How Russian Reformer Boris Yeltsin Silenced American Officials

On his first White House visit in 1989, Russian reformer Boris Yeltsin droned on and on.

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has written a memoir that's a bit odd. Extraordinary, Ordinary People is about her family and professional life but ends as she's joining former President George W. Bush's team as national security adviser. The book's back cover twice touts her as the first black woman to be secretary of state, but the volume doesn't touch on either that or her views of Bush's wars. But there's a funny tale about former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. In September 1989, a year before spearheading the anti-Soviet revolution, he was invited to the White House to meet then national security adviser Brent Scowcroft. He bristled at coming in through the basement, then droned on so long that Scowcroft fell asleep. A self-absorbed Yeltsin didn't even notice, Rice notes.

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