Khrushchev by William Taubman
The Man and His Era

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Synopsis

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.


 

About William Taubman

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William Taubman is professor of political science at Amherst College and the author of Stalin's American Policy, Moscow Spring, and other books on the Soviet Union.
 
Published April 17, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 929 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Khrushchev

Kirkus Reviews

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The account of Khrushchev’s masterful destruction of secret policeman Lavrenty Beria, his chief rival to become Stalin’s successor, reveals astonishing Machiavellian powers that Khrushchev had hitherto carefully concealed.

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The Guardian

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Khrushchev: The Man and His Era by William Taubman 876pp, Free Press, £25 "After I die," Nikita Khrushchev said towards the end of his life, "they will place my actions on a scale - on one side evil, on the other side good.

Dec 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

Publishers Weekly

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Working closely with Khrushchev's children, and interviewing his surviving top-level Central Committee colleagues and aides, Taubman has pieced together a remarkably detailed chronicle, complete with riveting scenes of Kremlin intrigue and acute psychological analysis that further illuminates som...

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About.com

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.

May 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

About.com

Feron says that he “never banged his shoe.” Taubman goes on to say, “Moreover, efforts to find films of the incident have proved unavailing.” Still photos show Khrushchev holding his shoe;

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About.com

On page 27, Professor Taubman says Khrushchev told this story to Adzhubei “the very day before Khrushchev died,….” On page 641, this story is said to have been told on Sunday, September 5, a week before Khrushchev’s death on September 11.

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Project MUSE

She was also an extraordinary character in her own right, emerging from Taubman's exploration of Khrushchev's private life as a much more complex and formidable character than the smiling grandmother who so charmed her hosts in America.

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