The Grand Tactician: Khrushchev's Rise to Power

The Grand Tactician: Khrushchev's Rise to Power

The Grand Tactician: Khrushchev's Rise to Power

The Grand Tactician: Khrushchev's Rise to Power

Excerpt

However Khrushchev's political career may end, his name will appear in the annals of world history as that of a recognized leader of the U.S.S.R. and as a world figure who left a deep imprint on foreign relations in the 'fifties and the 'sixties of this century. In the short period since Stalin's death, Khrushchev, a man hardly heard of outside the borders of the Soviet Union at the time of his accession to power, has become one of the most widely known of world political leaders.

None of the Marxist or Communist leaders of the past has been known to so wide an audience as has Khrushchev. Marx and Engels were known only to limited groups of economists and philosophers and to small revolutionary circles, predominantly in Europe. Lenin emerged from obscurity after the revolution he had staged, but neither he nor his successor, Stalin, had personally contacted so many people within and outside the Soviet Union as has Nikita Khrushchev.

His name is identified with such bold moves as the de-Stalinization speech of February, 1956, the two dramatic purges of 1957, far-reaching changes in Soviet economic life, and spectacular achievements in the exploration of outer space. A spokesman of reform against the abuses of the Stalinist terroristic era, he has succeeded in consolidating his leadership of the Party and control over those other components of the totalitarian dictatorship--the secret police, the military caste, and the managerial class--which sought a more independent role in the structure of the Soviet regime after Stalin's death. On the other hand, he has also succeeded in curbing the intelligentsia who hoped in the early spring of 1953 that the death of the dictator would bring an end to the icy winter of the Stalin era.

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