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The Inconvenient JournalistA Memoir$
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Dusko Doder and Louise Branson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501759093

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501759093.001.0001

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The Price for Breaking a Rule of Journalism

The Price for Breaking a Rule of Journalism

(p.134) 9 The Price for Breaking a Rule of Journalism
The Inconvenient Journalist

Dusko Doder

Louise Branson

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the author's experience covering Yuri Andropov's successor, Konstantin Chernenko. Chernenko had won out because the armed forces had backed him, a signal that the old guard was not yet ready to hand power to a new generation or continue Andropov's assault on their privileged way of life. The country was now on autopilot as Chernenko and his men did all they could to return Soviet society to the Brezhnev era. The chapter then looks at the author's interview with Chernenko. Chernenko told the author that he wanted to resume arms talks with the United States but that Ronald Reagan only talked about it without doing anything meaningful, and that although the Reagan administration said it was focused on defensive weapons, the US budget showed a massive buildup of offensive nuclear systems, and he cited several new US strategic weapons systems. He said he wondered why two great countries were not able to do something to secure peace, that it was what kept him up at night. During this time, the author's marriage had collapsed.

Keywords:   Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet society, United States, Ronald Reagan, arms talks, US strategic weapons systems, Reagan administration

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