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This title in other editions

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

by

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era Cover

 

Awards

2004 Pulitzer Prize for Biography
2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"In his well researched biography of Nikita Khrushchev, William Taubman presents a brilliant portrait of the metal worker in the Ukraine,
with only a fourth-grade education, who rose to the top of the Soviet hierarchy. Taubman's portrait of Khrushchev offers the reader a fascinating inside view of life at the pinnacle of Soviet power as well as a ringside view of the fighting and backstabbing that brought Khrushchev to the apex of power, enabled him to remain there and ultimately brought about his downfall. The author has utilized new sources which have recently become available to researchers since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Here is a vivid portrait of one of Josef Stalin's henchmen who tried to absolve himself of his complicity in Stalin's crimes by his 'Secret Speech' in 1956 and who went on to overcome all of his rivals until he in turn was overthrown. Taubman has written not only an in-depth biography of one of the most unique individuals in Soviet history but also a history of the Soviet era as reflected in the life of an unusual Soviet citizen." Reviewed by David Strohl, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Review:

"[An] outstandingly composed work, assuredly the reference point for future writings on Khrushchev." Gilbert Taylor, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Taubman's thorough and nuanced account...will likely be the definitive one for a long time....Taubman has pieced together a remarkably detailed chronicle, complete with riveting scenes of Kremlin intrigue and acute psychological analysis..." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A] complex, massive, but engagingly written study....Taubman shows us Khrushchev in all his guises, revealing a man far different from the shoe-banging clod of Western media caricature....Altogether superb: an essential study of power and its corruptions and contradictions." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity....shines with mastery and authority." Leon Aron, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Taubman has produced a massive biography that is both psychologically and politically revealing....The shoe-banging incident, the Berlin Wall, Sputnik, and the Cuban Missile Crisis are all woven together with the accuracy of an academic and the style of a writer." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."--Robert Legvold,

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

Remembered by many as the Soviet leader who banged his shoe at the United Nations, Nikita Khrushchev was in fact one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, he managed to retain his humanity. His daring attempt to reform Communism'"by denouncing Stalin and releasing and rehabilitating millions of his victims'"prepared the ground for its eventual collapse. His awkward efforts to ease the Cold War triggered its most dangerous crises in Berlin and Cuba. The ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin's death, Khrushchev left his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. More than that, his life and career hold up a mirror to the Soviet age as a whole: revolution, civil war, famine, collectivization, industrialization, terror, world war, cold war, Stalinism, post-Stalinism. The first full and 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, this book weaves together Khrushchev's personal triumphs and tragedy with those of his country. It draws on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, the author's visits to places where Khrushchev lived and work, plus extensive interviews with Khrushchev family members, friends, colleagues, subordinates, and diplomats who jousted with him. William Taubman chronicles Khrushchev's life from his humble beginnings in a poor peasant village to his improbable rise into Stalin's inner circle; his stunning, unexpected victory in the deadly duel to succeed Stalin; and the startling reversals of fortune that led to his sudden, ignominious ouster in 1964. Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this account brims with the life and excitement of a man whose story personifies his era.

"A brilliant, stunning, magnificent book. One of the most important figures of the twentieth century, who had a lot to do with setting the stage for the twenty-first, Khrushchev finally has the biography he deserves'"deep and detailed yet fast-paced, scholarly yet not stuffy, historical yet intensely human. Taubman brings Khrushchev alive in all his complexity, capturing both the humanity that somehow survived in him and became the bedrock for his political decency, and the cynicism that made him part of the brutality of the Soviet system. The book has the sweep of a Big Book about a Big Figure, yet its style is no-frills, no-nonsense, straight-from-the-shoulder, with judgments proferred judiciously. Taubman does a superb job of portraying the rogue's gallery of Soviet leaders while providing a colorful canvas of the country and its history. Having spent several years of my own life in Khrushchev's shadow, I couldn't be more admiring of what Taubman has accomplished." '"Strobe Talbott, former U.S. deputy secretary of state, editor and translator of Khrushchev's memoirs "Monumental, definitive, rich in detail. Taubman pulls aside the curtain and shows us both a fascinating man and new facts about Soviet decision making during the most dangerous days of the Cold War. A highly readable, compelling story." '"Anthony Lake, former U.S. national security adviser "The definitive account of Khrushchev's career and personality, this is also a wonderful page-turner about the deadly duel for power in the Kremlin. Altogether it is one of the best books ever written about the Soviet Union." '"Constantine Pleshakov, co-author, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War"Few books in the field of Cold War history have been as eagerly awaited as William Taubman's biography of Nikita Khrushchev. Reflecting years of research as well as a keen sensitivity to culture, context, and personality, this extraordinary book more than matches the extraordinary character of its subject. It is a superb portrayal of one of the most attractive'"but also dangerous'"leaders of the twentieth century." '"John Lewis Gaddis, professor of history, Yale University "A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity. This volume, with its brisk, enjoyable narrative, succeeds in every sense: sweep, depth, liveliness, color, tempo. Each chapter shines with mastery and authority."'"Leon Aron, The New York TimesBook Review "Masterful and monumental...one should salute its author for a wonderful achievement....Starting with a juicy subject...Taubman has drawn on a huge body of material, much of it from newly available Soviet sources....He spent nearly twenty years on the book. The result is fun to read, full of insight and more than a little terrifying."'"Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post"Thanks to Taubman, one of the most important figures of the 20th century finally has the biography he deserves....In reconstructing a single paradoxical life, he helps us understand better the complexity of the human condition."'"Strobe Talbott, Los Angeles TimesBook Review

About the Author

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393324846
Author:
Taubman, William
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Taubman, William
Subject:
General
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Reprint
Publication Date:
20040431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
896
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.2 x 1.6 in 2.545 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet Union
History and Social Science » World History » Russia

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 896 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393324846 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] outstandingly composed work, assuredly the reference point for future writings on Khrushchev."
"Review" by , "Taubman's thorough and nuanced account...will likely be the definitive one for a long time....Taubman has pieced together a remarkably detailed chronicle, complete with riveting scenes of Kremlin intrigue and acute psychological analysis..."
"Review" by , "[A] complex, massive, but engagingly written study....Taubman shows us Khrushchev in all his guises, revealing a man far different from the shoe-banging clod of Western media caricature....Altogether superb: an essential study of power and its corruptions and contradictions."
"Review" by , "A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity....shines with mastery and authority."
"Review" by , "Taubman has produced a massive biography that is both psychologically and politically revealing....The shoe-banging incident, the Berlin Wall, Sputnik, and the Cuban Missile Crisis are all woven together with the accuracy of an academic and the style of a writer."
"Synopsis" by , Shortlisted for the National Books Critics Circle Award: "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important."--Robert Legvold,
"Synopsis" by , 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.

"Synopsis" by , Remembered by many as the Soviet leader who banged his shoe at the United Nations, Nikita Khrushchev was in fact one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, he managed to retain his humanity. His daring attempt to reform Communism'"by denouncing Stalin and releasing and rehabilitating millions of his victims'"prepared the ground for its eventual collapse. His awkward efforts to ease the Cold War triggered its most dangerous crises in Berlin and Cuba. The ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin's death, Khrushchev left his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. More than that, his life and career hold up a mirror to the Soviet age as a whole: revolution, civil war, famine, collectivization, industrialization, terror, world war, cold war, Stalinism, post-Stalinism. The first full and 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, this book weaves together Khrushchev's personal triumphs and tragedy with those of his country. It draws on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, the author's visits to places where Khrushchev lived and work, plus extensive interviews with Khrushchev family members, friends, colleagues, subordinates, and diplomats who jousted with him. William Taubman chronicles Khrushchev's life from his humble beginnings in a poor peasant village to his improbable rise into Stalin's inner circle; his stunning, unexpected victory in the deadly duel to succeed Stalin; and the startling reversals of fortune that led to his sudden, ignominious ouster in 1964. Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this account brims with the life and excitement of a man whose story personifies his era.

"A brilliant, stunning, magnificent book. One of the most important figures of the twentieth century, who had a lot to do with setting the stage for the twenty-first, Khrushchev finally has the biography he deserves'"deep and detailed yet fast-paced, scholarly yet not stuffy, historical yet intensely human. Taubman brings Khrushchev alive in all his complexity, capturing both the humanity that somehow survived in him and became the bedrock for his political decency, and the cynicism that made him part of the brutality of the Soviet system. The book has the sweep of a Big Book about a Big Figure, yet its style is no-frills, no-nonsense, straight-from-the-shoulder, with judgments proferred judiciously. Taubman does a superb job of portraying the rogue's gallery of Soviet leaders while providing a colorful canvas of the country and its history. Having spent several years of my own life in Khrushchev's shadow, I couldn't be more admiring of what Taubman has accomplished." '"Strobe Talbott, former U.S. deputy secretary of state, editor and translator of Khrushchev's memoirs "Monumental, definitive, rich in detail. Taubman pulls aside the curtain and shows us both a fascinating man and new facts about Soviet decision making during the most dangerous days of the Cold War. A highly readable, compelling story." '"Anthony Lake, former U.S. national security adviser "The definitive account of Khrushchev's career and personality, this is also a wonderful page-turner about the deadly duel for power in the Kremlin. Altogether it is one of the best books ever written about the Soviet Union." '"Constantine Pleshakov, co-author, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War"Few books in the field of Cold War history have been as eagerly awaited as William Taubman's biography of Nikita Khrushchev. Reflecting years of research as well as a keen sensitivity to culture, context, and personality, this extraordinary book more than matches the extraordinary character of its subject. It is a superb portrayal of one of the most attractive'"but also dangerous'"leaders of the twentieth century." '"John Lewis Gaddis, professor of history, Yale University "A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity. This volume, with its brisk, enjoyable narrative, succeeds in every sense: sweep, depth, liveliness, color, tempo. Each chapter shines with mastery and authority."'"Leon Aron, The New York TimesBook Review "Masterful and monumental...one should salute its author for a wonderful achievement....Starting with a juicy subject...Taubman has drawn on a huge body of material, much of it from newly available Soviet sources....He spent nearly twenty years on the book. The result is fun to read, full of insight and more than a little terrifying."'"Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post"Thanks to Taubman, one of the most important figures of the 20th century finally has the biography he deserves....In reconstructing a single paradoxical life, he helps us understand better the complexity of the human condition."'"Strobe Talbott, Los Angeles TimesBook Review
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