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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist

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K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Khrushchevs 1959 trip across America was one of the strangest exercises in international diplomacy ever conducted—“a surreal extravaganza,” as historian John Lewis Gaddis called it. Khrushchev told jokes, threw tantrums, sparked a riot in a San Francisco supermarket, wowed the coeds in a home economics class in Iowa, and ogled Shirley MacLaine as she filmed a dance scene in Can-Can. He befriended and offended a cast of characters including Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe.

Published for the fiftieth anniversary of the trip, K Blows Top is a work of history that reads like a Vonnegut novel. This cantankerous communists road trip took place against the backdrop of the fifties in capitalist America, with the shadow of the hydrogen bomb hanging over his visit like the Sword of Damocles. As Khrushchev kept reminding people, he was a hot-tempered man who possessed the power to incinerate America.

Review:

"Although Punch magazine famously commented on the humor of Nikita Khrushchev's desire to visit Disneyland during his 1959 trip to America, Carlson a former writer for the Washington Post, can still mine the tour with hilarious results, due in equal parts to Khrushchev's outsized provocateur personality and the bizarre and thoroughly American reaction to his visit. Numerous secondary players provide comic support: then vice president Richard Nixon's fixations on mano a mano debates with the quicksilver premier; Boston Brahmin and U.N. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Khrushchev's tour guide, who dutifully filed daily analysis of Khrushchev's public tantrums; popular gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, who in a noteworthy example of bad taste attacked Mrs. Khrushchev's attire. A host of other American icons also make appearances: among them Herbert Hoover, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. Although Carlson's focuses on the comic, there are insights into Khrushchev's personality, many provided by his son Sergei, now a respected professor at Brown University, illuminating the method in Khrushchev's madness. All in all, in Carson's hands the cold war is a surprisingly laughing matter. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

In September 1959, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech before Hollywood's biggest stars at the Cafe de Paris, Twentieth Century Fox's elegant commissary. Forty-five minutes into his talk, as celebrities like Marilyn Monroe (wearing, on orders from her studio bosses, her slinkiest dress) and Frank Sinatra watched in amazement, a red-faced Khrushchev began to punch the air. He wasn't complaining... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

This hilarious account of Khrushchevs 1959 U.S. tour is also a supremely entertaining evocation of the history and atmosphere of Cold War America

About the Author

Peter Carlson is a former feature writer and columnist for The Washington Post, where he wrote the weekly column “The Magazine Reader.” The author of Roughneck: The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, and a co-author—with Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton, among others—of The Gospel According to ESPN, he lives in Rockville, MD.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781586484972
Subtitle:
A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist
Author:
Carlson, Peter
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Subject:
General History
Subject:
General
Subject:
Cold war
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/50s
Subject:
International Relations - Diplomacy
Subject:
United States Foreign relations.
Subject:
Russia-General Russian History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090602
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-pp. b/w photo insert
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Womens Health
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet Union
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » Russia

K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.48 In Stock
Product details 352 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781586484972 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Although Punch magazine famously commented on the humor of Nikita Khrushchev's desire to visit Disneyland during his 1959 trip to America, Carlson a former writer for the Washington Post, can still mine the tour with hilarious results, due in equal parts to Khrushchev's outsized provocateur personality and the bizarre and thoroughly American reaction to his visit. Numerous secondary players provide comic support: then vice president Richard Nixon's fixations on mano a mano debates with the quicksilver premier; Boston Brahmin and U.N. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Khrushchev's tour guide, who dutifully filed daily analysis of Khrushchev's public tantrums; popular gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, who in a noteworthy example of bad taste attacked Mrs. Khrushchev's attire. A host of other American icons also make appearances: among them Herbert Hoover, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. Although Carlson's focuses on the comic, there are insights into Khrushchev's personality, many provided by his son Sergei, now a respected professor at Brown University, illuminating the method in Khrushchev's madness. All in all, in Carson's hands the cold war is a surprisingly laughing matter. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
This hilarious account of Khrushchevs 1959 U.S. tour is also a supremely entertaining evocation of the history and atmosphere of Cold War America
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