saw him drunk. He seemed more like a man who liked to drink than one who
had to. He was also notorious for periods of illness; every few months
he would disappear from the public for a week or two, only to reappear,
seemingly as fit as ever. I recall attending a wedding reception for one
of his associates just a few weeks after he was reported to have had
serious back surgery — he came to the party in high spirits and danced
with every woman present. The flip side of his sometimes comical nature
was a resiliency that was remarkable even for a politician.
April 24, 2007
Boris Yeltsin, the Early Years
By JACK F. MATLOCK Jr.
I MET Boris Yeltsin shortly after I arrived in Moscow as the United
States ambassador in April 1987. He was then the head of the Communist
Party organization in Moscow, and while he would become a household name
around the world within five years, at the time few outside the Soviet
Union had heard of him.
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