HISSSSSSS exam 3 - He was one of Stalin's most trusted...

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He was one of Stalin's most trusted henchmen, up to his elbows in blood--yet he dealt Stalinism, the Soviet system and the world Communist movement a wound from which they would never recover. He brutally crushed the Hungarian revolution--yet he opened the gates of the gulag for millions, and authorized the publication of Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Deniso- vich. He built the Berlin Wall and put nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba--yet he ordered deep unilateral cuts in Soviet conventional forces and initiated the first detente with the United States. He was crude, dogmatic and merciless; also generous, public-spirited and forgiving. He was Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev: a top Soviet leader since the mid-1930's, the dominant member of the post-Stalin leadership (1953-57) and the Soviet Union's unchallenged dictator- ruler between 1957 and 1964. Although eminently worthy of a serious biography, Khrushchev until now has been the subject of rather thin Kremlinological exegeses. In Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, which took almost two decades to research and write, William Taubman, a profess- or of political science at Amherst College, finally gives us what we (and Khrushchev) deserve: a portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity. Taubman has made use of materials from over two dozen Russian and American archives, of more than 70 personal interviews (including ones with Khrushchev's children, grandchildren, in- laws and other relatives), of published and unpublished memoirs, innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, even Soviet newsreels. The list of published books and articles consulted by the author extends across 13 pages. This volume, with its brisk, enjoyable narrative, succeeds in every sense: sweep, depth, liveliness, color, tempo. Each chapter shines with mastery and author- ity. A conscientious biography of a worthy subject cannot help being a portrait of the times, and Taubman's book fully lives up to the ''and his era'' of the subtitle. It is a multifaceted study of the key political and economic forces of the first 47 years--almost two-thirds of the total--of the So-
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This note was uploaded on 05/19/2011 for the course HIS 39930 taught by Professor Ming during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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HISSSSSSS exam 3 - He was one of Stalin's most trusted...

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