Many politicians and diplomats from the 1980s lay claim to a pivotal role in ending the cold war, but the former US secretary of state George Shultz, who has died aged 100, had a better claim than most. And he was not shy in letting people know, as he did at length in his 1,184-page account of his years at the state department, Turmoil and Triumph (1993).
When he became secretary of state in 1982 – a job he was to hold for seven years – relations between the US and the Soviet Union were at a dangerous low. The administration of US president Ronald Reagan was packed with anti-Soviet hardliners. Reagan himself in 1983 dubbed the Soviet Union “the evil empire”.
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