Mikhail Gorbachev
Living Person
Nationality: Russia (born in the Soviet Union)
Date of Birth: 1931
Religion: Atheist (may have converted in later years)
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician, Author of Non-Fiction
Spouse: Raisa (d. 1999)
Children: Irina
Political Party: Communist Party of the Soviet Union until 1991
Political Office: General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR,
President of the USSR
Turtledove Appearances:

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian, Михаил Сергеевич Горбачёв) (born 2 March 1931) was a Soviet politician. He was the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the last head of state of the USSR, serving from 1985 until its collapse in 1991. He holds the distinction of having been the only Soviet leader who was born under the Soviet flag.

Gorbachev's attempts at reform — perestroika and glasnost — as well as summit conferences with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush of the United States, contributed to the end of the Cold War.

Following the dissolution of the nation which he had led, Gorbachev attempted to remain active in Russian politics by running for president of the Federation in 1996. Though this failed, he continued leading minor political parties and speaking out about the states of numerous important affairs.

Mikhail Gorbachev in A World of Difference[]

A World of Difference
POD: c 4,500,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: AD 1976
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Date of Death: 1985
Cause of Death: Officially cerebral hemorrhage (widely believed to be homicide)
Political office: General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-1985) became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. He was one of several leaders who held power briefly in the 1980s, without making much of a lasting impact. During his term, he introduced a number of reforms, including placing limitations on the KGB, and there were speculations that he might have had more far-reaching reforms in mind. However, he died of an apparent brain hemorrhage after a mere nine months in office. Some suspected that the brain hemorrhage was of the nine-millimeter variety. As the Soviet government again toughened its policies and restored the KGB's full powers, no one spoke too loudly of these suspicions.[1]

Mikhail Gorbachev in Worldwar[]

POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Aftershocks
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Mikhail Sergeyevich")
Occupation: Diplomat
Relatives: Pyotr Maksimovich (cousin)

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was the protocol officer at the Soviet embassy to the United States in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1965. Vyacheslav Molotov made a point of learning Gorbachev's name and patronymic because he believed in Gorbachev's abilities, despite a tendency to put form ahead of substance.[2]

Gorbachev's cousin, Pyotr Maksimovich, was Molotov's personal secretary. When the furry was first popular in the U.S., Gorbachev sent one to his cousin, and it became the talk of the Kremlin.[3]

Literary comment[]

While his surname is not given, enough clues to Gorbachev's identity are provided.

Mikhail Gorbachev in The Two Georges[]

The Two Georges
POD: c. 1763
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Mikhail Sergeyevich")
Nationality: Russian Empire
Occupation: Diplomat

Mikhail Sergeyevich was the chief of protocol at the Russian embassy in Victoria in the North American Union. In 1995 he added Colonel Thomas Bushell, Captain Samuel Stanley and Doctor Kathleen Flannery to a reception party list at Sir Horace Bragg's insistence and then checked them off when they arrived, allowing them to enter the embassy. Mikhail Sergeyevich was ill at ease in Victoria's summer, which was much hotter than that of St. Petersburg.[4]

Literary comment[]

While his surname isn't given, the reference to his "broad, bald forehead," and the fact that this would not be the only time Harry Turtledove has cast him in the role of an embassy protocol officer, are strong indicators of Gorbachev's identity.

See also[]


  1. A World of Difference, pg. 27.
  2. Aftershocks, pg. 302.
  3. Ibid., pg. 596.
  4. The Two Georges, pgs. 442-443, MPB, pg. 289, HC.