Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

4.0 3
by William Taubman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393324842

ISBN-13: 9780393324846

Pub. Date: 03/19/2004

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who succeeded and denounced Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Ruler of the

Overview

Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who succeeded and denounced Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin's death, Khrushchev left a contradictory stamp on his country and on the world. His life and career mirror the Soviet experience: revolution, civil war, famine, collectivization, industrialization, terror, world war, cold war, Stalinism, post-Stalinism. Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, Khrushchev nevertheless retained his humanity: his daring attempt to reform communism prepared the ground for its eventual collapse; and his awkward efforts to ease the cold war triggered its most dangerous crises.
This is the first comprehensive biography of Khrushchev and the first of any Soviet leader to reflect the full range of sources that have become available since the USSR collapsed. Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this book brims with the life and excitement of a man whose story personified his era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393324846
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/19/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
871
Sales rank:
359,624
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Note on Russian and Ukrainian UsageIX
PrefaceXI
IntroductionXVII
1.The Fall: October 19643
2.Kalinovka's Own: 1894-190818
3.Making It as a Metalworker: 1908-191730
4.To Be or Not to Be an Apparatchik: 1918-192945
5.Stalin's Pet: 1929-193772
6.Stalin's Viceroy: 1938-1941114
7.Khrushchev at War: 1941-1944147
8.Ukrainian Viceroy Again: 1944-1949179
9.The Heir Nonapparent: 1949-1953208
10.Almost Triumphant: 1953-1955236
11.From the Secret Speech to the Hungarian Revolution: 1956270
12.The Jaws of Victory: 1956-1957300
13.The Wider World: 1917-1957325
14.Alone at the Top: 1957-1960361
15.The Berlin Crisis and the American Trip: 1958-1959396
16.From the U-2 to the UN Shoe: April-September 1960442
17.Khrushchev and Kennedy: 1960-1961480
18."A Communist Society Will Be Just about Built by 1980": 1961-1962507
19.The Cuban Cure-all: 1962529
20.The Unraveling: 1962-1964578
21.After the Fall: 1964-1971620
Epilogue647
Abbreviations653
Notes657
Bibliography793
Glossary825
Acknowledgments827
Index831

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Khrushchev: The Man and His Era 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book could be what you are looking, but could be not. It all depends on how much you know about the history of Soviet Union and the facts of life of the protagonist. One of the book's stonger parts is the description of peasant life in Russia prior to the Bolshevik coup d'etat of 1917. The topic is well-researched and the verbal imagery created by the author is quite vivid. This is followed by a fairly comprehensive analysis of industrial workers' life in the years between the turn of the previous century and 1917. From here on out the quality of research plummets to long meandering paragraphs strung together by the author as a substitute for factual accounts of what had -- or likely had -- taken place. Some of the most tremendous and tragic events which happened during Khrushchev's time and by which he doubtless would have been affected, as well as the people of his inner circle are mentioned here in passing. One of these events is the Great Famine of 1932-33 which devasted Ukraine and which -- many argue -- was instigated by the Stalin government as a reprisal against the rebellious Ukrainian peasants who at the time were fighting off forced collectivization. The Great Famine -- granted the status of genocide by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2006 -- was one of the most barbaric incidents of recent history to which Khrushchev was privy, in one way or the other. An event of this magnitude and Khrushchev's participation in it and knowledge of such did not merit in this book much more than a facile treatment. Khrushchev's amazing ability to dodge the various waves of purges is also understated and underanalyzed. His WW2 years and the speech at the 20th congress of the CPSU follow suit. The problem with writing a quality review of this book is that it is not objectively substandard, and yet it does not add much to the scholarship on the issue. Truth be known, I would recommend this volume over Roy Medvedev's work on the same topic, as Taubman's piece, for all its other frailties, seems to be more impartial and less apologetic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a pure pleasure. The author has a wonderful style that enables the reader to move along smartly. The many quotes from persons familiar with past events, especially son Sergei, add to the 'aliveness' of the portrait. After finishing it, I want to read the new bio of Stalin. Also, Beria is portrayed as such a fascinating and evil character that I also want to read about his life. This book is a work of art and deserves all of the plaudits it has received.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago