Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire

Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire


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"An instant classic, if not the finest book to date on Ronald Reagan.” — Jay Winik

President Reagan's dramatic battle to win the Cold War is revealed as never before by the #1 bestselling author and award-winning anchor of the #1 rated Special Report with Bret Baier.

Moscow, 1988: 1,000 miles behind the Iron Curtain, Ronald Reagan stood for freedom and confronted the Soviet empire. 

In his acclaimed bestseller Three Days in January, Bret Baier illuminated the extraordinary leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower at the dawn of the Cold War. Now in his highly anticipated new history, Three Days in Moscow, Baier explores the dramatic endgame of America’s long struggle with the Soviet Union and President Ronald Reagan’s central role in shaping the world we live in today.

On May 31, 1988, Reagan stood on Russian soil and addressed a packed audience at Moscow State University, delivering a remarkable—yet now largely forgotten—speech that capped his first visit to the Soviet capital. This fourth in a series of summits between Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, was a dramatic coda to their tireless efforts to reduce the nuclear threat. More than that, Reagan viewed it as “a grand historical moment”: an opportunity to light a path for the Soviet people—toward freedom, human rights, and a future he told them they could embrace if they chose. It was the first time an American president had given an address about human rights on Russian soil. Reagan had once called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Now, saying that depiction was from “another time,” he beckoned the Soviets to join him in a new vision of the future. The importance of Reagan’s Moscow speech was largely overlooked at the time, but the new world he spoke of was fast approaching; the following year, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, leaving the United States the sole superpower on the world stage.

Today, the end of the Cold War is perhaps the defining historical moment of the past half century, and must be understood if we are to make sense of America’s current place in the world, amid the re-emergence of US-Russian tensions during Vladimir Putin’s tenure. Using Reagan’s three days in Moscow to tell the larger story of the president’s critical and often misunderstood role in orchestrating a successful, peaceful ending to the Cold War, Baier illuminates the character of one of our nation’s most venerated leaders—and reveals the unique qualities that allowed him to succeed in forming an alliance for peace with the Soviet Union, when his predecessors had fallen short.

Editorial Reviews


A remarkable book on many levels. Three Days in Moscow may make you see Ronald Reagan for the first time.

The American Spectator

Vivid. … Baier captures the essence of Ronald Reagan. … Great history. …. A serious contribution to Reagan literature.

Publishers Weekly

Baier (Three Days in January), chief political anchor for Fox News, tenders a nostalgic account of the Reagan era and the end of the Cold War. Lauding the former president’s “iron-fisted, velvet-gloved approach” to U.S.–Soviet relations while de-emphasizing the more complex forces at play in the late 1980s, he portrays Ronald Reagan as a hero for whom turning “the evil empire” onto a path of democracy was a life mission. He recounts the Reagans’ first visit to Moscow in 1988 and the couple’s unscripted and nearly disastrous meet-the-people stroll, revels in Reagan’s anti-Communist one-liners, and asserts the president was “a far more complex human being than his critics gave him credit for.” Baier’s account of the tense arms negotiations and numerous summits that defined the era differs dramatically from other recent literature, in which Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is given the more pivotal role. Baier also attributes the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to a speech Reagan gave more than a year earlier. Readers who hold Reagan in high regard will likely appreciate Baier’s burnishing of the myths surrounding him, but those interested in a rigorous historical investigation will be disappointed. Agency: Folio Literary Management. (May)


From someone who covered all of Ronald Reagan’s summits, Three Days in Moscow is a fascinating read. Bret Baier’s enthralling new history is a timely reminder at a point of resurgent US-Russian tensions of the historic role Ronald Reagan played in negotiating landmark nuclear agreements that helped end the Cold War.


Bret Baier has done it again. Three Days in Moscow is a remarkable story about one of the most monumental moments in contemporary world history. Grand in sweep, brilliantly crafted, and riveting, this extraordinary book is also masterfully researched. It will take its place as an instant classic, if not as the finest book to date on Ronald Reagan.


In Bret Baier’s uplifting Three Days in Moscow we learn of a critical new chapter in the Reagan triumph over totalitarianism, a place and time where a new vision of freedom for all people was born. An engaging story well told by a professional with insight and empathy.

Wall Street Journal

Forceful. … It is curious how many Reaganesque themes find a contemporary echo… [and] it is worth recalling both Reagan’s celebration of freedom and his understanding of democracy.


Bret Baier’s Three Days in Moscow is a riveting recounting of Ronald Reagan’s gallant Cold War diplomacy. ... Every page sparkles. ... One of the best and most essential books ever written about Reagan.


Bret Baier gives us a clear and lively picture of Ronald Reagan, the man and the president. Read Three Days in Moscow, enjoy, and learn why the Gipper was such a great leader.

San Antonio Express-News

[A] satisfying handling of what was arguably the highlight of Reagan’s time as president.


Bret Baier is not only among the most reliably honest and professional journalists in America, he is also a brilliant historian and author. ... A comprehensive and wonderfully written exposition of Ronald Reagan’s lifelong mission to spread liberty and to end the Soviet Union.

Washington Times

Highly readable, perceptive and deeply researched.

Wall Street Journal

Forceful. … It is curious how many Reaganesque themes find a contemporary echo… [and] it is worth recalling both Reagan’s celebration of freedom and his understanding of democracy.

Kirkus Reviews

Fox News anchor Baier (Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission, 2017, etc.) makes a cheerful case for Ronald Reagan's single-handedly talking the Soviets out of being communists.Reagan liked to be thought of as a political outsider, but "he wasn't really." He had governing experience as the two-term chief executive of California and a network of supporters within the federal government, and he "had evolved as a public persona who could articulate the issues of the day." After a difficult period of folded-arm posturing back and forth between his White House and the Kremlin, with a few results hard-won at the arms-reduction talks in Reykjavik, Reagan and his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev, developed something of a working relationship by which long-closed doors opened up. One of them came in the form of an invitation to Reagan to speak to an audience at Moscow State University; in the speech he delivered on May 31, 1988, he spoke hopefully, as was his wont, of new possibilities: "Americans seek always to make friends of old antagonists." Baier's three-days narrative trope doesn't stand up to close examination, and his suggestion that the Iron Curtain began to rust away the minute Reagan stepped off the podium is a little too pat; he sometimes seems to forget that, after all, Gorbachev was doing his part to end the Cold War, too. To his credit, the author does note the considerable amount of shuttle diplomacy that extended from Reagan's second term into the incoming administration of George H.W. Bush, a skilled player on the international stage. Still, a more evenhanded and altogether better account can be found in Richard Reeves' President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination (2005) and H.W. Brands'Reagan: The Life (2015).Popular history in a triumphant mode, of interest largely to Reagan partisans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062748430
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Series: Three Days Series
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 65,936
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

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