Khrushchev: A Political Life (St Antony's)

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9780312123659: Khrushchev: A Political Life (St Antony's)

Khrushchev: A Political Life traces the rise and fall of the late Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Drawing on newly available archival materials and a wealth of recently published Russian and Ukrainian sources, this standard biography provides much new information on Khrushchev's life and career. Khrushchev's ultimate failure to realise his vision of the Soviet future is linked to the unrealistic optimism of that vision as well as to the contradictions inherent in Khrushchev's views and policies.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) emerges in this vivid, startling biography as a would-be reformer, a frustrated and disillusioned politician whose fundamental faith in the communist system prevented him from comprehending the extent of its deformity. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped material from Moscow archives, Tompson, who teaches political science at the University of Texas, shows how Cold War confrontations stymied Khrushchev in his quest to redirect funds from military spending to consumer goods and social needs. Though Khrushchev's de-Stalinization drive unleashed forces of protest and dissent (which he then crushed), Tompson credits his key role in repudiating the use of terror?he released millions of political prisoners, encouraged the formation of workers' councils in factories and abolished security services' special tribunals. Ousted in 1964 when the Soviet ruling elite became alarmed at his proposals for detente, Khrushchev became a virtual nonperson, his home under KGB surveillance. This reassessment makes a cogent case for Khrushchev's regime as a harbinger of Gorbachev's perestroika.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This is the first complete biography of a man who, as he never tired of telling people, especially foreigners, rose from nothing to become the ruler of the mighty Soviet Union. The system made and rewarded him, and he in return never lost faith in it. Tompson focuses on the political career?there is almost nothing on the personal, family side?as he narrates a breathless succession of events, moving from politics to literature to agriculture and back to politics again. For all his folksy ways, Khrushchev became "a Stalin sycophant of exceptional ability" whose hands were heavily stained with blood. It was fitting that the first stage in the subversion of the Soviet system should have been accomplished by one of its most fervent champions as Khrushchev attempted in 1956 what Gorbachev would copy 30 years later: to reform the unreformable Soviet Stalinist system. For academic and larger public library collections.?R.H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ontario
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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William J. Tompson
Published by St. Martin's Press (1995)
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William Tompson
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