhail Gorbachev in his world-changing agenda, in a concise form.

It also offers Gorbachev’s insights into how each of us can help to restore humanist values and personal responsibility as the foundation of global politics.

This wealth of wisdom is an invaluable resource for overcoming the huge social and environmental challenges that humanity faces today. The boundless optimism and confidence of this colossal world figure can inspire each of us to play our role, large or small, in helping to create a sustainable and peaceful future for our planet earth and all its inhabitants.

“We are one mankind, we are one planet!”
                                            – Mikhail Gorbachev

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Praise for ‘Essential Thoughts’

This excellent book presents a rare collection of the words and thoughts of this great statesman; past, present as well as challenges for the future of the world. It is filled with his humanity, experience and vision. In our suffering and challenging time, his words bring us inspiration and hope.  Mikhail Gorbachev was a courageous and far seeing leader who not only changed his country – but the world. A must read for every thoughtful citizen.

Suzanne Massie
Author “Trust but Verify”, Specialist Russian culture, Advisor to President Reagan 1984-1988

Mikhail Gorbachev’s “Essential Thoughts” is an important contribution to understanding Gorbachev and his New Thinking. There is indeed much that we can learn from Gorbachev at a time when cynical politicians seem bent on destroying his legacy. I am sure that the book’s message will resonate with new generations of leaders who will see Mikhail Gorbachev not as a failure or a tragic figure but as a man whose ideas and enduring achievements will keep changing the world.

Pavel Palazhchenko
Chief English Interpreter for Mikhail Gorbachev
Head of the Press Office, The Gorbachev Foundation

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

Perestroika was not a choice for me:
it was a direct extension of my personality,
my philosophy, and my moral feelings.

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

“My most urgent message is that
it is time for every person and
every nation to rethink their role
in global development.
Everyone needs to be involved.
Everyone has a role to play.
And it is the personal involvement
of each and every individual that will
allow a new civilization to flourish on.”

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

“Today it is my dream that every
aware citizen should be
‘a president of the Earth’
and take responsibility for its fate
upon himself or herself.”

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

“It is my firm belief that the infinite
and uncontrollable fury of
nuclear weapons should never
be held in the hands of any
mere mortal ever again,
for any reason.”

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

“The only way towards genuine peace
is to eliminate these weapons altogether.
To embark on this path means to pass
a historic maturity test.”

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

“A historic milestone in the chronicle
of man’s eternal quest for a world
without wars.”
(after the signing of the INF Treaty, 1987)

Quotes from Essential Thoughts

I believe that the environmental challenge
is the number one problem on the
[international] agenda. If we don’t succeed,
then no theory, no system will matter,
all the current disagreements will seem
like peanuts compared to the destructive
impact of the conflict between man and
his environment.

About the editor

Swiss national, Michael S. Karlen first became interested in Mikhail Gorbachev during his college years in Zurich in the 1980s. After working for the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva, he became in 2005 Secretary-General of the non-profit Comprehensive Dialogue among Civilizations (CDAC), based in Geneva. CDAC’s mission includes developing new ethics to encompass all races, nations and ideologies — work which increased Karlen’s respect for Mikhail Gorbachev’s similar focus in world affairs.
      This organization was founded by Vladimir Petrovsky, Deputy Foreign Minister under Mikhail Gorbachev and later United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. As head of CDAC, Karlen worked closely with Petrovsky and in 2015 edited a book about his life (The Master Diplomat: Nuremberg, Wisdom-Light Press, 2015). Through his work with Mr. Petrovsky and later on the book, Karlen became closely acquainted with the vision, ideas and ideals of Perestroika. President Gorbachev wrote the foreword for The Master Diplomat and from then on, Karlen’s contacts with him and with the Gorbachev Foundation became more frequent.
     Karlen currently lives and works in New York with regular visits to Moscow.

Gorbachev changed the course of history.

• Ending the Cold War
• Limiting nuclear weapons
• Giving freedom to millions
• Creating a global environment organization
• Bringing to world politics a unique humanist and ecological perspective

There is much we can
learn from him today.