Gorbachev: his life and times, by William Taubman, was recommended to me by a patron who uses the library frequently. The New York Times called it “the definitive English-language chronicle of this most intriguing figure.” Praised in the west for his contributions to overturning the Soviet empire and despised in Russia by his own people, Gorbachev, more than anyone else, ended the Cold War. His efforts, of course, led to a backlash from Russians, who then elected hard-liners Yeltsin and Putin. This new biography uses interviews from politicians, family, friends, and Gorbachev himself to document the changes in Russian life and politics, and received uniformly favorable reviews. It could be your next favorite big read.