OverviewVitaly Leonidovich Katayev was an eyewitness to history as he saw the arms race accelerating at an absurd and inexplicable pace, and he understood why. His perspective was from inside the Soviet system, in an office that was devoted to analysis of arms control and defense matters in the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and later in an interdepartmental working group. Vitaly Katayev was a skilled designer and an acute observer. His recollections in this book, along with documents he deposited at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, offer an extraordinary window into Soviet decisions and calculations. This monograph shows how Soviet leaders were often hobbled by a poor understanding of what was happening in the United States, but it also demonstrates that Americans, too, had a weak grasp of what was happening in Moscow, before and after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. The misunderstandings on both sides were a symptom of the deepest chasm of the Cold War and A Memoir of the Missile Age provides a valuable key with which to open the Soviet black box.
Author BiographyVitaly Leonidovich Katayev joined the Defense Industry Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1975, after 15 years as a designer in the defense industry, ultimately rising to deputy head of defense under Mikhail Gorbachev and serving until the department was disbanded in 1993.