THE MAN FROM NOWHERE by Roy MacGregor-Hastie


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An English journalist, Roy MacGregor-Hastie acknowledges himself ""fascinated but hostile"" to Khrushchev, and his book reveals an objectivity that is surprising. Khrushchev's career reveals as he says -- ""many human qualities...It took determination, a special sort of courage, and above all devotion to an ideal"". That that ideal was a mistaken one does not lessen the achievement. Khrushchev symbolizes the story of a Soviet man. This is an absorbingly interesting book -- a book that in final analysis poses a warning that should not be ignored. For in this one man's career we see the ruthlessness, the single-mindedness, the ability to face any sacrifice to a goal, the incredible about-faces accepted without flinching, the rationalizations that produced the downgrading of Stalin, the purges, the blood baths, the relentless elimination of possible threats to his power -- all factors in the development of the Soviet Union from the crushed peasant state of the Czars to its present world leadership. MacGregor -- Hastie has put in two stints as Moscow correspondent (1956-57 and again 1959), and has used his time to good advantage in tracing down the whole story behind the story. He had to ""wade through a soggy swamp of nonsense"" to get at the truth -- and the truth as he has told it reads like an exciting and horrifying novel of intrigue. Immensely readable, this should reach wide popularity.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1961
Publisher: Coward-McCann