He lacked in ducation read little and wrote less In spite of this he wanted to improve the Soviet system for veryone by implementing reforms and
reduce corruption K s life and career xtended from the revolution civil war famine industrialization Stalinism corruption K s life and career Seductive Surrender (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot, extended from the revolution civil war famine industrialization Stalinism war and the cold war He was complicit in Stalin s crimes but retained his humanity by condemning Stalin He thought that Stalin had perverted the Marxist Leninist ideology A vivid lively and readable biography of Khrushchev a man known for his colorful crude and seemingly un statesmanlike conduct Taubman provides a good deal of insight into the man s interesting personality and the various traits that made him both obviously human and also rather repellant The Soviet style of government can be understood in two different ways authoritarian and centralized Lenin and Stalin with a strong and colorful leader at the top and as a corporate Politburo oriented system occupied by gray listless old men that conformed to the drab and cautious culture of collective leadership Khrushchev seems to be somewhere in the middle between these twoxtremes if they can be called thatTaubman s Khrushchev is uite an interesting portrait a hardscrabble industrial worker who seemed to have no natural talent raised in a simple hut with dirt floor with a compassion for humanity and a sincere desire to serve his country as he saw it While he proved to be a skilled politician and asy to underestimate his insecurity over the top mannerisms self righteousness and inferiority complex made him uite suspect to the rest of the Party s gray functionaries He survived Stalin s reign by playing the fool and getting veryone to underestimate him then began his tenure as head of the Party by ousting Malenkov foiling a coup attempt with Marshal Zhukov s assistance and working hard to bring down the mythical image of Stalin who Taubman calls Khrushchev s mentor and tormentor as well as reducing the powers of the secret police a feat coupled with his rather bold arrest and xecution of the feared Beria which revealed a cunning nobody had noticed before He had a complicated relationship with Soviet intellectuals assisting Solzhenitsyn in his work while blasting the work of PasternakKhrushchev had no doubts about the communist system yet favored a policy of peaceful co xistence although his preference for this was tested during the U 2 incident his reluctant approval of the construction of the Berlin Wall and his deployment of nuclear missiles to Cuba without any real backup plan something his political opponents were soon able to use against him likewise his support for nuclear forces at the xpense of conventional forces cost him the support of the army stablishment He often seemed to adopt policies without fully weighing their implications while his personality was The Deepest Sin erratic over the top coarse boorish and bungling Like Stalin before him he had little respect for other communist statesmenspecially Mao who considered Khrushchev a backward hick providing another convenient club for Khrushchev s nemies and soon nough he fell from power Taubman s treatment of Khrushchev s fall seems just a little thin and inadeuate howeverKhrushchev Taubman writes might have made a better manager or ngineer than a political leader Although his native gifts sustained him during his rise to the top they failed him when he was there Yet they surely would have sufficed had he pursued his original dream of becoming an industrial ngineer Along the way he would have received the higher ducation he craved and felt confident less driven to play the very role he was determined to transcend that of a simple peasant muzhik whom ven a paranoid Stalin could trust Khrushchev s lack of a formal ducation would be one of his biggest regretsAn accessible well written well researched and well paced biography of an interesting and complex figure who seemed to have let power trump common sense and whose rratic behavior self deception and impulsiveness seemed to disualify him as a statesman Taubman relies heavily on psychoanalysis so much of his portrait may be speculative but Taubman s Khrushchev is uite compelling compared to the colorless functionaries that came after him and his portrait of the man never fails to fascinate or amuse I found the book ultimately rather boring which is sad because K was not a boring man I was also confused for about the first tbird of the book because I was constantly confused as to when I was It took me that long to realize Taubman s biography was a mix of topical and chronological but with the mphasis on topical Because of this some vents and conversations were covered than once In a book this long that is irritating I felt I gained a better understand of the goals and fforts of the Soviet Union under K as well as a much better understanding of the US fear of communistic goals to take over smaller third world countries and the Sov. CrisesThis 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 xcitement of a man whose story personified his r. .
For many of us Russian common man Nikita was the first human face of Soviet leadership Lenin a grainy figure from newsreels or face of leadership Lenin a grainy figure from newsreels or corpse on display in a tomb Josef Stalin a phantom figure seen with FDR and Churchill in pictures In one news clip breath Khrushchev was grinning gap toothed from one jug ar to the other and in the next moment slamming his shoe down on his desk at the UN To label Mr Khrushchev mercurial is an understatement He was a bundle of insecurities who far too often acted before thinking rashly believing hubris was the antidote for any confrontation Khrushchev was the proverbial bull who traveled with his own china shop
Yet He Could Also he could also as contrite as a small child this Jekyll and Hyde personality a dangerous combination during the Cold WarThis Soviet style rags to riches story of Khrushchev s life and times is presented here in detail and is in a word compelling The author combines anecdotes first hand accounts and the historical record providing analysis when appropriate including highlighting contemporaneous newsreel footage which I found fascinating Many of the chapters begin with a summary before detailing the topic at hand something this reader found invaluable This is a cradle to grave biography in the best sense of the termSome highlights Considered a blustering uneducated stumpy peasant Khrushchev somehow not only survived Stalin s purges but succeeded him as head of the Soviet Union besting the likes of Beria head of the nefarious KGB and General Zhukov the Russian military victor of World War II This is a story in and o Excellent book Fascinating insights about the man and Russia Khrushchev was born in 1894 and he was an Snowflakes on the Sea eye witness to the Bolshevik Revolution the two world wars the cold war the crisis in Berlin and the crisis in Cuba A man of blusternergy and high hopes for the communist dream he helped bring the USSR down when he condemned Stalin after his death for the atrocities and false imprisonments of millions he suspected of standing in his way Damage to the image of Stalin was something communism could not face and survive Wrathful Chaos: Five Books of Satanic Philosophy especially when the system went bankrupt and agriculture and theconomy were in tatters William Taubman paints an in depth portrait of the Soviet Union and Khrushchev s achievements and failures Surely this is a must read for veryone It s debatable whether or not Nikita Khrushchev ver banged his shoe at the United Nations Assembly in 1960 There are photos of him pounding the lectern with his fists and reports of him waving the shoe but some say he never smacked it down The irony as William Taubman points out in this Pulitzer Prize winning biography is that the young Khrushchev was tormented by The war WWII traumatized Khrushchev It drove him to smoke and to drink it commanded attention in his memoirs than almost any other subject but he couldn t bring himself to read others war memoirs in retirement Yet the same war added several medals to his collectionThis was a well paced and meticulously researched biography that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 The lengthy section on the Cuban Missile Crisis was absolutely superb and the section on Khrushchev s downfall was ually superb and surprisingly sentimental nough to feel sorry for the man who unwittingly did than anyone to bring the world to the brink of Nuclear War and left us with the disturbing legacy that is the Nuclear Arms race Nikita Khrushchev was born a hundred miles south of Moscow in April of 1894 He lived with his mother and grandparents during his youth while his father worked in the mines When Khrushchev turned fifteen he traveled than 200 miles to work alongside his father in the mines and continued as a miner for several years In 1914 came WWI Khrushchev managed to avoid the fighting and joined the Communist Party in 1918 He then uickly rose through the ranks and became Stalin s man in charge of Moscow in the 1930 s and then in Ukraine in the 1940 s During WWII he served as a commander and Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival even fought at Stalingrad though it horrified him Upon Stalin s death in 1953 Khrushchev assumed the leadership of the Soviet Union outmaneuvering the other shocked candidates From the get go he aimed to distance himself from the famines of the Stalinra and to be approachable with the people But he also wanted to promote military prowess and Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, especially technology He was not known as much of a planner but under his leadership the Soviet Union of the 1950 s did achieve uite a bit in weapons research and actuallyclipsed the US in the initial phase of the Space Race Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union for twelve years the period we now consider to be the height of the Cold War His reign The Fix ended less than two years after his humiliating capitulation to Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis The Politburo never forgave him for thatmbarrassment He was forced into retirement and was stripped of his prized dacha on the Blac. 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 Sovie. .
K Sea and his car While he was given a pension Khrushchev was not allowed to be written about it in the Soviet Press He died six years later in 1971 a frustrated man 5 stars As far as biographies go this is about as good as it gets particularly for a subject that I initially had little interest in I was consistently impressed with this biography The writing was well developed and the content was well researched Nikita Khrushchev grew up a peasant and in rural poverty yet managed to climb to the apex of the Soviet hierarchy His story is an
one and all the details the way are anything but boringINTERESTING ONE AND ALL THE DETAILS
his involvement in the russian civil war theinvolvement in the Russian Civil War the repression and forced famine of the 1930s World War II and surviving alongside Stalin are all incredibly interesting Yet his dismissal left him feeling isolated suffering from depression and unfulfilled in his duties to leading the Soviet people His memoirs ven mentioned his suicidal thoughts as the result of being placed into obscurity pg 641 which is something I never knew His life was reduced to No one needs me now What am I going to do without work pg 621 Even his funeral was minimalized and the cemetery had a sign posted Cemetery Closed For Cleaning the day of his burialScholars have labeled him the buffoon Stalin s pet or the peasant simpleton Yet he worked his way up the ladder miraculously survived the Stalin regime and became the the leader of the Soviet Union This was a really good book in my opinion This book also gives a lot of detail and information about the Ukraine Ukrainianization vs Russification and the Ukrainian politics Ukrainian Central Committee Ukrainian Communist Party which I thought was good Highly recommended Thanks In 1959 Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York teased Nikita Khrushchev by telling him that half a million Russians had migrated to New York seeking freedom and opportunity Khrushchev replied that they only came to get higher wages and he knew this because he was almost one of them and had at one time given much consideration to coming Rockefeller responded by saying that if he had he would have nded up as leader of one of the biggest unions I can see that In fact I can see Khrushchev being lected as a US Representative from some working class district from the Midwest In Professor Taubman s book Khrushchev The Man and His Era he gives us a portrait of the man that shows he possessed that kind of relationship with the ordinary people he met in the course of his day to day work in Russia and in his travels all over the world He was what we would call a natural Even though he rose to the highest of positions he was born into the lowest A peasant uneducated beyond the ability to barely read and write unsophisticated Desire in Seven Voices even boorish he was able because of his native intelligence and incredible abilities to succeed in what can only be described as a cutthroatra Taubman statestaken in its ntirety his life holds a mirror to the Soviet age as a whole Revolution civil war collectivization and industrialization terror world war cold war late Stalinism post Stalinism Khrushchev took part in them allSince his life ncompassed so much of the Soviet The Casa Mono Cookbook experiment and included thextreme violence and murderous aspect of the beginning decades Khrushchev s hands were hardly clean But it was he who denounced Stalin in his secret speech to the Twentieth Congress He tried to introduce reforms periodically in the years that followed but his behavior was so rratic that no one ver could be certain of what policy would remain and for how long As Taubman puts it he didn t think things through very well He insulted his officials repeatedly and his behavior in the West was felt to be mbarrassing for Russia His shoe banging incident at the UN and his mishandling of the Cuban Missile crisis ventually led to his downfall and forced resignation Khrushchev The Man and His Era is a complex but never boring story of an unusual life The ndless parade of Russian names and titles make for difficult reading but there s no way around that one It does get very repetitive in its description of Khrushchev as uneducated foolish louacious tc in almost Lachlan's Protg (English Edition) every chapter accompanied byndless anecdotes of barnyard language that Khrushchev was fond of using But these are minor complaints in such a compelling story Taubman s book contains an xtensively detailed portrait of Nikita Khrushchev one that does suffer at times from a bit too much detail There s a lot to learn about Khrushchev and this book does a decent job laying out his major accomplishments and failures though it does get bogged down a bit specially in the middle I feel like I understand him now having read this book and on the whole I njoyed it This was a well researched comprehensive Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Khrushchev Khrushchev was a complex common man who rose far beyond his competence level This was remarkable as. T xperience 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 ventual collapse; and his awkward fforts to ase the cold war triggered its most dangerous.