KHRUSHCHEV ON KHRUSHCHEV: An Inside Account of the Man and His Era, By His Son, Sergei Khrushchev by Sergei Khrushchev

KHRUSHCHEV ON KHRUSHCHEV: An Inside Account of the Man and His Era, By His Son, Sergei Khrushchev

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Age Range: 1964 - 71
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A detailed account of the last seven years of Nikita Khrushchev's life, a period that spanned his last year as Soviet ruler, his downfall, the writing of his memoirs, their publication in the West, and his death. The narrative--written by Nikita's son--is affectionate without being hagiographic. For example, the author admits that his father was often difficult, having himself borne the brunt of his scorn on many occasions. The chief interest here is not so much in the political maneuverings that Sergei Khrushchev reveals (though these are frequently startling) as in the manner in which he captures the air of suspicion and fear that permeated Soviet society at the time (1964-71). Even among the upper echelons of the Party faithful, these emotions dominated. He also provides glimpses of the ""within-the-dacha"" domestic lives of the powerful and their families and acquaintances. In skillfully handled flashbacks, Sergei rounds out the portrait of his father, telling of Nikita's experiences as a youthful pipe fitter, as a Party organizer, as a combatant during WW II. The author sees his father as a precursor of Gorbachev's perestroika, and for the large part is convincing in that view. By stressing his father's commitment to revamping the Soviet economy, Sergei makes his point with some force. On a more personal note, the details he relates concerning his and his family's struggle to have a monument erected to his father are quite moving. An important document, of interest to both specialists and general readers.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1990
Publisher: Little, Brown