Nikita Khrushchev’s proclamation from the floor of the United Nations that "we will bury you" is one of the most chilling and memorable moments in the history of the Cold War, but from the Cuban Missile Crisis to his criticism of the Soviet ruling structure late in his career the motivation for Khrushchev’s actions wasn’t always clear. Many Americans regarded him as a monster, while in the USSR he was viewed at various times as either hero or traitor. But what was he really like, and what did he really think? Readers of Khrushchev’s memoirs will now be able to answer these questions for themselves (and will discover that what Khrushchev really said at the UN was "we will bury colonialism").
This is the first volume of three in the only complete and fully reliable version of the memoirs available in English. In this volume, Khrushchev recounts how he became politically active as a young worker in Ukraine, how he climbed the ladder of power under Stalin to occupy leading positions in Ukraine and then Moscow, and how as a military commissar he experienced the war against the Nazi invaders. He vividly portrays life in Stalin's inner circle and among the generals who commanded the Soviet armies.
Khrushchev’s sincere reflections upon his own thoughts and feelings add to the value of this unique personal and historical document. Included among the Appendixes is Sergei Khrushchev’s account of how the memoirs were created and smuggled abroad during his father’s retirement.
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"Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most important political leaders of the twentieth century. Without his memoirs, neither the rise and fall of the Soviet Union nor the history of the Cold War can be fully understood. By dictating his memoirs and publishing them in the West, Khrushchev transformed himself from the USSR’s leader to one of its first dissidents. His remarkably candid recollections were a harbinger of glasnost to come. Like virtually all memoirs, his have a personal and political agenda, but even what might be called Khrushchev’s "myth of himself" is vital for understanding how this colorful figure could place his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. The fact that the full text of Khrushchev’s memoirs will now be available in English is cause for rejoicing." --William TaubmanAbout the Author:
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971) was First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964.
Sergei Khrushchev is Senior Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower (Penn State, 2000).
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